I shall never forget this amazing quote given by Santina Levey FSA, BA Hons D Litt, a world-renowned specialist in embroidery, lace and costume, at an international lace symposium which was held in May 1991 in Honiton, Devon.
It is now with great sadness to learn that Santina passed away on August 26, 2017.
Santina began her career in Northampton where she learned to make lace. She then moved to oversee two museums in Norwich. The next 20 years she spent in the textile department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, culminating in the top job as the final curatorial keeper of the V&A’s textiles department (1981-88).
In the 1990s Santina started to catalogue the Blackborne Lace Collection. She was instrumental in seeing it installed at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co Durham. Her final assignment was an extensive study of the textiles at Harwick Hall.
Apart from numerous publications, we are indebted to Santina for the V&A art book, Lace: A History (which contains 500 photographs and weighs an impressive 3kg).
It is considered to be the ‘bible’ for all lace enthusiasts.
In The Times obituary (September 5, 2017) there was a request: no flowers but donations, if wished, to the School of Historical Dress, 52 Lambeth Road, London SE1 7PP.
Santina will always be remembered for her kindness, her generosity in sharing her time and knowledge, but most of all for her humility.
Anne Swift (lace dealer, Portobello Road)