Urban Household

In 1996, the Board of Directors of the Lyceum organized an exhibition on “The world of women in Chania in the 20th century: how she adorns herself and her home over time. Clothing, ornaments, embroideries, etc., just before the progress of society made them disappear”. For the needs of the exhibition, members of the Lyceum gathered clothing and handicrafts (tablecloths, towels, curtains, etc.) from the end of the 19th century until around 1970. Many of the exhibits were returned to their owners, but many remained at the Lyceum after the end of the exhibition and formed the basis for the collection now called “Urban Household”. This collection was enriched, later, with more objects: dresses and handicrafts from mothers and grandmothers, family heirlooms that were entrusted to the Lyceum by its members and constitute, now, materials of collective cultural heritage. These materials highlight the artistry, toil, care, patience, creativity and imagination with which they were made to dress themselves, their family, their bed, their home and to welcome guests. It is obvious that Florentini Kaloutsis’s collection could also be included in “Urban Household” since the two collections coincide in time, but Florentini’s collection was chosen due to its volume and artistic unity, to be presented separately. As already mentioned, the textile that is the main material of the items in this collection normally has a short lifespan due to natural wear and tear either from use or time or due to recycling. The preservation of these cultural heritage objects that tell the story of their owners or their creators is an imperative necessity. In this project, with the financial assistance from the Ministry of Culture, a part of the “Urban Household” collection of the Lyceum of Chania is re-corded, documented, digitized and presented online.