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ABOUT US

EasternEuropeanArt.com offers a unique selection of antique and vintage folk costumes and ethnographic textiles from Eastern and Central Europe, as well as a variety of hard-to-find books on folk art from around the world.

Since 2000, site-founder Jan Letowski has researched and collected the regional costumes and adornments of Europe and worked to preserve this fading textile tradition. His work with museums and institutions in the United States and abroad has allowed him to develop a critical eye and helped him in selecting choice pieces for discerning collectors. His clients include museums, private collectors, fashion designers, performing groups, interior decorators, and textile enthusiasts around the world.

European folk costumes have existed for hundreds of years and as with any fashion, they have continuously changed and modernized over time. Costume development in Eastern Europe reached its peak around the turn of the nineteenth century and thus much of our inventory dates from this period until around World War Two, by which time most European cultures abandoned traditional dress in favor of modern industrial fashions. Lingering costume traditions still exist in pockets throughout Europe even in the twenty-first century, though as the final generation of women with first-hand knowledge passes on, they take with them unique textile traditions often taken for granted in the past. While peasant textiles remain undervalued when compared to other art forms, they offer incredible insight into the daily lives and traditions of our ancestors and will soon become a rarity in the marketplace, only to be found in museums and private collections.

This online gallery presents one-of-a-kind textile treasures that have been personally sourced, often directly in rural villages, and are presented here with accurate historic documentation whenever possible. In addition to the items for sale, we are glad to assist in researching ethnic textiles from your personal collection such as souvenirs acquired while traveling abroad or family heirlooms brought over by immigrants from the Old World. It is our goal to promote the preservation of historic garments and textiles so that future generations can continue to appreciate and learn from them.


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