The Tulle Museum in the Sant’Agostino church was inaugurated in 2001. The museum takes its name from Anita Belleschi Grifoni’s school. Grifoni brought the art of embroidered tulle back into fashion at the beginning of the twentieth century and established the “Ars Panicalensis” foundation, which went on to win acclaim both in Italy and abroad. Commissions arrived from the Savoia royal family, and Panicale Tulle embroidery was exhibited throughout Italy. Anita was inspired by the tulle artefacts she saw in the churches of Panicale, intricately worked tulle painstakingly woven by local women over the centuries. She inspired the girls and women of Panicale to get involved, and set up an embroidery school in Via Roma, near where the museum stands today. The school took its inspiration from traditional local embroidery, including the work of Panicale’s Collegio delle Vergini. The pupils elaborated on the original patterns and made some of their own, designing new motifs with flowers, birds of paradise, cockerels and scenes of rural life. The school ran themed competitions and called on renowned artists to work on new designs. Anita and her pupils produced brides’ veils, church veils, baptism robes, table centrepieces, and aprons for Panicale’s folk dancing troupe.
The museum recounts the history of Ars Panicalensis, with exhibitions of spools, gowns, nineteenth century altar cloths, artefacts from the school from the first half of the 1900s and recent pieces made by the new embroidery school, situated in the deconsecrated Rosario church. Among the exhibits there is a nineteenth century spool with a decorative motif inspired by a Perugino fresco and a Milan Triennale diploma of honour, signed by Carlo Carrà in 1954.