What is this?

dustpan-thumbOur newest exhibit, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, showcases over 40 costumes form Hepburn’s illustrious film and stage career. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its background every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?

IMG_2902This costume was worn by Katharine Hepburn in the 1934 film, The Little Minister. The film was directed by Richard Wallace and the costumes were designed by Walter Plunkett. Set in 1840s Scotland, Hepburn plays Babbie, a Scottish aristocrat who dresses a a gypsy to win a minister’s love.

At Hepburn’s request, Walter Plunkett provided a bright red petticoat which would not have been distinguishable in the black and white film, to help the actress feel more the part.

On Wednesday May 28, Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies at Wesleyan University, will offer an overview of Katharine Hepburn’s extraordinary career in film, comparing her longevity on screen to the shorter careers of some of her famous contemporaries. Hepburn faced particular challenges on her way to achieving lasting fame, but she also had advantages of education, wealth, and social position that helped her succeed. Drawing comparisons to her famous contemporaries, such as Bette Davis or Joan Crawford, Basinger will explore how Hepburn achieved six decades on screen and an enduring legacy as a film legend.

Katharine Hepburn’s Hollywood Career: An Overview with Jeanine Basinger will take place on Wednesday, May 28 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. The cost for admission is $5 CHS members and $10 non-members. Tickets available at the door.

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