I had an idea of something to blog about today…but then I changed my mind. Instead, I thought I would share something with you all (y’all if I was writing this from back in Illinois!). So many times professionals, regardless of their field, give off an air of confidence, knowledge, and authority. As they should. But, that doesn’t mean that we don’t get a little nervous when we have to step out of our comfort zones and try something new…
The anticipation has been building for weeks. All of us here at CHS have been excited to bring Katharine Hepburn home to Hartford in the form of an exhibition on loan from the Kent State University Museum called “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen.” Well…on Thursday of last week she finally arrived and the better part of three days has been spent unpacking, dressing, hanging, and generally preparing the exhibit to open to the public tomorrow.
Even if you are not a fashion historian, you have likely seen images of the clothing people wore in the past. Whether you saw them online, or in your own family photos, the outer garments of individuals are fairly visible. But what about what lies underneath? What does that look like???
Dress. About 1836-1840. Gift of Annetta Eddy Brigham. 2001.49.9.
I get asked this question quite frequently. The truth is that it changes depending on what I am working on at the moment because I don’t have a true favorite period. I love various aspects from almost every period of costume history, especially between the 1770s and the 1960s. However, there is a period that has always been, and will always be, particularly close to my heart…
Fashion Illustration. 1831. Scrapbook entitled “Fashion of a Century 1776-1876.” The Connecticut Historical Society, 1998.99.0.
On textiles that is. Yesterday CHS hosted a teacher development workshop for art teachers. For my part, I brought out some examples of printed textiles from the 18th and 19th centuries and we discussed the processes involved in printing textiles with brilliant colors and patterns. Well, since I already spent time brushing up on the processes of old, I thought I would share that knowledge with all of you as well…
Pocket. 1800-1810. Gift of Mrs. John A. Davison. 1999.41.1.
This time of year I always find myself hoping for an opportunity to attend a swanky party that requires a bit of sparkle and holiday elegance. Yet the season consistently brings casual family gatherings requiring little more than jeans and sweaters, or New Year’s plans including games and staying in with my sisters and our respective significant others. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love these holiday gatherings that have become a tradition in my life, but…if that invitation ever comes…I think I’d like to sew up my own version of one of these….
Woman’s Dress. 1950s. Gift of Nora Oakes Howard. The Connecticut Historical Society. 2012.532.14.