Saturday, October 20, 2012

Current Exhibit: "The Victorian Wardrobe Revealed, 1840-1900"

I had hoped to be able to make it to see this exhibit before it closed, which was why I delayed posting about it for so long.  Now, unfortunately, it looks like I won't be able to get myself out to Newport in time, so I thought I'd just post the details anyway in case they prove useful to someone else!

Photo linked from

Newport Mansions and the Preservation Society of Newport, RI are currently staging an exhibition featuring "The Victorian Wardrobe Revealed, 1840-1900," which showcases some rarely-seen items from the Society's extensive costume and textiles collection.  This exhibit, set up inside Rosecliff, one of the famed Newport Mansions, features ten gowns or ensembles, a couple of evening capes, and some accessories.  The garments are arranged to demonstrate the evolution of the female silhouette over the course of the nineteenth century, and to document the changes that occurred in the production and manufacturing process of women's clothing in nineteenth-century America.

Included in the exhibit as one of its highlights is an 1898 black and white striped Worth afternoon ensemble.  As this article explains, the gown underwent more than 300 hours of conservation work to restore and even replace many of the white stripes in the skirt, which had been nearly destroyed by water damage.

Charles Frederick Worth 1898 afternoon dress.
Photo by Andrea Carneiro.  Linked from

Also featured is this stunning sapphire blue silk satin dinner dress, dated 1875.

Blue 1875 silk satin evening gown.
Photo by Andrea Carneiro.  Linked from

Entrance to the exhibit is included in admission to the Rosecliff mansion house.  The gowns will be on display until Friday 16 November 2012.

If anyone has gone to see this exhibit, I'd be very intrigued to hear all about what you saw!

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