Saturday, February 23, 2013

Upcoming Events of Interest in Historical Fashion

This is just a quick post to share a few upcoming events and opportunities that might be of interest to historical fashion enthusiasts.

- On the second Saturday of every month, the Connecticut Historical Society will be hosting a special "behind the scenes" tours of their storage and collections facilities to give visitors a rare glimpse of items and museum areas not often accessible to the public.  In March, the tour will emphasize items from CHS's comprehensive textiles and costume collection, with a focus on Women's History Month.  The tour, entitled "From Corsets to Spanx: Have We Come a Long Way, Baby?", will examine the ways in which fashion both influenced and was influenced by the changing social and political roles of women across the last two centuries.  Tickets for this and other special tours can be purchased online or by calling CHS directly.  Ticket prices include all-day admission to the museum's current public exhibits (their "Making Connecticut" exhibit is fantastic!) and one-day access to the research library.

- "'They Called Me Lizzy': From Slavery to the White House," a one-woman show performed by Stephanie Jackson, will be presented at three different locations throughout CT during the months of March and April.  The play recounts the true story of Elizabeth Keckly, dressmaker and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln, as she retrospectively shares in first-person her extraordinary life experiences, from her birth into slavery, to her purchase of her own freedom, to her rise as one of the most recognizable figures in Washington society.  A video clip of the performance can be found here.

- On the slightly-more-distant horizon are two academic events at Colonial Williamsburg.  The first is the much-publicized and highly-anticipated symposium, "Threads of Feeling Unraveled: The London Foundling Hospital's Textile Tokens," which coincides with CW's very special hosting of the Threads of Feeling exhibit that garnered such a tremendous response when it opened in London in 2010.  The three-day symposium, taking place 20-22 October 2013, will feature a keynote lecture by the exhibit's curator, John Styles, and promises to be a fascinating glimpse into 18th-century textile history and the very human lives around which it wove itself.

The second event, a conference focusing on "Millinery through Time," is scheduled to take place 16-19 March 2014, to mark the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the opening of Colonial Williamsburg's Margaret Hunter Shop and CW's resurrection of the millinery trade as integral parts of their telling of our nation's social history.  They are currently accepting paper proposals, so keep an eye out for the final list of presentations!

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