Dressing for Show

posted in: Costume Mounting, Events, Museums | 0

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Lunch included time to walk the grounds which boasts incredible views looking out and away from the oceanfront property.

In May I had the honor of presenting at Dressing for Show—a special NEMA workshop held at Rough Point—Doris Duke’s oceanfront estate that is owned and operated by the Newport Restoration Foundation.

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Myself, enjoying the wonderful setting and two of our four demonstration forms featured on the right.

The workshop focused on the exhibition and conservation of costume and textiles for museums of all types. In addition to a case study-based presentation by RISD Curator of Costume and Textiles, Kate Irvin, my Andover Figures co-creator Camille Myers Breeze and I presented a talk and demonstration on affordable costume mounting using a variety of materials and techniques to illustrate cost-effective solutions. It was really a treat to get to present alongside these women and to hear from others on this topic and I’m grateful to the organizing members of NEMA’s conservator’s PAG for having us.

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Ms Duke herself and her glittering closets.

Before the afternoon talks, we had a great behind-the-scenes tour of Rough Point with NRF curator Kristen Costa. The tour highlighted treatment of several prominent textiles within the space including the Flemish tapestries in Stair Hall. Costa also highlighted a host of challenges and successes inside collection’s storage where Doris Duke’s collection of 20th century fashion is housed. My favorite part was getting a peek inside Duke’s double closets though. Set within her dramatic chartreuse, purple, and black bedroom, the closets are organized between formal and casual wear with nooks for hatboxes, shoes, and every little piece of jewelry.

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One of Ms Duke’s many swim suits laid out in collection’s storage.

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