But those problems will soon be over, as the new Textiles Gallery opens on October 14, 2010. It will have some state-of-the-art features that ensure the proper conservation and preservation of the objects: special lighting, cases and mounts that are conservationally-sound, and pull-out cases to display smaller and fragile items. According to textiles curator Jan Hiester, “In this new textile gallery, we can display many more examples from our extensive textile and clothing collection, in different contexts and through various themes. The state-of-the-art casework lighting will allow us to include rare and fragile pieces previously considered too delicate for exhibition and to focus on a wide range of interesting topics.”
This is wonderful news for those of us who live in the Southeast. While there are several major collections in this region, most museums just do not have the space for a gallery devoted entirely to textiles and costume. It’s great knowing that anytime you visit Charleston, there will be an exhibit devoted just to textiles!
Just one more word about the Charleston Museum, even without the new gallery, it has always been well-worth a visit by the fashion history fan. They have done an outstanding job of incorporating clothing and textiles into their permanent history exhibits.
The first exhibit in the new gallery is typically Charleston: Threads of War: Clothing and Textiles of the Civil War. But don’t expect to see just uniforms. The exhibit will focus on both the home front and the fighting men of the Civil War. Sure to be very enjoyable!
All images courtesy of The Charleston Museum
The top dress is made of yellow silk damask and was worn by Josephine Manigault to a ball in 1886 or 1887. The fabric had been purchased by her father, Louis Manigault, c. 1852.
The second dress is made from silk taffeta, and was worn by the donor, Sarah Francis Roach, for her wedding in 1906.
The shoes are a light blue satin decorated with silver braid, and date to around 1770. They belonged to Eliza Lucas Pinckney, mother of two of Charleston’s most famous sons.
My thanks to Rachel Chesser at The Charleston Museum for her help with this post.
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