1 + Articulating Bodies Developing and Disseminating New Tools for Historic Costume Display in Small Museums Camille Myers Breeze and Kate Herron Gendreau NEMA Conference 2016 Portland, ME
2 + Introduction We will explore the challenges and opportunities of mounting historic costume in the small museum environment
3 + Introduction We will explore the challenges and opportunities of mounting historic costume in the small museum environment We will share practical resources on preventative care of costume for collection managers
4 + Introduction We will explore the challenges and opportunities of mounting historic costume in the small museum environment We will share practical resources on preventative care of costume for collection managers We will discuss the non-verbal language of costume mounts and how they are at once a tool for preventative conservation and curatorial interpretation
5 + Introduction We will explore the challenges and opportunities of mounting historic costume in the small museum environment We will share practical resources on preventative care of costume for collection managers We will discuss the non-verbal language of costume mounts and how they are at once a tool for preventative conservation and curatorial interpretation We will consider different methods and tools for mounting costume in relation to time, budgets, and in-house expertise
6 + Introduction We will explore the challenges and opportunities of mounting historic costume in the small museum environment We will share practical resources on preventative care of costume for collection managers We will discuss the non-verbal language of costume mounts and how they are at once a tool for preventative conservation and curatorial interpretation We will consider different methods and tools for mounting costume in relation to time, budgets, and in-house expertise We will provide an overview of the development and functionality of the Andover Figures costume-mounting system
7 + Introduction Guiding Questions Why address costume mounting? Why do store-bought dress forms not suffice? Where can we go from here? What is needed to move forward? What are my options? Which solution is right for my situation? How did we get here?
8 + The Opportunities What Stories Can Clothing Tell? Personal identity Changing social constructs Industry and economics Gender/body politics Material culture To name just a few!
9 + The Opportunities Fashion in the Museum Charles James: Beyond Fashion. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Costume Institute, 2014.
10 + The Challenges Why do store-bought dress forms not suffice? All recent anonymous examples of costume mounting from small museums, historic houses, and societies across the New England region.
11 + The Challenges Form and Function Although mounts such as mannequins and dress stands can be purchased easily, they are rarely the right size and shape for historical costume and will often need adapting to fit. Underpinnings are also essential, not only as a substitute for historical frames such as paniers and crinolines, but as a supportive foundation, controlling the shape and arrangement of trousers, skirts, and sleeves. Lara Flecker
12 + The Challenges Bridging the Divide Preparing a costume can be a daunting prospect for someone who is unacquainted with mounting techniques, but, like any craft, it is something that can be taught and learned. Unfortunately, the lack of training courses and the scarcity of information on this subject has meant that many are expected to display costumes without any advice or assistance. Lara Flecker There is an enormous disparity in the educational content of museum exhibitions, as well as in the techniques employed and the types of costume displayed. This is related to the fact that, until fairly recently, there has been little or no formal academic and professional training for costume and textile curators. Alexandra Palmer
13 + From Challenge to Opportunity Communicating the Body Within Costume Mounting Before, During, After (Victoria and Albert Museum).
14 + Understanding Historic Silhouette Clothes Make the (Wo/)Man Fashion Timeline. Kent State University Museum, 2012.
15 + Understanding Historic Silhouette Where Can We Go From Here? University of Washington Digital Fashion Plate Collectionhttp://content.lib.washington.e du/costumehistweb/ Casey Fashion Plateshttp:// Kent State Visual Fashion Resourceshttp://libguides.library.kent.ed u/c.php?g=278012&p= MET Costume Institute Collectionshttp:// search/digital-collections/costumeinstitute e-collectiononline/search?&ft=*&deptids=8
16 + Today s Landscape What Are My Options? Store Supply Warehouse $54 95 Non-archival/non customizable or quite costly to do so University Products $ Archival/customizable Dorfman $625 1,845 Archival/customizable
17 + Handout: Display Systems Checklist
18 + Cost Effectiveness What is the budget for your costume-mounting project? What funding is needed for conservation treatments in order to stabilize and ready pieces for display?
19 + Archival Safety Are the costume mounts made of archival-safe materials that will not harm the garments? What level of care is necessary for the garment?
20 + Garment Condition Does the garment have any tears, weak areas, unstable elements, stains, or fading that might make them unsuitable for display?
21 + Garment Silhouette Does the size and shape of your mount support the historic silhouette of the garment? If not, how easily can it be manipulated to correctly support it?
22 + Garment Silhouette Does the garment have a relatively simple silhouette that is straightforward to research and mount, or does it have more intricate details that require expert handling and knowledge?
23 + Versatility Is the costume mount intended for one-time use or can it be repurposed for other exhibitions and garments? What size, shape, or gender is the costume mount compatible with?
24 + Time (and Space) What kind of timeline does your exhibit need to meet? How much time can your staff set aside to safely dress each garment for display?
25 + Staff Experience Does your museum staff have working knowledge of handling textiles and basic sewing skills? How much curatorial research will be needed to accurately interpret the garments for an engaging display?
26 + Exhibition Space Will your exhibition space accommodate a full 3D form or do you require a solution for shallow space?
27 + A New Solution Our partnership grew out of: Mutual interest in addressing the challenges of exhibiting historic costume in small museums.
28 + A New Solution How Did We Get Here? Our partnership grew out of: Mutual interest in addressing the challenges of exhibiting historic costume in small museums.
29 + A New Solution How Did We Get Here? Desire to empower museum professionals and historic societies in a manner that did not sacrifice archival safety standards, museum resources, or the educational value of the visitor experience.
30 + A New Solution How Did We Get Here? Kate s graduate research and capstone project that investigated the need for new tools and expertise to support small museum professionals working with fragile costume collections.
31 + A New Solution How Did We Get Here? An MTS client need for a cost-effective but safe way to reinstall the costume in their small museum or historic house on a rotating basis.
32 + A New Solution Andover Figures Andover Figures is a costume-mounting system that includes: 10 different archival forms A kit for creating any historic silhouette Show fabric comes in a variety of skin tones Instructional booklet Hands-on training
33 + A New Solution Andover Figures 100% archival materials Manikins compatible with any 5/8-inch pole Suspension forms hang from a bracket or stand Customizable and reusable Priced between $150 and $250 dollars
34 + Handout: Andover Figures Product Line
35 + A New Solution Andover Figures
36 + A New Solution Andover Figures
37 + A New Solution Andover Figures
38 + Handout: Resource Guide Costume mounting and collections care supplies Readings in costume and textile care Readings in costume mounting Readings in Costume History
39 + Handout: Resource Guide Other Services
40 + Handouts All handouts featured in this presentation (as well as a PDF version of this PPT) will be available on the NEMA Website App for NEMA. 1. Get Whova from the App Store or Google Play 2. Sign with your social media account or 3. If you are asked to enter an event-specific passcode, please enter nema2015
41 + Contact us Got questions? Learn more about Andover Figures, Kate, and Camille here:
42 + Acknowledgements Anne Bissonnette, Associate Professor of Material Culture and Curatorship and Curator of the Clothing and Textile Collection at the University of Alberta Katherine Burton Jones, Director of the Museum Studies Program at Harvard University Extension School John Dunphy, Vice President and General Manager of University Products, Inc. Jennifer Emerson, author and museum consultant Leah Niederstadt, Assistant Professor of Museum Studies and Art History and Curator of the Permanent Collection at Wheaton College Jan Williams, Curator of the Buttonwoods Museum at Haverhill Historical Society
43 + Works Cited Conservation Dress Form. N.D. University Products The Archival Company. UniversityProducts. Web. Dorfman Conservation Forms. N.D. Dorfman Museum Figures Inc. MuseumFigures. Web. Fashion Timeline, Kent State University Museum. Kentstateuniversitymuseum. Web. Flecker, Lara. A Practical Guide to Costume Mounting. London: Routledge, Print. Harper s Bazaar. Dress and thelady Harper s Brothers. New York Public Library Digital Gallery, Web. Lucien, Lelong. Bergdorf Goodman sketches : Lelong , Image i _002. Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Digital Collections. Web. Miller, Keira. An 18th Century Bride and an Introduction to Costume Mounting. VAM. The Victoria and Albert Museum, 11 December Web. Palmer, Alexandra. Untouchable: Creating Desire and Knowledge in Museum Costume and Textile Exhibitions. Exhibitionism. Spec. issue of Fashion Theory 12.1 (2008): Web. Plastic Female Full Body Mannequin, Headless. StoreSupply. Store Supply Warehouse LLC., N.D. Web. Yannetta, Tiffany. Inside the Anna Wintour Costume Center s Charles James Exhibit. NY.racked. Vox Media Inc., 5 May Web.
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