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The Care and Display of Historic Clothing


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Timeline of Fashion and History Chapter 2: Historic Costume Basics Chapter 3: Dating Clothing through Shifts in Design Chapter 4: Fiber Identification Basics Chapter 5: Preparing Garments for Exhibition Chapter 6: Dressing for Display Chapter 7: Reading Costumes Chapter 8: Exhibiting Clothing Chapter 9: Interpreting Costume Chapter 10: Engaging Beyond Exhibitions Appendix 1: Men's Style Elements from 1800 to 1899 Appendix 2: Men's Style Elements from 1900 to 1960 Appendix 3: Blank Form Women's Style Elements from 1800 to 1899 Appendix 4: Blank Form Women's Style Elements from 1900 to 1960 Appendix 5: Blank Form Men's Style Elements from 1800 to 1899 Appendix 6: Blank Form Men's Style Elements from 1900 to 1960

About the Author

Karen DePauw currently works as coordinator of Local History Services at the Indiana Historical Society. After receiving a bachelor of arts in history at Quincy University and a master of science from the University of Rhode Island focusing on historic costumes and textiles, Karen worked with various costume collections in the state of Connecticut before moving to Indiana to serve local organizations through collection care trainings and workshops. She is a member of the American Association for State and Local History Field Services Alliance and has been an active member of the Costume Society of America, previously serving as the Northeastern Regional President.


In this engaging and informative volume Karen DePauw unravels the mysteries of identifying, caring for and displaying historic costumes. DePauw clearly and concisely sets out the steps and appropriate procedures for working with costumes - from assigning and attaching numbers to incorporating the garment and its story into your interpretation. This practical guide is a must for anyone charged with a costume collection whether a novice or a seasoned curator. -- Catherine Fields, Director, Litchfield Historical Society
In the nineteen years I've spent working in and with small and mid-sized museums, I've seen countless costume and textile collections. I've often looked for accessible resources for how a small paid or volunteer staff can care for their collections with minimal funding. Karen DePauw's book is just such a resource. It's well-written, easy to understand and professional. The Care and Display of Historic Clothing will, I'm sure, be a go-to source for advice and information for institutions of all types and sizes that are looking for good collections stewardship solutions. -- Tamara Hemmerlein, Director, Local History Services, Indiana Historical Society
DePauw provides a remarkable breadth of information to help small and mid-sized museums especially to understand how to identify, care for, store, and exhibit costume collections. Moreover, this book provides an important introduction for its readers in how to think about costume-how to appreciate its historical, cultural, and artistic significance and relay that information to the public. Costumes are perhaps the most difficult form of common museum object to display, but DePauw provides practical and inexpensive advice on how to mount these pieces, and then goes on to discuss how to get the most mileage out of that effort through social media, traditional publication, and programming. -- Lynne Zacek Bassett, Adjunct Curator for Costume & Textiles, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Museum Consultant

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