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   Date: 12/2/08

How Art Becomes Clothing

Stella Schwartz ’11 recently examined American clothing from the 1920s for a new exhibition on campus, titled “Appropriating Art Into Dress,” for which she was curator.

Schwartz’s exhibition, displayed on the first floor of Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, takes a look at how patterns and motifs from early 20th-century European art movements filtered into common American dress. The exhibition compares three American dresses from the 1920s with European artwork of the period.

The project was the culmination of research by Schwartz and Kiki Smith,
associate professor of theatre, and was supported by a grant from the Andrew
W. Mellon Foundation.

In addition to the dresses on display, the project involved the study and
conservation of  21 garments from the Smith Historical Clothing
Collection, an archive of more than 1,000 objects donated by Smith alumnae
and friends.

“Appropriating Art Into Dress” will remain on display until January 31, 2009.


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