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Past Exhibitions

Parasols, Purses, and Petticoats: Costume Accessories from the Permanent Collection

February 10 - June 2, 2013

Galleria Cases

Accessories beautify an outfit, but they can also serve other functions. Some are items of utility: capes add warmth and purses hold necessities. Adornments indicate one’s position in society: at times only the wealthy could afford fine jewelry and the latest styles. Some items attract the opposite sex: fans can assist in flirtation. Moreover, objects become family heirlooms that are used by successive generations. Intimate and personal, accessories reveal personal tastes and social standing.

This exhibition draws from the Museum’s extensive costume collection and is the first-ever installation devoted to accessories. Items will include fans, parasols, purses, jewelry, bonnets, capes, shoes, shawls, and foundation garments. There will be examples to try on, and visitors can pick up a guide to pieces in the permanent collection galleries that portray accessories in use.

This exhibit is made possible by the generous funding from Susan T. Edge, Couture Collection.