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Browse Exhibits : 4

Uncovering Dress: An Exploration of Fashion as a Cultural History

This exhibit, Uncovering Dress: An Exploration of Fashion as Cultural History was launched in Spring 2018. The exhibit aims to demonstrate how historic costumes can, through examination, illustrate the evolution of fashion and reveal the trends of past cultures. Most importantly, Uncovering Dress seeks to explain the importance of this careful examination as a educatory tool for students studying in fields such as fashion and costume design, drama, history, anthropology, ethnic studies, and even sociology. 

Fashioning an Education

publicity image for Fashioning an Education exhibition

Fashioning an Education: 150 Years of Vassar Students and What They Wore 

May 16-June 12, 2011 at the Palmer Gallery, Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY)

To celebrate the college’s 150th anniversary, the Vassar College Costume Collection shared student research about the complex role that education has played to influence fashion. This exhibition showcased student clothing from the 1860′s to 1950′s and photographs of student styles from the 1960′s to today.


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For Better and For Worse


For Better and For Worse: Sixteen Decades of Wedding Wear at Vassar

May 23-June 9, 2013 at the Palmer Gallery, Main Building, Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY)

In 2007, Vassar received a donation of four wedding dresses from the same Vassar family—three generations of dresses. The exhibition includes these four dresses, plus a fifth dress on loan to represent the fourth generation, as well as other wedding wear and photographs collected over the years. Explore changing views of marriage over the last 160 years, including current views on marriage equality.

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A Glimpse into Vassar's Secret Closet

a publicity image for the exhibition A Glimpse into Vassar's Secret Closet, with a collage of items from the exhibition

A selection of historic costumes from the Vassar College Costume Collection shown in the James W. Palmer III Gallery from May 21 to June 6, 2010. Free and open to the public, the exhibition opened on Friday, May 21.

Organized by Holly Hummel, Arden Kirkland ‘93, and Candace Schuster of the Drama Department, the exhibition offered the public a chance to see the results of an NEH funded semester-long process of costume preservation. This exhibition honored Holly Hummel, senior drama lecturer and costume designer, who retired at the end of the year. She began organizing the collection shortly after she started working at Vassar in 1981.

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