Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Search for vintage underwear

Ladies Home Journal, 1904

Now that Peanuts...Naturally is open in the Keller Gallery, it's time to begin working on the next exhibition -- Mentioning the Unmentionables!

Gary Brown wrote a great article in yesterday's Monday After column in the Repository announcing our quest to fill in some gaps in our collection.  Below is a list of what we're hoping to find in the community.  We have filled in some early gaps in our collection with a loan from a private collector in Washington, DC.  But there are still things we're hoping to find!

Mentioning the Unmentionables: Highlights from the Underwear Collection will examine the history of women’s fashion by what we’ve worn underneath our clothing to conform to the ideal feminine shape of the era.  The exhibition will examine the role underpinnings have played in shaping (literally and figuratively!) gender roles in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

The exhibition opens on Friday September 5 with a FREE reception from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.  It will be on view through November 30.  I'm going to be working on it this summer, so if you have anything to loan/donate, please call me as soon as possible so we can check things off the list!  (330-455-7043)

The following is a “wish list” of items we would like to include in Mentioning the Unmentionables:


  • Corsets (19th and early 20th century)
  • Hoop (1860s)
  • Bustle hoop (1870s – 1880s)
  • “Sleeve bustle” (1890s)  FOUND!  We are borrowing one from the Winterthur Museum in Delaware.
  • Bloomers (19th century)
  • Maidenform “bullet bra” (1940s-1950s)
  • Wonderbra (1960s or 1990s)
  • Girdle (mid-20th century)
  • Nightgowns/dressing robes/lingerie from any era
  • Trousseau items
  • Modern shapewear (such as Spanx)
  • Bathing suits (any era, especially early bikinis from the mid-20th century)
  • ADVERTISEMENTS from vintage women’s magazines featuring underwear from any era

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