Browse Exhibits (5 total)

And the Bride Wore...


And The Bride Wore… is the title of our next exhibition offering, opening September 17th with a Friends preview, of course. The exhibition will have two installations, one during Fall semester, and the second in Spring semester so we can maximize the number of dresses to display in our upper gallery space.

The exhibition is organized around several themes, instead of being a strict timeline of wedding gown fashions, but will still feature dresses from the 1880s through the end of the 20th century and possibly into the 21st. All have interesting stories which accompany them. The themes include, “Something Old” and “Something New” which are pretty self-explanatory, “Something Borrowed”—a dress borrowed or re-cycled from a previous bride, “Something Blue”—a non-white wedding gown, “Generations”—more than one generation of brides in a family, “War Brides”—dresses worn around various war times, and “Local Interest”—dresses with stories and connections local to Columbus and Ohio. Each installation will feature 15-16 gowns and all thematic areas.


Campus Fashion: 150 Years of College Style

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The Ohio State University is celebrating its Sesquicentennial Anniversary this academic year so we thought we’d take a look at what students have been wearing around campus for the past 150 years. Being located within a university, we thought for sure there would be some artifacts with documented history of having been worn to college, and we were not disappointed. Throughout this exhibition, you will find clothing with history of having been worn to not only OSU, but other colleges as well. When we could not find something having college history to represent a particular time period or decade we wanted to highlight, we filled in with items from the Collection that would have been similar to what students would have worn. Our choices were based on research among the photographs of OSU’s Archives, many of which we included here. This exhibition could not have been possible without the access and assistance we were given by OSU Archives staff:Tamar Chute, Kevlin Haire, Michelle Drobik and Tyler Osborne.

Among the artifacts we found in the Collection were items made and/or worn by former students and faculty in the School of Home Economics. I suspected there were more out there, so we sent out a notice to our alumni and received several responses. We are highlighting those student projects along with a look back at the early days of Domestic Science and its evolution into Human Sciences as we are known today. We were aided in gathering alumni information with the help of Sean Thompson, Director of Alumni Relations, and the Internet stalking skills of Marlise Schoeny when we could not talk to the alums themselves.I hope you enjoy the exhibition half as much as we did in pulling it together.

--Gayle Strege, Curator

Please visit the exhibition gallery page to view images from inside the gallery of each section of the exhibit.

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Fashion and Music


This exhibition displays artifacts tracing the history of American music and their influence on fashion. Beginning with the turn of the 20th century, it follows the relationship between fashion and music from its beginnings in vaudeville and with itinerant country singers to the current fashion companies run by rap superstars. From folk music to hip-hop, and related dress trends, from flapper dresses to Timberland boots, this exhibit provides examples of the interplay between music and fashion trends. Moreover, it examines how human behavior is influenced by the use of dress and how music serves as a means of communication between individuals.


Red or Blue?

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Media coverage of presidential campaigns turns our states into either red or blue, depending on which political party, Republican or Democratic, wins that particular state. While this color coding now seems to have always existed, it has only been in widespread use since the onset of color television, and the exclusive use of red for Republican and blue for Democratic has only existed since the 2000 election.

This exhibit was displayed in 2016, an election year, and we thought it would be timely to explore these colors and their relationship to historic clothing and textiles. Our interest is not in arousing political partisanship, but in exploring the cultural meanings of these colors in societies, the psychology of red and blue, and some of the early natural dyestuffs used to color textiles and fibers. As you go through the exhibition, we encourage you to choose a favorite from among the 46 garments and textiles on display, as well as from among the red and blue accessories and buttons.

You are encouraged to choose between the two colors as well, as our title suggests, but on this campus where scarlet is another term for red and blue is one of the colors of that team up north, we think the choice might be very one-sided

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The Columbus Fashion Story


This virtual exhibit examines the founding clothing manufacturers of Columbus, Ohio, throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the circumstances of the time period that allowed them to be successful in an era of innovations in both clothing and its large-scale production. Following the U.S. Civil War, Columbus, along with the rest of the United States, experienced tremendous growth and rapid industrialization. By the 1890s, Columbus' population had almost quadrupled, and improvements in communication and rail transportation created a national marketplace that could be fed not only by agricultural products, but by the factory-produced goods made in the thriving city. Having a central location within the United States at the time, Columbus had the advantage of being a prime distribution and manufacturing center for these goods.

All images courtesy of the Historic Costume & Textiles Collection unless otherwise noted.


Content- Gayle Strege, Marlise Schoeny, Nick Crockett, Isabella Burton, and Emily Glassmeyer

Online Exhibit Creator Manufacturers, Columbus Tailors and African-American Manufacturers and Tailors - Nick Crockett

Online Exhibit Creator Dry Goods and Department Stores, and Specialty Boutiques - Isabella Burton

Online Exhibit Creator Columbus Dressmakers - Emily Glassmeyer