And The Bride Wore…
And the Bride Wore...
…is a phrase that often appeared in newspaper accounts of weddings throughout the twentieth century, describing the dress chosen by the bride for one of the most sartorially significant moments of her life. We chose it as the title of this exhibition about wedding dresses, because we wanted the focus to be on the dress itself, the bride and the material culture background story about both.
As with all exhibitions, making the choices about which artifacts to display is often difficult because of the breadth of worthy items from which to choose. We solved this dilemma in two ways. The first was to create two installations so we could show as many wedding gowns in the collection as possible. The second was to organize the dresses into categories for interesting groupings. For this exhibition, the groupings are: Something Old—a dress of a certain age, Something New—a dress relatively recent, Something Borrowed—a dress borrowed from a former bride, Something Blue—in this case, a non-white dress, Local Stories—a dress with an interesting story relevant to a local Columbus or Ohio store, War Brides—dresses with stories related to times of war, and Generation Gap—dresses from multiple generations in one family.
Again, with exhibitions, they do not happen without considerable help and I would like to acknowledge that help here. Assistant curator, Marlise Schoeny, did thorough “background checks” on the brides to uncover information to include in the informational labels, and also created the photo gallery of brides for whom we have portraits but are not in the exhibition—a method of including those for which we don’t have the space to physically display. Friend of the Collection, Jennifer Brown of Romance Studio created several headpieces to accompany our gowns; those pieces are noted in the labels. Volunteers Julie Burnsides dressed several of our mannequins in their varied period attire, and Jackie Farbeann employed her needle to stabilize those artifacts that needed tender loving care. In addition, volunteers Kathy Copeland, Connie Cummings, and Joyce Smith helped with many tasks, large and small, to make this exhibition as well as the daily operations of the Historic Costume & Textiles Collection a success.
Thank you all!
Gayle Strege, Curator