JASNA AGM 2016
Thursday Oct. 20/Friday Oct. 21
An Agreeable Tyrant: Fashion After the American Revolution
In the afternoon, I attended another curator talk. Alden O'Brien, curator of the costume exhibit "An Agreeable Tyrant: Fashion After the American Revolution" at the Daughters of the American Revolution museum, spoke about the exhibit. Alden is a devoted Janeite and Mr. Darcy lover. She is a very funny speaker and told us how she got to fulfill a lifelong dream and put her hands in "Mr. Darcy's" breeches - the manikin that is. She also quipped that the mannequin representing Miss Bingley got a little fresh with Mr. Darcy as they were moving the manikin down the corridors to the rooms. This devoted Janite also put together a little booklet just for Janeites about the exhibit in the context of Jane Austen's novels.
Back to the process of creating an exhibit- the majority of the pieces in the exhibit are authentic pieces from the museum collections. The challenge was getting human clothing onto inanimate manikins, some of which lacked legs, heads, arms and hair. They even had to carve down and build up portions of the foam forms to make them look more historically accurate. They used foam to fill in spaces and create the illusion of hair. You can read more about the exhibit process and see the photos on the DAR blog. Some of the accessories, mostly jewelry, are reproductions. This exhibit is a must-see! It will make any textile lover's heart go pitter-patter. I'd love to get in the vault and see what else they have.
Skipping ahead to Friday, here are my (poor) photos from the exhibit with special appearances by my traveling companions Susanna (in her colonial/Federal child's dress) and mini-Jane Austen wearing her most fashionable Regency ballgown.