Sunday, May 16, 2010

American Women: Fashioning a National Identity

American Women: Fashioning a National Identity at New York’s Metropolitan Museum is the story of how the heiresses to robber baron fortunes, dressed in bustled European ball gowns, morphed into sparky, sporty Gibson girls. Having won the battle for suffrage and planted the seeds of feminism, they matured from flapper to screen siren. Stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Rita Hayworth, camping it up in old movies, make this a show with a Hollywood ending.

Except that a final, digitalized room brings the story into the 21st century, with rotating projections of influential women from Serena Williams to Michelle Obama.

American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity, an exhibition – organized by Andrew Bolton, supported by Gap and Condé Nast – which will be held at the New York Metropolitan Museum from May 5th to August 15th, 2010, based on the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, recently established at the MET. An exploration of developing perceptions of the modern American woman from 1890 to 1940 and how they affected the way in which American women are seen today. The exhibition will include works by Travis Banton, Gabrielle Chanel, Callot Soeurs, Elizabeth Hawes, Charles James, Jeanne Lanvin, Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli, Valentina and Charles Frederick Worth.

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