MHM Curator Hits the Big Apple

5, September 2014
The Museum at FIT in New York, hosting the exhibit Dance and Fashion. Photo by Shannon Meyer.

Last week I had the privilege of acting as a courier for the loan of objects to the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. This was a very exciting opportunity, both for me personally and for the Missouri History Museum. The items being loaned are three dresses from the Katherine Dunham collection for an exhibit called Dance and Fashion, which runs from September 13, 2014 to January 3, 2015. While there, I was able to assist with the installation by unloading the carefully packed dresses, examining their post-travel condition, dressing the mannequins, and then steaming the garments before they were put into place on their exhibit platform.

Katherine Dunham costumesKatherine Dunham costumes on mannequins at the Museum at FIT. Photo by Shannon Meyer.

While I was thrilled that I got to travel to New York for this installation, I was even more thrilled that the Museum at FIT wanted to borrow something from our collection. I often wish that the clothing and textile collection at MHM, given its size and scope, attracted more attention. However, as we get more of our collections online I am seeing more loan requests from national institutions come across my desk. Loaning our artifacts gets our name out there and exposes our audience to the wonderful array of objects that are in our holdings. It’s an exciting time to be the curator of the clothing and textile collection!

So if you are in New York and get the chance, please pay a visit to the Museum at FIT to see a wonderful, free exhibit on Dance and Fashion that includes three of MHM’s own costume pieces!

—Shannon Meyer, Senior Curator