Philadelphia, PA – Basic design teaches us that we first see color and then form. In early Western cultures, black clothing was a signifier of authority and also of mourning—and in many situations, remains so today. Black can evoke emotional responses related to mystery, exoticism, and fear and it can also feel chic and sophisticated, eliciting reason to celebrate. Join The Galleries at Moore for the Opening Reception for Black: Mourning to Celebration Friday, November 22, 2019, 5–7 pm, at 1916 Race Street. The exhibition on view November 23, 2019, through January 11, 2020, is FREE to the public and is wheelchair accessible.
The garments and accessories in this presentation are part of Moore’s Historic Costume Collection, originally gifted to the college in 1940 by Lynda Augusta Eckendorf Hering (1853–1940). Considered a tool and historical resource, the collection is made available to students and faculty, offering the opportunity to examine construction details and observe silhouettes and textile properties that can provide significant information about cultures that inform design.
“Black is a strong way of seeing the basic design element of form,” said Jane Young Likens, Moore class of 1966, who is curating the exhibition along with consulting curator Ellen Forbes Burnie, art director for The New York Times Fashions of the Times and designer for Martha Stewart’s Wedding book and magazine. “The garments chosen for this exhibition, from the 1840s to the 1990s, exemplify some of the many reasons women chose to wear black.”
“Moore’s Historic Costume Collection has been a campus secret for many years and it gives us great satisfaction to be able to share this selection of garments and accessories from the archive with the public,” said Gabrielle Lavin Suzenski, Rochelle F. Levy Director, The Galleries at Moore. “This is the first in our Revealing the Archives series, a set of annual exhibitions that highlight the variety of designs held within the Fashion Design Department’s permanent collection.”
Those helping to prepare the garments for exhibition include historic costumer Heathyr Haskins Angellone, a 2005 Moore graduate; conservation contributor Arianna Baback, a Moore Fashion Design sophomore; and exhibition assistants Ashleen Castillo, a Moore Fashion Design senior, and Kamille Payamps, a Moore Fashion Design sophomore.
Black: Mourning to Celebration is made possible with the generous support of Kathryn Sorkin '68 and Sandy Sorkin, who have made a gift towards preserving the archive.