Kent State Fashion Museum showcases Civil War exhibit

Patter Beldon and her granddaughter Gretchen Parker visit the new On the Home Front Civil War exhibit at the Kent State University Museum. Photo by Amy Loomis.

Angela Pino

On the Home Front

  • Location: Second floor of the museum in Rockwell Hall
  • The exhibit runs until Aug. 26, 2012.

    Museum hours:

  • Wednesday-10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • Thursday-10 a.m.-8:45 p.m.
  • Friday- 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 am -4:45 p.m.
  • Sunday- 12 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

    **The museum is free to students, faculty and staff with any KSU ID.

    **General Admission-Adults: $5; Sr. Citizens 55+: $4; students and children 7-18: $3; children under 7: FREE

    **Sunday- FREE for everyone

The Kent State Fashion Museum opened its new exhibit Friday in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Museum Curator Sara Hume started planning for the exhibit, On the Home Front: Civil War Fashions and Domestic Life, two years ago when she first came to Kent.

“A group of institutions including Canton Museum of Art and Western Reserve Historical Society started coordinating activities and planning the exhibit,” said Hume. “Then the last year has been spent really researching the fashion and hair jewelry along with going through our collections.”

Hume said almost all of the items on display come from Kent State’s collection of more than 40,000 pieces, with only a few pieces on loan from the Western Reserve Historical Society.

The exhibit has more than 50 dresses, accessories and photographs that were worn and taken by people of the Civil War.

Robin Capka, junior political science major, said she loved the previous Katharine Hepburn exhibit but is interested for the Civil War exhibit.

“I think this will show that fashion recycles itself because there are definitely certain elements to the pieces that we see in stores today,” Capka said.

Hume said the preparation the past few weeks has been crazy. She said the dresses posed problems because they were too large to fit through doorways when on mannequins during the photo shoot for the catalog.

“I don’t understand how people were able to wear these dresses and maneuver in them,” said Hume.

Hume said in the 1860s fire was a huge risk with the size of the dresses. Everything was lit by candles and in wood house, which made it a recipe for disaster.

Hume said she hopes students take this great opportunity to see the pieces which range from dresses of modest means to wedding dresses. She said the dresses are amazing and detailed.

“Everything was my favorite piece until I saw the next one,” said Hume.

Contact Angela Pino at [email protected].