Events for: American Textile History Museum

Sunday
Oct
23
2:00 pm

Neil Miller “Banned In Boston”

The author of “Banned in Boston: The Watch and Ward Society’s Crusade Against Books, Burlesque, and the Social Evil” will talk about the group that banned books, closed down theaters and burlesque houses, and extended Massachusetts’s puritan heritage into the 1940’s and 50’s.

Sunday
Oct
6
2:00 pm

Susan Ward – “Marimekko’s in America”

Join independent curator and textiles, fashion, and design history researcher Susan Ward, for an exploration of the history of Marimekko in the United States, and its influence on Mid-Century modernism in America. Susan might also share a few favorite vintage pieces from her collection.

Sunday
Nov
3
2:00 pm

Laren Whitley – “The 1970’s Sartorial Revolution”

The end of the 1960s and early 1970s witnessed not only a cultural revolution, but a sartorial revolution, as global challenges to social and political authority expressed themselves in new ideas about clothing. In rejecting the values of prevailing “straight” society, the emerging hippie culture abandoned futuristic Mod styles in favor of an eclectic and highly-personalized look that combined vintage clothing with fashions informed by contemporary Pop art, nature, fantasy, and ethnographic art. Hippie fashion was fun and expressive. This new “do-it-yourself” attitude in fashion was taken up by a wave of young designers (many of them fresh out of art schools) and hip boutiques in London, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The exciting new fashions that emerged offered a direct challenge to the hegemony of Paris haute couture, and between 1967 and 1973, many trends actually “trickled up” from street styles to influence more traditional ready-to wear and haute couture designers. Lauren Whitley is a MFA Curator in the David and Roberta Logie Department of Textile and Fashion Arts.

Sunday
Sep
7
2:00 pm

Adrienne Sloane “Unraveling Political Knitting”

Sculptural knitter and fiber artist Adrienne Sloane traces the historical roots of knitting and politics from American wartime knitting to more recent more recent youth-driven knit revival called “yarn bombing.” The presentation focuses on how sculptural knitters address contemporary issues of war, climate change, and species preservation by bringing fiber arts into public view.

Sunday
Sep
21
2:00 pm

Rebecca Siemering “Re-Purposed and Well Suited: The Refined Clothing of the Lottery Project”

Fiber artist Rebecca Siemering discusses how discarded items, particularly lottery tickets, were used to create refined clothing pieces. Struck by the sense of bad luck, lost dreams, and wishes for fortune that the left over tickets reflected, she repurposed them into uplifting, colorful fashions, infusing them with a positive sense of hope and possibilities.

Sunday
Oct
5
2:00 pm

Samantha Fields “A Marvel of Modern Inefficiency”

Multimedia artist Samantha Fields discusses her recent work utilizing salvage, handmade afghan yarns. By unraveling the pieces, Samantha explores the nostalgic sense of these works, which have, at times, been considered “garish” in color, but which remain important reflections of the domestic sentiment in which they were created.

Sunday
Oct
26
2:00 pm

Patricia Johnston “Global Trade and Visual Arts in Federal New England”

A highly original collection that explores the impact of Asian and Indian Ocean trade on
the art and aesthetic sensibilities of New England port towns in the late 18th and early
19th centuries. Examining a wide variety of commodities and forms including ceramics,
textiles, architecture, and gardens, the contributors highlight New Englanders’
imperial ambitions in a wider world.

Sunday
Mar
29
2:00 pm

Diana Jaye Coluntino “Who Made our Clothes?”

Improving sustainability in fashion manufacturing, a growing movement aims to increase awareness among consumers and work towards improving manufacturing practices around the globe. Over the years the fashion industry has taken manufacturing out of the USA and into developing countries with low environmental protection standards and little to no labor laws protecting factory workers. The industry currently produces over 12 million tons of waste annually. Over 1200 lives have been lost in two tragic incidents in India and Bangladesh. Ms. Coluntino is the Founder/Creative Director of New Vestures, Lowell Ma.

Sunday
Oct
4
2:00 pm

Meg Noonan – “The Coat Route: Craft, Luxury & Obsession on the Trail of a $50,000 Coat”

meg-noonanWhen journalist Meg Lukens Noonan learned of an unthinkably expensive, entirely handcrafted overcoat that a fourth-generation tailor had made for one of his longtime clients, she set off on an adventure to understand its provenance, and from that impulse unspooled rich and colorful stories about its components, the centuries-old bespoke industry and its traditions, and the master craftsmen whose trade is an art form. As Noonan comes to realize, these craftsmen, some of whom find themselves on the brink of retirement with no obvious successors, have increasing reason to believe that their way is the best way—best for their customers, best for the environment, and best for the quality of life of all involved.  The Coat Route was named “Best General Nonfiction Book of 2013” by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. The Coat Route is part travelogue, part fashion history and part love song to things of lasting value.

Sunday
Nov
8
2:00 pm

Madelyn Shaw – “A Downton Abbey Fashion Primer, 1912-1925”

downtonFashion has a social role. What we wear tells people a lot about who we are, or who we want others to think we are. The time span of the BBC costume drama Downton Abbey encompasses some of the most momentous social upheaval in British and American society, and the show’s costumers have worked hard to use the costumes to define character and to illustrate the place in society that the characters occupy.  Join cultural historian Madelyn Shaw,Curator of Textiles for The Smithsonian Institution, for a look at where–sartorially– the Grantham family, their servants, and their social circle have been and where they are heading as we wait for season 6. Feel free to dress for the occasion!

Sunday
Apr
10
2:00 pm

Jill Carey – “Orson Lowell: Fashion and Satire”

Lasell Professor, Jill Carey will discuss how during the opening years of the 20th century, illustrative commentary filled magazine pages as a means of conveying humanity within a societal context. Humorist Orson Lowell, a noted illustrator from this period, created fashion-filled compositions that linked dress and wit within an evolving commercialized culture. Lowell’s love of watching people and their foibles in awkward situations were artfully represented in The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, Vogue, and Life.  As a satirist, focusing on social life in New York City, he spent limited time in the studio and instead joined a variety of prestigious organizations from which to garner inspiration for his impressive renderings. In this sense, Lowell’s depictions seamlessly disseminate style within an urban context, frequently balancing on the line between humor and controversy. Whether Orson Lowell was an innovator of trend or an avid follower of la mode, his work provides an incredible opportunity for a colloquy on fashion satire as a means of interpreting social ideals.  Note: This lecture will accompany an exhibit of the same name at ATHM which will open in February 2016.