Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Remembering the Past, Building our Future: Dressed for Success at Sargent House

This is the second post in our series, "Remembering the Past, Building our Future." This week we're looking behind the scenes into our Collections Department.

Let's begin with some background on our incredible staff.

Mary Hurd is our resident textiles expert. Mary has been involved in theatre since high school when she did sets and lighting at Rindge. Her degree from Wesleyan is in Theatre Arts and her thesis was two part: a written thesis and design and performance piece "costumes in Tenessee Williams' plays."   She has 14 years working in costume construction, including historical costume, opera, dance and circus.   Her administrative experience is in stage management, shop management, wardrobe management and most recently Acting Costume Shop Manager and Assistant Costume Designer for "The Glass Menagerie" on Broadway in NYC (2013-14).

Mary has brought in a couple of consultants to help with her work at the House. Anita Canzian is the Head Draper at the Huntington Theatre and has done extensive research in historic costuming.  The second consultant, Jennifer Neiling, is a graduate student at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC). Jennifer is in a program for curatorial studies as it relates to fashion.

Now, we'll end with a bit about our holdings.

Sargent House has a large collection of period textiles and personal items. However, sometimes all we have to go on for context is a donor's name associated with an item. So, at intervals we will be posting images to invite comments and relevant information about our collection. Take a peek at some of these gorgeous fans, and let us know if you have something to share about them in the comments section below. For example, while we don't have much information about the feathered fan, it is interesting to note that several ancient Roman grave altars show birds chasing grasshoppers.* Perhaps this is a widow's mourning fan with a nod to classical themes?

Until next time, check out our Sargent House Museum Pinterest Boards to see more of the Museum's collections and its furnishings.


Monogrammed tortoiseshell fan.

The tassel of the tortoiseshell fan.

Delicate feathered fan with motif of swallows chasing a grasshopper.

The reverse of the "Swallow" fan.

Detail of the carved structure of the "Swallow" fan.

Detail of the chase on the "Swallow" fan.

By Kimberlee Cloutier-Blazzard, Development Associate

No comments:

Post a Comment