Samuel Adams’s Mother Was a Fifield

Back in the early aughts, I was a Collection Care Specialist in Textiles and Fashion Arts (TFA) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I was working on a National Endowment for the Arts grant to photograph and perform condition … Continue reading

Set Your Shift Sleeves in the Wrong Way? A Runaway Advertisement

Ever get that lovely hand-stitched shift near completion, and then realize: “Crap. I put the shift sleeves in the wrong way.” Out comes the seam ripper and it feels like your best-looking stitches ever are screaming as the blade slices … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday – Take the Underground to a Costume Exhibition, 1922

This 1922 exhibition at the London Museum combines some favs for me: dress and transit. During a transformative era of rapidly shifting hemlines, silhouettes, and haircuts, a look back to 1850s fashion – worn by an era of women known … Continue reading

A Squeal of Delight at the Indianapolis Museum of Art: Miniature Dresses

I attended the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis at the end of May. The opening reception was on a steamy night at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). While the reception was welcoming, it was difficult for … Continue reading

Maiko-san – Block Print at LACMA

I love edgy 20th century block prints of traditional Japanese subjects, like this print Two Maiko by Sekino Jun’ichirō. He uses the regimented trappings of a maiko’s (apprentice geisha) appearance abstractly, placing the young women in juxtaposition to each other. You … Continue reading

Jef Pat Park: The Nickname for a Great Archaeological Concern

  Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum/State Museum of Archaeology is a long official title, so the concern has been dubbed Jef Pat Park for those of us who reference it with any regularity. Recently, in a thread on the At … Continue reading


Garter. Banish that elasticized cheap lace piece of bridal tawdry from your brain. Prior to tights, pantyhose, spandex, and even garter belts (which bear no resemblance to their namesake), stockings needed to be held up by ties around your leg. … Continue reading

Costume Moment: Black Silk Bonnet at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

When I was a Collection Care Specialist at the MFA boston, I was beginning the study of late eighteenth century dress. I knew that this black silk bonnet was later than that period, but integrated aspects of  bonnets of the … Continue reading

From the British Museum: “A Chinese Lady” 18th century print

I was perusing the excellent online catalog at the British Museum (nice online image distribution system for educational use, by the way). I found this intriguing image of “A Chinese Lady,” printed after a painting by Allan Ramsey. I am … Continue reading

Eighteenth Century for the Weekend

Last weekend, The Brigade of the American Revolution hosted an Authenticity Event at Don Carpentier’s Eastfield Village. A collection of two taverns, a store, a church, a doctor’s office, an assortment of shops, and a handful of houses were saved … Continue reading