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Kent State University Museum: Celebrating 25 Years

Start Date 11 March 2010
End Date 13 February 2011
Venue Kent State University Museum
Location Kent, USA
Curator Jean L. Druesedow
Two Hundred Fifty Years of Fashion, Twenty Five Years of Collecting

A survey of taste in silhouette, fabric and trimmings readily reveals enormous diversity. Over the centuries fashion choices have reflected relationships to an array of aesthetic and cultural environments. These choices register individual attitudes to prevailing social mores and reactions to a given artistic sensibility. The clothes we choose to wear when dressing each day become one of our most significant means of communicating who we are and how we feel. Collections of historic and fashionable dress, like that held by the Kent State University Museum, provide a very intimate record of personal choice and give insight into the unique ways individuals have responded to over-arching aesthetic trends.

On September 27, 1985, the Kent State University Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time. One of the nation’s finest private collections of costume was given to establish the museum — the donation of fashion industry entrepreneurs Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers. It included 4000 fashionable and traditional costumes, 1000 objects of decorative art and 5000 volumes for the library. Since that time the collection has grown to 40,000 artifacts. Well over one million people have visited the museum in person, on the Web, or seen our name on objects loaned to exhibitions worldwide. Donors have enriched our collection and our endowment throughout the quarter century of our existence, and we are especially grateful for their continuing support. We embrace our mission to collect, exhibit, interpret and preserve the artifacts entrusted to us and to bring to the university and the greater community exhibitions that demonstrate the artistry and diversity of the world’s peoples.