Correcting misperceptions: Strategies for attracting and educating a reluctant audience to a museum of textiles and clothing

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2013-01-01
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Marcketti, Sara
Marcketti, Sara
Fitzpatrick, Janet
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In 1900, the International Exhibition in Paris displayed the first popular fashion history exhibition. Since then, clothing and textiles have been incorporated in exhibitions around the world and effectively used to educate, engage, and entertain (Palmer, 2008). Throughout the United States, many universities, colleges, and community colleges have collections of historic dress ranging from very small holdings consisting of a few hundred garments to large collections of 50,000 plus garments and textiles (Queen & Berger, 2006). However, museums and collections that include textiles and clothing face challenges regarding their perceived importance both within and outside of academia (Marcketti, Fitzpatrick, Keist, & Kadolph, 2011). Textiles and clothing have traditionally been viewed as less important or of a lower status in museums and in academia (Steele, 2008).

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