A Visit from James Gurney

The response to our current exhibition, Fashioning an Education, has been wonderful!

Follow this link to a blog post about it from illustrator and author James Gurney (creator of Dinotopia), who used his visit as an opportunity to sketch.
Drawing of Green Taffeta Day Dress by James Gurney

I’m sure Faren Tang ’13 will be thrilled to see his sketch of the c. 1895 Green Taffeta Day Dress she spent endless hours working on. This dress had a few pieces removed when she started, and it was a bit of a puzzle to figure out how to rehabilitate it so that we could safely mount it. Faren discussed her treatment plan in a video (previously posted), but ran into some surprises along the way and had even more work than expected. She re-attached the lapels, collar, and one cuff, re-stitched darts that had been let out, created a yoke lining to reinforce the waistband, reinforced some tears with conservation net, and, whew! Faren, is there anything I forgot? Jessica Barksdale ’11 also helped greatly with some of the last few steps of the stitching on this dress.

One of my favorite parts of James’ sketch is that he captures the purple zigzag pattern that hides in the changeant green taffeta – barely noticeable when we we working with this dress before mounting it. It is thanks to Candace Schuster’s help mounting the exhibition, and focusing the lights, that this surprising detail is so evident.

Feel free to follow James’ lead and come sketch! There’s still time before we close on June 12.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
This work by Vassar College Costume Collection is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.