Friday, November 18, 2011

History and Drama class visits

The fall of 2011 was a busy time for Vassar's collection of historic clothing. After the September visit from Susan Hiner's class, we had a day in November that we did double-duty: two classes visiting in one day! While that made for a busy day, it's wonderful for us to fit more than one visit into one day. A lot of time goes into setting up and taking down the materials for each visit, so if we can get more students in to see the objects while they're out, that's great! Here's a slideshow from the morning visit:

If you're having trouble viewing this slideshow, you can view it directly in Picasa; from there you can see a full screen view, or download your own copy of an image.

In the morning, Students from Kenisha Kelly's Drama class "History of Fashion for the Stage" came to visit. This was not our usual "Trying on History" visit - instead, we used the whole class period to allow students to do a "close reading" of one of the historic objects on display. The class was broken into four smaller groups, and each group focused on studying one object from the collection. Then the class was broken into different groups, mixing from the previous groups, so that each student could view all of the objects on display and learn from the other students who had studied each garment in greater depth. The objects were laid out on tables, rather than displayed on mannequins, so that students could examine the interior construction as well. However, we did provide a photograph of each object mounted on a mannequin, so that the students could see the correct silhouette of the garment on a body (something that can be hard to imagine).

Then, in the afternoon, Rebecca Edwards brought in students from her History/Women's Studies class, "Pathways to Vassar: The Rise of Women's Higher Education in Historical Context." They tried on reproduction garments, examined the historic objects on display on tables, and related what they saw and felt to their study of changes in women's education.

You can also view these images in our Picasa Web Album.