Monday, June 14, 2010

Introducing The Greene Collection!

Last week I spent some time with Patricia Tice, curator of the John L. Wehle Art Gallery and Sabrina Henneman, our collections registrar to discuss and view our recent exciting acquisition, the Greene Clothing Collection. The Greene Collection includes over 2214 pieces (it's estimated that there at at least 2300 pieces total) of 19th century clothing collected by Susan and Bruce Greene over a 25 year period.

The collection is important and special on many levels. It includes, not just dresses, but shoes, gloves, hats and much more. The collection can be easily assembled into complete outfits and things that have matching pieces, come with their matching pieces.

It is a complete collection as it contains men's and children's clothing as well. Generally men's clothing does not hold up as well as women's clothing and collections have typically focused on women's clothing because it's considered pretty and nice to look at. (Although we think the entire Greene Collection is quite nice to look at!) In addition, this collection focuses more on every day wear than formal wear which makes up many other collections.

The collection is in excellent condition and while there are a few pieces that may be in less than pristine condition, they are included because they are unusual or rare. Most have provenances that originate to Western NY and New England, as many of the New England settlers moved to the Genesee Region.

The collection came photographed and cataloged with information about each piece including historically relevant details and origins when known.

As a part of our War of 1812 Encampment, June 26th & 27th, we will have at least 20 pieces of the collection on display (and possibly more) in our meeting center. This will be the first time the museum has displayed any of the pieces publicly. Parts of the collection will also be featured in an upcoming book by Susan Green on printed dress fabrics.

This week starts our look at individual pieces of the collection.


  1. I can't wait to get a peek of these!!

  2. What a beautiful collection! I can not wait to see these gems.

  3. I'm looking forward to checking out Greene's book. The men's vest is beautiful.

    Samantha, museumgirl 22
    Musings from a Museum Intern

  4. I've been waiting for Susan's book ever since she mentioned it at a presentation a 'few' years back. There will be one on our book shelves for certain. Maybe two since I am one who writes notes.
    May I suggest some photos of millinery, especially those with noteworthy ribbons?

  5. You certainly can suggest that Anna! Look for it in an upcoming post!