Monday, January 30, 2012

Body Shop

Here at the Gallery’s temporary home, mannequin making (and packing, packing, packing) is the order of the day. Why? We need to display our outstanding Greene textile collection on mannequins that are archival safe to preserve the clothing and that are customized to the clothing for a better fit. One size does not fit all. Fashion was as fickle then as it is now.

Consequently, the fashionable profile for both men and women changed as people strove to achieve the latest look. And the mannequins that are commercially available, even the archival ones, do not take changing profiles into account.

Project conservator, Rich Christian had been sculpting late 18th and early 19th century body forms that volunteers then cast, using buckram. After being fitted with an armature and covered with unbleached, unsized stockinette, these customized mannequins will give visitors a more accurate view of how the clothing actually looked while providing an archival support. Here Gallery staff member Darlene Braun and volunteer Elizabeth Tice pose with some of the casts.

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