Kent State University Museum Wins Award for Costume Exhibition


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The Costume Society of America recently awarded its prestigious Richard Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume to the Kent State University Museum for the series of late 18th and early-19th century exhibitions that its curator, Dr. Anne Bissonnette, organized at the museum, the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio and the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery in the fall of 2006 to 2007.

Dr. Anne Bissonnette and the Kent State University Museum received the prestigious Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume.

Dr. Anne Bissonnette and the Kent State University Museum received the prestigious Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume.

The series consisted of the exhibitions “The Age of Nudity,” held at the Kent State University Museum in Kent, Ohio; “Hair: The Rise of Individuality, 1790-1840,” held at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster, Ohio; and “Fashion on the Ohio Frontier: 1790-1840,” held at the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. The series drew from 29 lenders and led to the two exhibitions in mid-Ohio being listed among 15 finalists as Best Visual Arts Events of 2006 by The Columbus Dispatch.

Chair of the Richard Martin Award Committee Marilyn R. DeLong, associate dean and professor at the University of Minnesota, stated that the “series epitomizes excellence in history-based costume exhibitions and is a tour-de-force from a single curator. Taken together, [the exhibitions] were a once-in-a-lifetime experience for seeing rare and exceptional artifacts displayed in historical context.”

The exhibition “Fashion on the Ohio Frontier: 1790-1840,” was funded through an Ohio Bicentennial Commission Legacy Grant and first was presented at the Kent State University Museum in 2003. It was part of Bissonnette's doctoral research at the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. When presented at the Riffe Gallery, it was extended by request to remain open during the events surrounding the inauguration of Governor Strickland.

Kent State shared the award with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for its “Poiret: King of Fashion” exhibition.

The Kent State University Museum is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 4:45 p.m. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

The museum is located in Rockwell Hall on the corner of East Main and South Lincoln streets on the Kent Campus. Special guided tours are available for groups by reservation. Free on-site motor coach parking is available.

More information about the Kent State University Museum is available online or by calling 330-672-3450.

Do you have other examples of those who put Excellence in Action at Kent State? Submit your story ideas to einside@kent.edu.

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