Archive for March, 2012

Announcing our First Ladies of Fashion exhibit

In early spring we will host a three-month exhibit, First Ladies of Fashion, loaned by the Frankenmuth Historical Association in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  The gowns are replicas (the originals were formerly in the Hall of the First Ladies at the Smithsonian).  The original commission of these gowns was issued by the Republican Party in 1971.  They were created by a team of Michigan designers and researchers headed by Don Nagel and David Zeese.  Photographs of the gowns were not allowed, so the designers had to work from drawings they made of the originals.  Research took approximately eight months; no patterns exist of these gowns.  A major problem was locating fabrics as close as possible to the originals,  a most difficult task when working with a collection of this scale.

 The complete collection of 23 gowns (Frankenmuth Historical Association received 14 ofthese gowns) was completed in just three months, and the first showing was in Detroit.  Since then, the gowns have been shown in each state of the nation.

The 14 pieces in the current exhibit were selected for two reasons:  to show the progression of fashion; and to give insight into the various historical periods.  Until they were received by the Frankenmuth Historical Association, the gowns had been modeled.  In all the  gowns, zippers have been worked into the design due to the need for 20th century women to get in and out of them.

The 14 First Ladies represented are Martha Washington, Dolley Madison, Louisa Adams, Sarah Polk, Abigail Fillmore, Julia Grant, Helen Taft, Florence Harding, Grace Coolidge, Lou Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and Rosalyn Carter.  Of the First Ladies in the exhibit, Julia Grant, Helen Taft, and Florence Harding have a connection to Ohio.  There are other First Ladies who also have a connection to Ohio.  To highlight the Ohio First Ladies we will be borrowing artifacts from other museums that once belonged to them. 

Interesting information about each First Lady is included with the gowns.  The exhibit will be enhanced with artifacts from our collection to create vignettes.  The artifacts such as chairs, a table, mirror, or clock will not have a connection to any of the First Ladies, but will be of the time period. 

The First Ladies of Fashion exhibit opens March 17 and closes June 17.  The exhibit will be in ballroom of the Hayner House.  It will be open Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00-5:00 and Sunday 1:00-5:00.  Please note that the full Village will reopen May 5th. The exhibit is free to members and $2.00 for nonmembers.



The Heritage Village is on WordPress!

The Heritage Village Museum located inside the beautiful Sharon Woods Park in Sharonville, OH is excited to finally be part of the blogging world. Check back with us for news about events happening around the Village such as our upcoming First Ladies Programs, the ongoing First Ladies of Fashion exhibit and our always exciting Civil War Weekend coming in May.