October 11, 1946: On October 11, a special exhibition entitled “Peruvian Costume for the Living and the Dead” will open in the Entrance Gallery of the Brooklyn Museum and will be on view through February 9, 1947.
This is the first time that such a survey has been made of Peruvian dress from about 600 A.D. up to modern times. The most famous ancient Peruvian weaving in the world, which belongs to the Brooklyn Museum, is a shoulder mantle made in about 750 A.D. This beautiful cloth, called the Paracas Textile, has a knitted border in the form of gods, men, etc., providing an invaluable historical record.
Early fashion has been reconstructed from such garments found buried with the dead, from figures painted on pottery, and wood carvings. Later descriptions of Peruvian costume are found in the Spanish accounts written by men who accompanied or followed the conquerors.
In this show will be seen mantles, shirts, hats, headbands, skirts, bags, jewelry, and other costume accessories covering a period of more than 1000 years. The weaving and dyes of ancient Peru attained an excellence unsurpassed in any part of the world or in any time. Hence the costumes were generally elaborate and richly decorated.
Examples of all the garments worn by men and women have been selected from the outstanding collections of the Brooklyn Museum, supplemented by loans from Ernest Erickson, the New York Historical Society, G. Schmidt y Pizarro, and the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
PRESS PREVIEW: Wednesday, October 9th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 10-12/1946, 124.