Exhibitions: Tighten Your Stays. Self Foundations: Corsets & Fashion from Yesterday & Today

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    Tighten Your Stays. Self Foundations: Corsets & Fashion from Yesterday & Today

    • Dates: September 8, 1939 through October 1, 1939
    Press Releases ?
    • Fall approximately 1939: There will be an invitation preview on Friday, September 8th, at 4:00 o’clock at the Brooklyn Museum for the press and representatives of the fashion field including stylists, designers, and corset and dress manufacturers in connection with the opening of a showing called “Style Foundations, Corsets and Fashions of Yesterday and Today”. The exhibition will open to the public September 9th and will continue through October 1.

      The Museum is arranging the exhibition with the assistance of Abraham & Straus, Brooklyn department store, in order to show the original of today’s wasp waists and bustles and to demonstrate the details of its extensive collection of American costumes, particularly of 19th Century. This will be done by showing five types of corsets to 1890 along with corsets which are just being introduced as foundations for the new dresses. Dresses of the period corsets will also be shown, as will this season’s. The exhibition will provide an opportunity for those interested in the new ones compare the scorned corsets of the past with the new present day tastes.

      Other phases of this years styles will also be compared, such as the heavy rich fabrics fashionable in the 19th Century as well as in the styles just announced from Paris. And as accessories the Museum is arranging a case of elaborate and typical costume jewelry of the period.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1939 - 1941. 07-09/1939, 192. View Original

    • Fall approximately 1939: Platform 14, 15
      Case 1
      Case 2
      Case 3
      Platform 1, 2, 3, 13
      Platform 11, 12
      Platform 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
      Platform 4, 5

      Case 1-Left to right -Rayon and cotton front lace wasp-waist corset that supports the bosom (lent by Abraham & Straus), counterpart of -

      White satin corset 1885 known as “P D Corset”.
      French 19th Century white satin embroidered with roses, counterpart of -
      Mainbocher silk and cotton corset (lent by Abraham & Straus), featuring low pointed front and back.


      Case 2-Costume jewelry, 19th Century - 2 gold sets with stones and enamel and one coral set.

      Case 3-Left to right - Warner Health Corset of gray coutil, 1890.
      Bird cage bustle, 19th Century.
      Black satin ribbon girdle, 1895-1900, counterpart of -
      Rayon and cotton wasp waist girdle (lent by Abraham & Straus).

      1. Contemporary afternoon dress of black crepe featuring the bustle tiered peplum and full back skirt. (lent by Abraham & Straus).

      2. 1880 Blue velvet afternoon street dress trimmed with glass beads and chenille fringe (made by Compagnie Lyonnaise, Paris), with wasp waist, peplum and bustle back.

      3. Gray wool suit dress with velveteen jacket featuring the peplum jacket with a bustle effect bow (lent by Abraham & Straus).

      4. 1870 Afternoon reception dress of pale blue brocade with pink moire (made by E. Scott, Liverpool), with wasp waist, full back skirt a peplum and demonstrating the corset bodice from which the Mainbocher new revolutionary corset was derived.

      5. Contemporary brocade evening dress featuring a wasp waist, full back skirt and rounded hip (1ent by Abraham & Straus)

      6. 1885 Reception dress of light blue grosgrain and brocaded satin (made by Amedee Francois, Paris), with wasp waist and bustle back

      7. 1885 Street dress of brown checked taffeta trimmed with cream eyelet embroidery (from Au Bon Marche), with wasp waist and bustle back

      8. 8 Contemporary evening dress of black crepe with gunmetal sequins featuring the corseleted waist and bustle (lent by Abraham & Strauss)

      9. 1893 Carriage costume-dress and cape of wine silk and velvet with jet trimming, showing wasp waist and full back skirt.

      10. 1893 Evening dress of pink satin brocade with chartreuse velvet sleeves (from Worth, Paris), with corseleted bodice and full back skirt.

      11. Contemporary evening dress of grape velvet featuring the wasp waist of a bustle back (lent by Abraham & Straus).

      12. 1863 Evening dress of rose brocaded satin with point d’esprit lace (made by Randwitz et Cie., Paris), with corseleted bodice, wasp waist and bustle.

      13. Contemporary afternoon dress of black crepe with inset bengaline waistband (lent by Abraham & Straus).

      14. Blue wool classic tailored suit with wasp waist influence.

      15. Contemporary afternoon dress of grape crepe waist and full back skirt (lent by Abraham & Straus).

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1939 - 1941. 07-09/1939, 200-2. View Original 1 . View Original 2 . View Original 3

    • September 9, 1939: At an invitation preview yesterday (Friday, September 8th, at 4:00 o’clock) at the Brooklyn Museum representatives of the fashion field including stylists, designers, and corset and dress manufacturers attended the opening of a showing called “Style Foundations, Corsets and Fashions of Yesterday and Today”. The exhibition is open to the public today and will continue through October 1.

      The Museum arranged the exhibition with the assistance of Abraham & Strauss Brooklyn department store, to show the origins of today’s wasp waists and hustles and to demonstrate the details of its extensive col1ection of American costumes, particularly of the 19th Century. This is done by showing four 19th Century corsets along with three corsets which are just being introduced this season as foundations for the new dresses. Dresses that were worn over the old corsets are also shown, together with the new ones this season featuring wasp waists, bustle and full back treatments. The exhibition provides an opportunity for those interested in the new mode who wish to compare the scorned corsets and resulting styles of the past with the new ones adapted to present day tastes.

      Other phases of this years styles are also compared, such as the heavy rich fabrics fashionable in the 19th Century as well as in the styles just announced from Paris. And as accessories there are cases of elaborate and typical costume jewelry of the period of the past and present.

      Side by side is a copy of the new Mainbocher corset laced in the back, from Abraham & Straus, and the Museum’s French 19th Century corset of the same type of white satin embroidered with roses. Two other direct comparisons are the Museum’s white satin corset of 1885 and a contemporary wasp waisted corset laced in front that supports the bosom, as well as an 1890-1895 black satin ribbon girdle and a garterless waistline corset that laces in front.

      Contemporary dresses showing the small wasp waist with both bustle and back fullness treatment have been chosen for streets, sports, and evening purposes. The evening dresses all have bustle backs and are of rich taffeta velvet and satin materials. The day-time dresses have wasp waists with full back treatment and some have the actual corselet made into the dress. Comparable dresses from 1870 to 1893 have been selected from the Museum’s collections. There are gowns for afternoon receptions, street, carriage, evening and wedding uses from Paris, England and this country.

      Although no wool dresses of the last century are shown, contemporary ones are included because they follow the same lines in their use of corseleted and full back treatment and wasp waists and are equivalent to the old styles even though they are tailored. The weight of the costumes shown by the Museum probably outdo the warmth of the now light woolens to the point of excess.

      Elaborate costume jewelry of the 19th Century shown by Museum has its counterpart in the modified jewelry trimming dresses of today which is attached to the dresses now instead being separate as it was last century. A contemporary dress of today with sequin trimming is the modification of a complete costume of the 80’s.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1939 - 1941. 07-09/1939, 195-6. View Original 1 . View Original 2

    • September 13, 1939: An ivory satin wedding dress of 1885 trimmed with Duchess lace and pearl drops and shown with its accompanying bridal and reception bonnets has been added to the Brooklyn Museum’s current exhibition “Style Foundations - Corsets and Dresses of Yesterday and Today” which opened on Friday, September 8th, with a private view for members of the fashion press, stylists and designers of the Fashion Group and manufacturers interested in corsets. The exhibition continues through October 1.

      The Museum arranged the exhibition with the assistance of Abraham & Straus, Brooklyn department store, to show the origins of today’s wasp waists and bustles and to demonstrates the details of its extensive collection of American costumes, particularly of the 19th Century. This is done by showing four 19th Century corsets along with three corsets which are just being introduced this season as foundations for the new dresses. Dresses that were worn over the old corsets are also shown, together with the new ones this season featuring wasp waists, bustle and full back treatments. The exhibition provides an opportunity for those interested in the new mode who wish to compare the scorned corsets and resulting styles of the past with the new ones adapted to present day tastes.

      Other phases of this years styles are also compared, such as the heavy rich fabrics fashionable in the 19th Century as well as in the styles just announced from Paris. And as accessories there is a case of elaborate and typical costume jewelry of the period of the past and present.

      Side by side is a copy of the new Mainbocher corset, laced in the back, from Abraham & Straus, and the Museum’s French 19th Century corset of the same type of white satin embroidered with roses. Two other direct comparisons are the white satin corset of 1885 and a contemporary wasp waisted corset laced in front that supports the bosom, as well as an 1890-1895 black satin ribbon girdle and a garterless waistline corset of today that laces in front.

      Contemporary dresses showing the wasp waist with both bustle are fullness treatment have been chosen for streets, sports, evening purposes. The evening dresses all have bustle backs and are of rich taffeta, velvet and satin materials. The daytime dresses have wasp waists with full back treatments and some have the actual corselet made into the dress. Comparable dresses from 1870 to 1893 have been selected from the Museum’s collections. There are gowns for afternoon receptions, street carriage, evening and wedding uses from Paris, England and this country.

      Although no wool dresses of the last century are shown, contemporary ones are included because they follow the same lines in their use of corseleted and full, back treatment and wasp waists and are equivalent to the old styles even though they are tailored. The weight of the costumes shown by the Museum probably outdo the warmth of the new light woolens to the point of excess.

      Elaborate costume jewelry of the 19th Century shown by the Museum has its counterpart in the modified jewelry trimming for the dresses of today which is attached to the dresses now instead of being separate as it was last century. A contemporary dress of today with sequin trimming is the modification of a completely beaded costume of the 8O’s.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1939 - 1941. 07-09/1939, 198-9. View Original 1 . View Original 2

    • September 16, 1939: Ten exhibitions are already on the Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition schedule for the 1939-1940 season. As an opener, in order to be current with the style news, an exhibition of a more or less preliminary character opened on Saturday, September 9th, called Style Foundations--Corsets and Fashions of Yesterday and Today, to run through October 1st.

      The first exhibition of the season opens on Friday, September 22nd, and will be called “Long Island in the 70’s". It will be a showing of some 160 prints of Brooklyn and Long Island scenes taken from a collection of over 2000 negatives of scenes in Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and the Hudson Valley, taken by George B. Brainard and acquired by the Museum twenty years ago. Only recently these negatives were brought to light by the Photographic Department. It will exhibit a cross section of the Long Island subjects and will demonstrate the character of the hundreds of records that Brainard made during his busy photographing days. Closing date is October 8th.

      In memory of William A. Putnam, who made possible the Museum’s Print Room, an exhibition will be arranged to be called “The Putnam Memorial Print Exhibition” to run from October 7th through the 29th. It will consist of prints by Rembrandt, the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Putnam, and other graphic material from the Brooklyn Museum collection.

      The year’s accessions will be put on view from Saturday, October 14th, through Sunday, the 29th.1 This will be followed by the first large comprehensive show of the season which will be as complete a collection as possible of masks, drawing for the most part from the Museum’s own possessions. The masks are to be shown in groups according to use. The exhibition will run from Tuesday, October 24th, to Monday, January 1st.

      Following will be a watercolor exhibition which will form a memorial to both George Pearse Ennis and Paul L. Gill. This will be shown from Saturday, November 4th, through Sunday, November 26th. This is the last opening scheduled for the calendar year. After the first of the year on Wednesday, January 17th, there will be an extensive showing of the work of Eastman Johnson to run through Sunday, February 25th. Work has been under way for several months to collect examples of this painter that have not been shown before.

      On February 9th an exhibition of etchings by Rodolphe Bresdin will be put on view through Sunday, March 31st.

      The second large exhibition of the year will be a complete costume show, drawn, as the mask exhibition will be, principally from the Museum’s own collection. This exhibition will open on Tuesday, March 12th, and continue through Sunday, May 5th.

      The last exhibition to open this season according to the present schedule will be that of Brooklyn Artists, which will be on view from Friday, April 5th, to Sunday, the 28th. From time to time there will be small special exhibitions that will take form during the season.


      LIST BELOW, ABOVE INFORMATION IN TABULAR FORM
      Style Foundations---Corsets and Fashions of Yesterday and Today. September 9th through October 1st.
      Photographs by George B. Brainard. “Long Island in the 70s.” September 22nd through October 8th.
      Putnam Memorial Print Exhibition. October 7th through October 29th.
      Recent Accessions. October 14th through October 29th.
      Masks, October 24th through January 1st.
      George Pearse Ennis and Paul L. Gill Watercolor Exhibition. November 4th through November 26th.
      Eastman Johnson Exhibition. January 17th through February 25th.
      Rodolphe Bresdin Exhibition. February 9th through March 31st.
      Costume Show. March 12th through May 5th.
      Brooklyn Artists. April 5th through April 28th.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1939 - 1941. 07-09/1939, 204-5. View Original 1 . View Original 2

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    The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
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