Fall approximately 1931: A collection of Plates showing the Means of Travel and the Costumes of Travelers Through the Ages has been installed in the library Gallery of the Brooklyn Museum and will remain there until October 15th.
The idea of such an exhibition was conceived by Miss Elizabeth Haynes assistant Curator of Decorative Art, who with the cooperation of Grace Turner assistant librarian has garnered from the extensive reference files of the library about a hundred and fifty prints tracing the history of the modes of travel from the ancient Egyptians to the present time of the areoplane, with particular emphasis on the developments of the nineteenth century.
The modern idea of education is founded on the correlation of subjects – showing their interdependence, and in these plates parrelell with the progress of methods of transportation we may trace the resultant effect on the clothes worn in the different vehicles and to carry the idea even farther we may consider the variations of types of luggage from the small satchel of the horseback rider through the light carpet bag and papier-mache trunks of the experimental stages of light rail roads to the stupendous trunks and suitcases of the late nineteenth century.
Clothes have always been designed –either consciously or indirectly, to be most suitable for the task to be performed in them. In these pictures we can no more imagine the Russian in his open sleigh without his furs than we could conceive of one of the ladies in the wide carriages of the Victorian days entering the crowded subways of present day life. Just as the short skirt was a result of a widening range of activity for the modern woman, so was the costume of another day suitable to the lady of the period.
Other exhibitions from time to time will be arranged using the librarys’ research material. The study of the plates may be made even more graphic by reference to the Museum’s decorative arts collections where the group of nineteenth century gowns and accessories is particularly rich. In fact as a result of the recent interest in this period of Eugenie both the library and the Decorative Arts Department have been deluged with students and designers seeking for inspiration in this field.
Note for Editor:
Photographs to supplement this article are available if desired.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1931 - 1936. 07-12_1931, 118.