Woman's Beaded Dress
Arts of the Americas
Buckskin, glass beads, metal coins
late 19th century
This item is not on view
Museum Collection Fund
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Yakama (Native American). Woman's Beaded Dress, late 19th century. Buckskin, glass beads, metal coins, 46 x 45 1/2 in. (116.8 x 115.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 46.181. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 46.181.jpg)
overall, 46.181.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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This Yakama dress was part of the Louis Comfort Tiffany art collection exhibited in a special Native American gallery in Laurelton Hall, his Long Island home. Tiffany was especially interested in collecting Native American baskets, totem poles, pottery, and dresses from peoples of the Plains and Northwest Coast regions. The elaborate bodice, although heavy, belies its bulk with the gracefulness of the shoulders and the wing forms for the sleeves. The curvature of the dress shape emphasizes the swaying of the fringe that would occur as the woman moved in the dress.
Overall, the dress is in stable condition. The skin remains strong enough to support its beaded bodice. There were 6 bead-string breaks that were restrung onto cotton thread and stitched back into the dress by Conservation. The original vegetable fiber strings remain tucked away into the dress for research purposes. Special care is needed whenever handling this dress because of the fragility of the remaining vegetable fibers that hold the bead arrangements together.
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