- Illinois State Museum Second Floor Gallery
There is perhaps no more intimate connection to the people of the past than the clothing they left behind—garments that were once worn on a living, breathing person going about her daily business, garments that were soiled and washed and mended and altered; garments that expressed her aspirations and reflected her condition.
Fashioning Illinois, 1820-1900 is a celebration of nineteenth century Illinois clothing that explores both the personal experience of wearing and caring for clothing as well as the way that fashion reflected the changing roles and attitudes about women over the first 80 years of Illinois statehood.
Visitors to the exhibition will see stunning examples of historic costumes, textiles, and accessories from the Illinois State Museum’s Illinois Legacy Collection, as well as historic artifacts related to making, storing, washing, mending, and repurposing clothing. Interactive displays throughout the exhibition provide children and adults alike the opportunity to indulge their tactile senses, and a full lineup of related programming offers the opportunity for fun and learning.
Images of dresses from this exhibition were photographed at central Illinois historic sites and have been published in a 2020 Calendar. Order yours here.