Much Ado About Mannequins: Making the Perfect Form


Over the past decade, exhibiting historic costume and clothing has become an automatic draw for bringing visitors into the museum. How can you safely and effectively display your costume and clothing collections? This webinar will look at display solutions across a range of budget constraints, including mannequin fabrication, modification of existing mannequins, and hybrid approaches.  We will cover crucial preparation work including how to determine the suitability of a costume for display, how to decide on a mannequin style, and how to assess different materials for mannequin use. Other topics will include best handling practices during costume preparation and installation. The main focus will be on garments, with a few examples on the display of accessories.

Apryl VoskampApryl Voskamp is Head of Preservation, in Conservation, at the Harry Ransom Center. As head of the lab she designs and constructs a variety of housings for the large array of Ransom Center collections. Voskamp collaborated with Assistant Curator of Costumes and Personal Effects, Jill Morena, on exhibiting and installing costumes for the Ransom Center exhibitions: The World at War, 1914-1918, The Making of Gone with the Wind and Shakespeare in Print. She installed multiple costumes for the traveling exhibit Hollywood Costume at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2013, 2014) and the Phoenix Art Museum (2014). She has attended workshops and seminars that focus on areas of important research, including textile preservation, mannequin making and conservation and preservation of objects, plastics, books and works on paper.

jmorenaAs Assistant Curator of Costumes and Personal Effects at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, Jill Morena has prepared costumes and mannequins for in-house exhibitions, including Making Movies (2010), The Making of Gone With the Wind (2014), and Shakespeare in Print and Performance (2015).  She has also traveled with costumes from the Ransom Center collections and participated in their display for the exhibitions Sketch to Screen: The Art of Hollywood Costume Design (2010) at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and Hollywood Costume at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2012) and the Australian Center for the Moving Image (2013).  Jill has an MA in Art History and an MSIS in Information Science from The University of Texas at Austin.  Her research interests include the preservation, representation, and documentation of costume and clothing in museum and archive collections, and she has presented on aspects of these topics at the Textile Conservation Centre in Glasgow, Scotland; NYU Steinhardt; and the University of Texas at Austin.


Recorded: Thursday, April 14, 2016
Duration: 1 Hour 26 minutes


PowerPoint Slides


Resources Handout


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