1919 November 12 - 1919 November 27
Industrial Art, Textile, and Costume at the American Museum of Natural History was curated by H.J. Spinden, assistant curator of Anthropology at the Museum, and M.D.C. Crawford, research associate in textiles at the Museum and design editor at Women's Wear, and demonstrated connections between modern textile design and the designs of indigenous cultures from around the world (1, p. 49-50). Its stated goals were to bring attention to advances in industrial art in textiles and costumes in the United States, to show how these advancements were achieved, to emphasize the social and commercial value of textile and costume design as a national art, and to encourage training in public and private schools in related skills in the United States. The exhibition was intended to be non-competitive, in contrast to contests and competitive competitions in New York City in which Crawford had previously been involved (2, p. 3-4). Exhibitors were asked to relate their finished products to the sources of their inspiration and to show mechanical processes in the manufacture. The Museum provided exhibits on the history of early machines and processes in making textiles and the range of form and ornament in ethnological collections. These were illustrated with photographs, lantern slides, models, and specimens (2, p. 5).
Exhibitors were David Aaron and Company, American Bead Company, Elizabeth Austin, A. Beller and Company, Emile Bernat, Blanck and Company, Sidney Blumenthal, Chamber of Commerce of Paterson, NJ, Cheney Brothers, Harry Collins, Crawshaw Carpet Company, Lockwood De Forest, B.C. Faulkner, Marshall Field and Company, A.H. Flanders and Company, Funsten Brothers, John Held, H. Hiramoto, Johnson Cowdin and Company, Otto Kahn, Kevorkian Galleries, H.R. Mallinson and Company, Inc., J.A. Migel, Inc., Laura Moses, Marion Powys, Ruth Reeves, Martha Ryther, Miss Simonds, Hazel Burnham Slaughter, Mary Tannahill, A.M. Tozzer, Winifred Warren, J. Wise Company, Nell Witters, and Women's Wear (Spiden bklt 19). Members of the Committee of Organization for the exhibition were David Aaron, M.D.C. Crawford, Stewart Culin, Max Meyer, Jesse Franklin Turner, and Herbert J. Spinden. The Executive Committee consisted of M.D.C. Crawford, F.A. Lucas, George A. Sherwood, Herbert J. Spinden, and Clark Wissler (2, p. 2).
In his booklet on the exhibition, Spinden thanked Albert Blum of the United Piece Dye Works, the Museum of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, the Design Department of Women's Wear, W. and J. Sloane and Company, and L.E. Weisgerber of Lord and Taylor for "favors and services rendered"(2, p. 2).
Costume highlights (2, p. 6-8):
*A. Beller and Company. - Cloaks and suits made using Museum specimens from Tungus tribes from Siberia, the Ainu of Japan, and the Bagobo of the Philippines
*Harry Collins – Costumes, including H.R. Mallinson and Company based on a Peruvian woven mantle
*B.C. Faulkner – Blouses
*Otto Kahn – Furs
*Winifred Warren – Tea gowns and negligees by Jesse Franklin Turner, including example based on Persian embroidery specimen from the Museum of the Brooklyn Institute
*J. Wise Company – Children's and misses' dresses based on designs from the Philippines, Guatemala, and Burma *
*Live costume design demonstrations by the staff of Women's Wear
*Contest posters and other material documenting campaign for a national expression of industrial art
Textiles highlights (2, p. 11):
*Emile Bernat – Tapestry weaving
*Sidney Blumenthal – Velvets
*Cheney Brothers – Silk yarns and silk fabrics
*Marshall Field and Company - Block and cylinder printed cretonnes
*Johnson Cowdin and Company - Ribbons
*H.R. Mallinson and Company - Dress silks and block printing
*J.A. Migel, Inc. - Jacquard printing
This is a condensed summary of the exhibition. For additional information, see Sources and/or Related Resources.
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