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On Collection Development: Short Presentations and Panel Discussion

Dilys Blum

The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Presentation Slides

Inez Brooks-Myers

Curator of Costume and Textiles, Oakland Museum of California
"Developing a Costume Collection"

Gillion Carrara
Adjunct Professor, Departments of Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Fashion Design, and Director, Fashion Resources Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
"The SAIC Fashion Resource Center"

Joanne Dolan Ingersoll
Curator of Costume and Textiles, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
"Building a Collection of Costume and Textiles"

Phyllis Magidson
Curator of Costume and Textiles, Museum of the City of New York
"Museum of the City of New York"

Pamela A. Parmal
David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
"Collecting Costume at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston"

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About the Speakers

Dilys Blum is the Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After graduating from Connecticut College with a degree in art history, she received a Diploma in Art Gallery and Museum Studies from the University of Manchester, England and a Certificate in Textile Conservation from the Courtauld Insitute of Art. She has worked as a curator and conservator at museums in the United States and Great Britain including the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of London. Since 1987 she has been in charge of a collection of some 30,000 objects ranging from excavated textiles to haute couture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has curated a wide range of costume and textile exhibitions including twentieth century millinery design, contemporary fiber art, African American quilts and “Shocking: the Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli”. She has contributed essays to a numerous exhibition catalogues, including Surrealism and Design, Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt and The Arts in Latin America 1492-1820. Her current project is the first retrospective in the United States on the work of the Italian artist/couturier Roberto Capucci., opening in March 2011. She serves on the Editorial Boards of three leading academic journals, Textile, Textile History and West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture.

Inez Brooks-Myers has been Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Oakland Museum of California since 1974. Previous to that she was Associate Curator of the Collection in the Design Department, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley. She received her Associate of Arts degree, her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Master of Arts degree from UC Berkeley. She is a Past President of the Alumni Association of the College of Environmental Design at UC. Brooks-Myers is a Past President of the Costume Society of America and a Fellow of that organization.  She has organized national symposia:  1982, Costume Society of America and 2004, The Textile Society of America.  She has been a member of Fashion Group International since 2003.  Inez joined the International Council on Museums in 1984, as a member of their Costume Committee, and has presented papers in Athens, Berlin, Edinburgh, Krakow, Madrid, Melbourne, New York, Paris and Prague.  Her lecture topics are varied:  Clothing of Black Cowboys, Diversity of the Miners in the California Gold Rush, Documenting 20th Century Costume, Gay Theatrical Costume of Jose Sarria, Fashioning California Identity, etc. In addition, she has taught costume history at the University of California, Davis. Inez has curated over thirty exhibitions and has been a team member for more than two dozen traveling exhibitions or multi-disciplinary projects.  A few exhibitions include:  American Quilts:  A Handmade Legacy, Hats Off!, History in Hand: Fans from the Collections of the Oakland Museum, Iconic to Ironic: Fashioning California Identity, Lia Cook: Material Allusions, Loving Hands at Home: 150 Years of American Needlework,  Mid-Summer in the Pergola and Well-heeled.  Her writing includes catalogues for some Oakland Museum of California exhibitions as well as articles appearing in The Museum of California, The NeedleWorker and Surface Design.

An Adjunct member of the SAIC faculty since 1977, Gillion Carrara has taught classes on the history and theory of contemporary dress in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism and collection practices in the Department of Arts Administration. She additionally serves as Director of SAIC's Fashion Resource Center, a reference collection comprising contemporary and avant-garde designer garments, foundation garments, accessories, and footwear, fashion publications and scholarly texts; vintage fashion magazines, videos and catalogues, as well as new and experimental fabric samples and designer biographies and interviews. Carrara studied at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia and at the Academia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. Her writing has appeared in gallery exhibitions relating to art + dress, Dress magazine, the Fashion Encyclopedia (Scribner's), compendiums to exhibitions Skintight (MCA, Chicago), and Social Seduction (SAIC) and the Contemporary Designers series (St. James Press) and for Fashion Theory, published by Berg in Oxford, England. The Fashion Resource Center maintains a unique hands-on collection of late twentieth and twenty-first century designer garments and accessories representative of innovation. Its singular nature is defined not only by the visitor's ability to handle the apparel but also by the extensive visual, print, and fabric reference collection that support and illuminate the garments and the study of the attire. These elements combine to provide students and guests with a creative and educational environment in which to explore the most progressive achievements in the world of dress and fashion.

Joanne Dolan Ingersoll is Curator of Costume and Textiles, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.

Phyllis Magidson is Curator of Costume and Textiles, Museum of the City of New York. MCNY Mission Statement: The Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. Founded in 1923 as a private, non-profit corporation, the Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City. It serves the people of New York and visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections. Costume Collection Overview and Collecting Mission: The Costume Collection is widely acknowledged as the foremost repository for New York City-centric objects and primary resources, chronicling and interpreting the evolution of personal style within the context of the city's social history. Juxtaposing seminal designs of the Parisian Couture with anonymously-produced garments produced by the city's nascent garment industry, its holdings betray the relentlessly aspirational nature of New York City style. Originally a component of the amalgam department of Decorative Arts, the Costume Collection assumed its free-standing status during the 1960s.  In the interest of enhancing the public's appreciation for the impact of the city's historical landscape on its mode of attire, it generates thematically-driven special exhibitions that showcase its permanent collection objects, as well as relevant loan materials.

Pamela Parmal assumed the position of the David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts and department head at the Museum of Fine Arts in January 2004. She began work at the MFA in 1999 as Associate Curator. Since then she has been curated a number of exhibitions including Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006, November 2006-March 2007, with the accompanying book, Fashion Show: Paris Style; And So To Bed: Indian Bed Curtains from an Stately English Home, November 2008-July 2009; and Common Threads: A Showcase of Samplers, March-July 2000. She is now working on a series of three exhibitions exploring the embroidery of Colonial Boston, which will open with the Museum’s new American wing in November 2010. Parmal received a Masters Degree in Museum Studies with an emphasis on Textile Conservation from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The University of Wisconsin granted her BAs in Art History and French. Before taking her position at the MFA, she worked as Assistant and then Associate Curator for the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design where she served as co-project director during the planning stages for the NEH funded exhibition and catalogue, From Paris to Providence: The Tirocchi Sisters Dressmaking Shop and curated the exhibition, Geoffrey Beene, for which she also wrote the accompanying catalogue.