Barkcloth, Bras, and Bulletproof Cotton: The Powers of Costume

January 19-May 12, 2012
Opening reception: Thursday, January 19, 6-8pm
Gregg Museum of Art and Design, NC State University
Carnation, Postcards From Home, Susan Harbage Page, Photograph

According to the Biblical story of Genesis, the moment that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and became self-aware, the very first thing they did was make themselves something to wear. Using amazing objects from the Gregg Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition explores not only how clothing serves to protect, shelter, shield, and modify the human body, but also how what we wear helps us lure, seduce, dominate, segregate or manipulate others, discover spirituality and personal self awareness, proclaim our individuality or group membership, or express ourselves. Photographs, artifacts, jewelry, and a dazzling array of outfits ranging from military uniforms, gangster wear and tribal shaman’s garb, to executive power suits and ultra-high-fashion evening gowns, offer a fascinating foray into how clothes can do so much more than merely “make the man.”

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