Museums are closed now due to Covid-19, however, many museums are finding unique ways to allow the public to view their exhibits. Now might be a good time to ‘visit’ a museum anywhere in the world on-line. Some are even offering on-line classes and speaker presentations.
I signed-up to be included in a Zoom live-webinar for the San Diego History Center’s exhibit Fashion Redux 2020. While it would have been nice to see the exhibit in person, this was the next best thing. Fashion Redux 2020 is an exhibit featuring the designs of San Diego Mesa College fashion students that are based on and inspired by fashion from the collection at the San Diego History Center. The exhibit is now in it’s 9th year. This year’s era of choice was the 1970’s. The students researched the period and the clothing worn at that time and tried to make it relevant for today. The top four designs were chosen to be in the exhibit. During the live-webinar, the winning designers were asked questions about their designs and how they came to be and their design styles. Their professor from Mesa College was one of the speakers who questioned the students and gave information on their assignment.
The webinar began with a brief history of the museum and it’s collection. I found this very interesting. The fashion collection at the San Diego History Center is quite large and was donated by individuals living in San Diego. They (as most museums do) loan pieces from their collection to other museums. One such piece that has gone out for loan is the Bloomer Ensemble dating 1850. According to the museum’s archieve expert, the Bloomer Ensemble (which belonged to Anna Gunn Marston of San Diego) is the only existing piece of it’s kind. It had a very important significance to the change in women’s clothing, giving women more freedom of movement.
Silk taffeta and glazed cotton, c. 1850
Very rare example, descended through the Anna Gunn Marston family of San Diego.
Gift of Elizabeth Bacon, 87.64.1 (photo and description from: http://www.sandiegohistorycenter.org)
So, while one may not be able to visit a museum in person at the moment, this is a great chance to enjoy an on-line experience. I am glad my daughter and I attended the on-line webinar. This year’s student designers were incredible and I learned a little fashion history as well. The webinar is eventually to be posted on the museum’s wesite and youtube as well. Be sure to check out the museum’s website for more information on the current exhibit at: http://www.sandiegohistorycenter.org).