KSU Museum Announces New Exhibition ‘As the World Weds: Global Wedding Traditions’

KENT, OH The Kent State University Museum announces the opening of “As the World Weds: Global Wedding Traditions” on Sept. 16, 2022. On view through Aug. 27, 2023, the exhibition draws from the Kent State University Museum’s rich holdings of wedding dresses and associated materials. Treasured pieces from personal collections will also be on display. This exhibition looks beyond the white bridal gown to the rich and deeply symbolic clothing and textiles linked to wedding ceremonies around the world. From bright red robes for the Chinese bride and groom to handwoven Kente cloth for the happy couple in Ghana. 

The concept of tradition suggests timeliness and resistance to change, but the rituals and practices surrounding weddings have changed over time as much as they have differed across space. Wedding customs connect people with their culture and tie families together. They can also secure economic arrangements and enforce religious and social ties. From Japanese resist-dyed covers for bedding to splendidly colored Uzbek ikats, textiles are often a form of gift or dowry that strengthen these important bonds.

“Wedding dresses are one of the things most frequently offered to the KSU Museum. People treasure them and keep them for the rest of their lives. I felt it very important to do an exhibition to showcase some of the amazing wedding dresses we have but also to challenge the assumptions people have about wedding traditions. Traditions have actually changed significantly over time and they are so different across different cultures. This exhibition aims to show both the change over time as well as the differences across cultures,” said KSU Museum and “As the World Weds” Curator, Sara Hume.

Though the bride’s dress is often one of the central components of the ceremonies, there are many other participants in the festivities who have their own distinctive dress. The valuable memories linked to the festivities imbue these pieces with exceptional sentimental value and encourage their preservation and even donation to museums.

“As the World Weds” is made possible with the generous support of Mr. Robert A. and Dr. Susan H. Conrad, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, Regina and Gregg Eisenberg in honor of their 20th anniversary with additional funding from Leslie Royce Resnik and the Ohio Arts Council.

About the Kent State University Museum

The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Drive, at the corner of East Main Street and South Lincoln Street in Kent, Ohio. It features more than 29,000 pieces in its collection, amassed from many generous donors. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person at the museum or in advance through the museum’s online ticketing serviceMask requirements can fluctuate along with the current community level for COVID-19. Our mask requirements and recommendations will adjust according to CDC guidelines. 

Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children ages 5 to 17. The museum is free for children under 5 and for those with a Kent State ID. Sunday admission is free for all ages. Parking is free for all museum attendees. Patrons should use the allotted museum spaces in the Rockwell Hall parking lot. For more information, please call 330-672-3450 or visit www.kent.edu/museum

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Media Contact:

Jen Crabtree, jcrabt13@kent.edu

POSTED: Thursday, August 11, 2022 10:13 AM
UPDATED: Friday, February 23, 2024 12:07 PM