Current Exhibits

Roberta of Camerino handbag

What's in your Bag?

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 (All day) to Sunday, July 17, 2022 (All day)

KSU Fashion Student and Museum Intern Pierce Morgan was inspired by a purse he found in the Museum collection which had an assortment of personal items including a baby picture, Green Stamps, and a Christmas list.  He was intrigued by what stories and mysteries might be held in other bags and so he curated this display that helps us imagine.

Chanel garment details

Forever Chanel/Coco + Karl

Friday, June 11, 2021 (All day) to Sunday, February 27, 2022 (All day)

We live in a world where fashion, celebrity and personality are inextricably intertwined and elevated to heights of global phenomena. A singular name — Cher, Madonna, Naomi or even Bernie — denotes an immediate and comprehensive image of personae, values and impact. The name Chanel has endured for over 100 years: What does that tell us about the House of Chanel and what does that reveal about us?

Coat with metallic shimmer by Tracy Reese

What's New! Recent Acquisitions

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 (All day) to Sunday, August 8, 2021 (All day)

During the past decade, the Kent State University Museum has continued to build our world class collection of fashions and textiles. Because the permanent collection now includes nearly 30,000 objects, we must be selective about what we can accept. The array of pieces on display in this exhibition highlight the Museum’s priority to broaden the diversity of makers and designs in the collection and to augment important areas where we have little or no representation.

Judith Leiber bag detail

Collection of Audrey M. Kail

Friday, March 19, 2021 (All day) to Sunday, March 20, 2022 (All day)

This collection of handbags comes to the KSU Museum from longtime friend and supporter of the Museum, Audrey M. Kail.  Mrs. Kail passed away early this year and she wanted her sparkling collection of bags by Judith Leiber and Kathrine Baumann to be shared with students and the public for years to come.

Romanian blouse

Stitched: Regional Dress Across Europe

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 (All day) to Sunday, December 19, 2021 (All day)

Drawing from the rich collection of Kent State University Museum, this exhibition showcases common features shared by regional costume across Europe. In its original context in villages, regional dress carefully marked social and cultural differences. Religious affiliation, gender, age, and marital status were all instantly recognizable at a glance by members of the community. A person’s outfit signaled which village or region they came from. Focusing on these signs of difference obscures the common vocabulary that rural residents across Europe used to shape their clothing.

Glass Selections from the Collection

Glass: Selections from the Collection

Monday, April 1, 2019 (All day) to Sunday, April 3, 2022 (All day)

Glass, like coats, dresses or shoes, is a time capsule of human invention, art, style and social change. More than 3500 years ago, our ancestors discovered that sand (which consists of silica, soda ash and lime) when heated to very high temperatures becomes molten. In this state it can be shaped and molded as it cools into a solid form.

Timeline Gallery View

Fashion Timeline

Friday, June 29, 2012 (All day) to Sunday, June 30, 2024 (All day)

Palmer and Mull Galleries | Sara Hume, Curator The “Fashion Timeline” showcases the Kent State University Museum’s world-class collection of historic fashions. Encompassing over two centuries of fashion history, this exhibition is designed to show the evolution of styles and silhouettes while contextualizing the pieces with relevant political, technological and cultural developments. While the display is a permanent feature at the museum, the individual pieces are rotated frequently so there is always something new to see!