What's New! Recent Acquisitions
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. We are committed to expanding our collection of garments by African American designers such as Tracy Reese and Patrick Kelly, whose works are on view. We have also welcomed the work of ethnic groups who were not previously represented such as the Naga from northeastern India, the Karen from southeastern Myanmar (Burma), and the Miao of southern China into our collection. Another weakness in our collection is in menswear. Although men make up roughly half of the population, men’s clothing only accounts for a little over ten percent of the collection. Among the new pieces we have added to this portion of our collection are a traditional hanbok from Korea and a custom tailored suit from the late 1960s.
People treasure links between loved ones and the clothes they wore: a favorite coat, a stunning dress worn for a special occasion, or their first pair of shoes. As we continue to diversify our collection, we are also keenly attuned to the power of personal stories connected to clothing and the special anecdotes we will share with you attest to the powerful relationship that develops between people and what they wear. The collection also serves as design inspiration for students at the university including those in the School of Fashion. With this in mind, we continuously seek work of contemporary fashion designers that demonstrates creative elements and innovation such as the pieces from Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Comme des Garçons.
Coat with metallic shimmer
Gift of the Helen O. Borowitz Collection, KSUM 2012.12.32
Jacket with digitally printed panels
Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons
Japanese, Fall 2005
Museum Purchase, KSUM 2013.47.1
Blouse and skirt with patchwork insets
Seminole, ca. 1930s
Gift of Nancy Martt, KSUM 2018.7.1