Kent State Museum's "Flapper Style" to Highlight 1920s Fashion

—“Flapper Style: Fashions of the 1920s” to run Sept. 25, 2015 - Sept. 4, 2016
—Preview reception Sept. 24 — call 330-672-0300 to RSVP
—Free tie-in lecture Oct. 3 in museum’s Murphy Auditorium — call 330-672-5368 to RSVP

The Kent State University Museum will present its new exhibit “Flapper Style: Fashions of the 1920s” in the museum’s Broadbent Gallery from Sept. 25, 2015, to Sept. 4, 2016. The museum will also host a special preview reception, featuring drinks and refreshments, on Thursday, Sept. 24. Admission to the reception is $15; to RSVP, please call 330-672-0300.

According to Museum and exhibit curator Sara Hume, Ph.D., the flapper style epitomized the glamor and decadence of the Roaring Twenties.

“The term ‘flapper’ refers to the generation of young women who came of age just as World War I ended and shocked the older generation with their short hair and short skirts, their drinking and smoking and swearing,” says Hume. “Flappers faced a world strikingly different from the one their mothers knew and their clothing reflected this dramatic break with the past.”

Flapper fashion emphasized a slim and boyish silhouette, which evolved alongside women’s changing roles during the World War I era (as documented in the museum’s previous exhibit “The Great War: Women and Fashion in a World at War”).

While the flapper look is well known, this exhibit looks beyond the iconic beaded dress to explore the wide array of influences on 1920s fashion, including sportswear and artistic movements such as Bauhaus and Art Deco. “Flapper Style” features more than forty pieces, including undergarments, evening wraps, sportswear, menswear and footwear.

Curator Sara Hume will also present a “Flapper Style” lecture on Saturday, Oct. 3, as part of Kent State’s Homecoming Weekend festivities. The lecture, which takes place at 12:30 p.m. in the museum’s Murphy Auditorium, is free and open to the public. As space is limited, please register for the event on the Alumni Association website.

The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Drive, at the corner of E. Main St. and S. Lincoln St. in Kent, Ohio. The museum is open to the public on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. - 8:45 p.m.; and Sunday from noon - 4:45 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children under 18. The museum is free with a Kent State ID and free to the public on Sunday. Parking is free. For more information, call 330-672-3450 or visit

About the Curator

Sara Hume is curator and an associate professor at the Kent State University Museum. She earned her Ph.D. in modern European history from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation examines the development and preservation of traditional or folk dress practices in Alsace in the face of pressure from political conflict and mainstream fashion. She is interested in exploring the use of material culture, specifically clothing, in historical scholarship. She also holds a B.A. in art from Yale University and an M.A. in museum studies (with a concentration in costume and textiles) from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Media Contact: Alex Parrott, marketing assistant,, 330-672-2714 (office)

Image: Cream silk satin dress with pearls and beaded fringe; American, 1920s; KSUM 1983.1.2488

POSTED: Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 11:32am
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:13pm
Alex Parrott