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The Kent State University Museum Opens Fandemonium

Posted Oct. 22, 2012

Brise fan. Probably American, 1910s.The Kent State University Museum presents Fandemonium in the Alumni Gallery Nov. 16, 2012 through Oct. 6, 2013. The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Drive on the corner of Main Street and South Lincoln in Kent, Ohio. Hours are Wed., Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Thurs. 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.; and Sun. noon to 4:45 p.m.

Fandemonium will highlight approximately 50 different fans spanning three centuries. Fans are one of the earliest accessories because of the very practical purpose they serve, which is balanced by their equally decorative, ornate nature.

"Over the centuries and across continents, a number of different basic forms of fans developed. This exhibition explores these different shapes and styles," Kent State University Museum curator Sara Hume said. "From hand-painted rococo designs of the eighteenth century to celluloid, art deco pieces from the twentieth century, the variations are remarkable and stunning."

First image caption:
Brisé fan, probably American, 1910s. Ivory sticks with painted silk inserts. Gift of the Martha McCaskey Selhorst Collection, KSUM 1996.58.486

The exhibition will be organized by type of fan, including Chinese export fans, lace fans, fixed, non-folding fans and novelty fans produced as advertisements. As some of these styles existed from the eighteenth century through the early twentieth century, visitors will be able to observe both the continuity and the developments among the different types of fans.

"Fans are such beautiful forms and the intricate ornamentation can be appreciated both from a distance and under close examination," Hume said. "The Alumni Gallery is the perfect space for the exhibition because it is an intimate space but also because of its semi circular layout which evokes the shapes of the fans themselves."

Pleated fan (detail). European, ca. 1790s. Admission to the Kent State University Museum is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children under 18. The museum is free with a Kent State University ID and free to the public on Sundays. The museum also offers free parking. For more information call 330-672-3450 or visit kent.edu/museum.

Second image caption:
Pleated fan (detail). European, ca. 1790s. Silk satin leaf embroidered with sequins and carved ivory sticks and guards. KSUM X2004.2

Opened to the public in October 1985, the Kent State University Museum was founded with an initial contribution from New York dress manufacturers Jerry Silverman and Shannon Rodgers. Their gift included 4,000 costumes and accessories, nearly 1,000 pieces of decorative art and a 5,000-volume reference library. In the 1960s, Shannon Rodgers began collecting what is now considered one of the finest period costume collections in the United States, today totaling more than 40,000 pieces.

The Tarter/Miller collection of some 10,000 pieces of glass formed the second major gift to the Museum. Together with the other decorative arts collected by Rodgers and Silverman, the Museum holds one of the most comprehensive teaching collections of fashionable design from the 18th century to the present.

The museum receives support from an Ohio Arts Council Sustainability Grant.

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For more information contact:
Effie Tsengas, etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398