As TMS Architects has such an interest in historic preservation , we were particularly interested in learning about a new feature exhibition at Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, NH which opened May 1 and will run through October 31, 2012. Entitled Threads: Stories of Fashion at Strawbery Banke, 1740-2012, the exhibit provides a rare glimpse into the lives of Portsmouth citizens over the past 300 years; how they lived, worked and presented themselves to the world in the historic buildings that form the Strawbery Banke Museum.
The exhibition extends across the 10-acre campus of Strawbery Banke and displays costumes and textiles picked from the Museum’s collection and placed in appropriate authentic period Museum homes. Portsmouth was the fourth largest port in America for a time and its citizens kept up with fashions imported from Europe. Some of the items included in this exhibition are as diverse as embroidered 18th century shoes from London, an 1844 wedding dress worn by Susan Osgood Jones when she married into the prominent Wentworth family of Portsmouth, two 1925 bathing costumes and a pink satin prom dress from the 1950′s.
As an interesting counterpoint to the historical displays are new fashion designs that have been inspired by the Museum’s Collection. This contemporary collection includes pieces by notable designers such as Philip Treacy of London, Katerina Lankova (New York and Aspen) along with many local New Hampshire designers. To showcase this special contemporary collection, there will be a Passion for Fashion gala on the grounds of the Museum on Saturday, June 30th to benefit the Museum. Lifetime’s TV Austin Scarlett will host a celebrity designers’ runway show, followed by a champagne reception and VIP dinner. Strawbery Banke.org can provide further details about the gala and the exhibit. The whole family can participate as hands-on family activities are also being planned including dress-up stations for children in four of the historic homes.