Until April, our feature exhibit is called The Vintage Catwalk, looking at interesting fashions through the years. Featured in this post are artefacts in our collection (that may or may not be on exhibition), and with St. Patrick’s Day later this month, the theme of the artefacts is green!
Be sure to visit the exhibition before it closes!
Note, the skirt appears to have repairs/changes through the years, especially notable when you look at the bottom hem.
Green hats, including one from Scouts Canada.
From inside our 2017 feature exhibit Celebrating 60. Our earliest donation included this green suit, owned by Premier Gordon Conant.
Finally, our most notorious green textile – the arsenic green dress. This dress, part of the collection of our exhibit partner The Costume People, was dyed with copper arsenite; the dye often proved fatal for the wearers and especially for the women who worked directly applying the dyes in the manufacture process. Our summer student Lauren shared the story of these dresses in a post last summer.
We recently hosted some grade 2/3 students from a local school to participate in our Day in the Life of a Victorian Child program. This allows kids to experience some of the chores and learn some of the rules that applied to kids in the Victorian Era. This time we were able to change up the program with the implementation of three new activities.
Now that we have our loom in the Henry house kitchen set up, the students were able to see how Lurenda and the girls turned fleece into yarn and then yarn into cloth. They also had an imaginary $20 to create an outfit from our reproduction 1901 Eaton’s catalogue and saw what it took to dress a Victorian lady.
Our in-house Costumer was on hand to dress me up in ten different layers of basic clothing – stockings, knickers, chemise, corset, corset cover, petticoat, overskirt, bustle, undersleeves and bodice and skit. If I were getting dressed to go out in the winter weather, there would have been more layers! I had so much fun doing this. It is definitely something we will be incorporating into more programs!
For more information about educational programs at the Oshawa Museum, please check out our Education Catalogue, or give us a call at the Museum (905-436-7624 x 106)!