ORIGINS – DRESS AND TEXTILES (2018-2020)
Men and women have always adorned themselves with a variety of animal, plant and mineral products for various purposes, including protection, decoration, group identification, and status. The manipulation of these resources to form apparel, accessories, and textiles has evolved over the millennia from hand methods to mechanized technologies. Today, there exists a multi-trillion dollar global industry that employs hundreds of millions of people and utilizes incredible amounts of raw materials and natural resources.
The raw animal, plant, and mineral resources that constituted the original forms of human adornment are still used and often exploited within today’s apparel and textile industry. The Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection (MHCTC) highlights each of these raw materials in a three-year exhibition series titled Origins – Dress and Textiles. Campus and digital exhibitions from MHCTC provide access to over 400 dress and textile artifacts of natural and synthetic origins, as well as sustainable and environmentally-friendly Alternatives.
Also included in the online exhibitions are related artifacts from the University of Missouri’s Museum of Anthropology and Museum of Art and Archaeology. John James Audubon illustrations of North American birds were generously provided by the State Historical Society of Missouri in honor of the 2018 centennial celebration of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
As we become increasingly removed from the production of what we wear, Origins- Dress and Textiles reminds us of the natural sources from which our adornment derives. Click below to access each exhibition.
The first Origins exhibition commemorates the 45th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act and the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Endangered: Fauna and Fashion explores past and present use of animals as sources of raw materials in dress, including past and present exploitation as well as sustainable approaches. View over 200 artifacts of fur, leather, feather, shell, bone, and more, as well as synthetic alternatives, from the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection. Included are related artifacts from the University of Missouri’s Museum of Anthropology and Museum of Art and Archaeology, and John James Audubon artwork from the State Historical Society of Missouri, and designs by Textile and Apparel Management students using images of bird specimens from the Glen Smart Collection and animal specimens from the Yeckel collection, both in the Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building in the School of Natural Resources in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Designs by Textile and Apparel Management students were inspired by a variety of animal species, including specimens from the Glen Smart Collection of Upland Waterfowl and Upland Birds and the Yeckel Collection of the School of Natural Resources in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. See below for a schedule of 2018 special events or view the event flyer.
In fall 2019 Flora and Fashion explores the use of plants for textile fibers and dyes. Natural plant fibers such as cotton, flax, hemp, even grass have been used for thousands of years as fibers in dress and textiles. The first man-made fibers, rayon and acetate, start with cellulose from wood pulp. In the mid-20th century competition emerged from synthetic fibers made from fossil fuels. But with society’s growing understanding of our environment’s fragility, more people are again embracing natural fibers that are renewable and biodegradable, including more non-traditional plant fibers such as bark, mushrooms, citrus, and more. Upcoming special events will include presentations and TAM student design work in collaboration with the Division of Plant Sciences in MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and Mizzou Botanic Garden. Stay tuned as future events are finalized!
In Fall 2020 Earth to Body highlights clothing, accessories and textile artifacts with natural elements of the earth such as gold, copper and precious and semi-precious stones, as well as water which is critical to the production of natural plant and animal products used in the apparel industry. Enjoy not only a glittering assemblage of Western and non-Western outer garments and accessories, but also a variety of artifacts showcasing the metal foundations - zippers, snaps, stays, hooks and hoops - that give garments shape and structure! University of Missouri students will be provided opportunities for collaborative design utilizing a multitude of campus, city and state resources. Stay tuned as future events are finalized!
In a world where natural resources are becoming increasingly scarce and environmental and social awareness are on the rise, fashion designers are driven to explore alternatives to current methods and materials used in the apparel manufacturing industry. Nature is packed with inspiration for designers and scientists to create new, alternative materials beyond traditional sources for a more sustainable fashion future.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Exhibition: Endangered: Fauna and Fashion
117 Gwynn Hall and 110 South Memorial Union, University of Missouri
The Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection (MHCTC) commemorates the 45th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act and the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act with the Gwynn Hall exhibition Endangered: Fauna & Fashion, an exploration of the use of animals as raw materials in dress, textiles and accessories, including periods of exploitation and endangerment.
During the exhibit’s opening reception, visit with Textile and Apparel Management students about their clothing designs inspired by a variety of animal species, including specimens from the Glen Smart Collection of Waterfowl and Upland Birds and the Yeckel Collection - some of which are now rare or endangered - on permanent display in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Learn more about both CAFNR collections online.
View the online exhibition that includes over 150 related artifacts from the MHCTC, Museum of Anthropology, Museum of Art and Archaeology, and the State Historical Society of Missouri.
Browse additional related MHCTC clothing and accessory artifacts prior to the afternoon presentation next door in Wrench Auditorium.
Missouri Department of Conservation Presentation
Jesse Wrench Auditorium, South Memorial Union, University of Missouri
Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) representatives Brian Flowers and Emily Porter discuss the historical state of wildlife in Missouri and how the principles of modern wildlife management, including the MDC’s citizen-driven conservation model, have led to success. Hands-on displays of several native species, including those historically used in dress such as whitetail deer, otter and wild turkey, will be used as examples of conservation success within the state.
The Origins exhibition series culminates in 2020 with a unique fundraising event that will include a variety of historic MHCTC clothing vignettes, TAM student designs created over the course of the series, fiber art by community artists, and more! Stay tuned for more information and ways you can support this future fundraiser!
You can support the MHCTC’s educational mission and the ORIGINS Series by giving to the Collection’s DirectGive page. If you are interested in sponsoring any of the Origins Series exhibitions, related events, or the 2020 fundraiser, please contact the HES Office of Advancement:
Liz Townsend Bird, Senior Director of Advancement
College of Human Environmental Sciences
122 Gwynn Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri 65211