Maine Historical Society



Past Exhibits

Dressing Up, Standing Out, Fitting In:
Adornment & Identity in Maine, 1750-1950

Exhibit Dates: June 24, 2011 – May 27, 2012

Don Juan VI, King of Portugal, brooch

Don Juan VI, King of Portugal, brooch

This exhibit was a fascinating look at how Mainers have "dressed up" for a variety of occasions over two hundred years. Drawing from MHS's extensive collections, Dressing Up, Fitting In, Standing Out: Adornment & Identity in Maine, 1750-1950 featured a broad selection of adornments from the MHS collection, many never before displayed, including hats, jewelry, shoes, hair combs, walking sticks, and several complete costumes. Objects were accompanied and illuminated by photographs, paintings, journal entries, and more.

According to exhibit curator Candace Kanes, Dressing Up explored the choices we made to look our best. "Every hat or shoe, buckle or brooch tells a story of who we are, who we want to be, and how we want others to see us. And every social occasion makes its own demands, whether we are trying to fit in for a ceremony, or stand out for a special portrait."

Dressing Up explored such moments and occasions from the 18th century to the 20th centuries, sharing the stories of firemen and brides, immigrants and Masons, children and generals, and many others.


This exhibit was made possible with support from:
   Spectrum Medical Group Elsie A. Brown Fund

Dressing Up Visitors