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College of Health and Human Sciences

Marla Day to tell stories antique garments reveal

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The silk gown Ura Burgoyne Higinbotham wore when she married Edward Augustus Wharton in 1885 is one of the garments from the Department of Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design collection on display at the Discovery Center.

Clothing talks. At least it does to Marla Day, curator of the Historic Costume and Textile Museum.

She will lecture on "Clues in the Calico" at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. The presentation is part of a series connected with the current exhibition called “Forces: The Shaping of Manhattan, Fort Riley and Kansas State University.”

A garment, Day said, can reveal stories about the wearer, the maker, and historical context. She will tell some of the stories she learned about the garments in the Forces exhibit. One is a linen prairie bonnet. Another is a cotton dress worn around 1850 by Elmira M. Beath, born in Vermont in 1834 and grandmother of Louisa Hattery Harden who graduated from human ecology in 1926. “The dress was made and worn before Kansas had become a state and is a design and fabric most people associate with being worn on the prairie,” Day said.

She will also help participants learn to do a little detective research with their own vintage treasures.

Day is one of the curators of the Forces exhibit, a partnership with the College of Human Ecology’s museum, Fort Riley and the Riley County Historical Museum.

Prepared by Human Ecology communications

This article was posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, and is filed under College News, Costume and Textile Museum, Interior Design and Fashion Studies.