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Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion and Its Legacy


Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion and Its Legacy
March 5, 2016–July 10, 2016

Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion and Its Legacy will be the first exhibition to fully explore the Romantic Era as a formative period in costume history. Presenting historic garments alongside literary works, paintings, prints, and decorative arts, the exhibition will examine how European fashion from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras influenced and inspired new styles created between 1810 and 1860.

1976.33 detailGothic to Goth will illustrate how early nineteenth century costume—just like fine and decorative art, architecture, interior design, literature, and music—moved away from the order and rationality of the previous half century to embrace imagination and emotion, originality and vision, and individuality and subjectivity as guiding principles. The exhibition will culminate with a look at recent Goth and Steampunk fashions, revealing their roots in the rich imagination and aesthetic of Romanticism.

Lynne Z. Bassett, Costume and Textile Historian and museum consultant, is organizing the exhibition.

A 128-page, full-color illustrated catalogue, including an extended essay by Bassett, will accompany the exhibition.

Exhibition Credit
Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion and Its Legacy is sponsored by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., the Costume and Textile Society of the Wadsworth Atheneum, and the Stockman Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Howard and Bush Foundation Publication Fund, Arethusa al tavolo, Susan O’Connor, and numerous other individuals. Educational programming is supported by a generous grant from The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation.

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Support Gothic to Goth!
Want to support Gothic to Goth? Sponsor an object in the exhibition! Click here to see which items you can sponsor. Then complete and submit this form by January 8, 2016 to

OR Donate now to help with the costs of producing this exhibition, and be acknowledged by name on this page!

Images (clockwise from top left):
Dress (detail), c. 1845, American, Silk, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Gift of Miss Elizabeth J. Ratmond, 1965.219A,B; E.B. Kellogg and E.C. Kellogg, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, 1845, Color lithograph, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Gift of James Junius Goodwin, 1935.434; House of Coniglio (Beverley Coniglio, American, born 1972), Bee-Baby necklace, 2015, Designed by House of Coniglio, Found materials including watch, ceramic doll, rhinestones, and gold-filled chain, Collection of House of Coniglio; Dress with evening bodice (detail), c. 1850, American, Silk, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Gift of the Estate of Matta Grimm Lacey, 1976.33B,C