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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Culture:American
Title:gown
Date Made:1775-1795
Type:Clothing
Materials:textile: blue plain weave worsted wool; off-white plain weave linen lining
Place Made:textile: United Kingdom; Great Britain: England; garment: United States; New England
Measurements:overall: 49 in.; 124.46 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2003.27.1
Credit Line:Museum Collections Fund
2003-27-1t.jpg

Description:
Woman's one-piece round gown (full-length gown where the bodice has a front closure and laps over the skirt, and does not have a a center front opening in the skirt) in blue wool tabby. The gown has three-quarter-length sleeves; a square neckline in front and back; a drop front that was probably pinned or stitched into position over the corset and covered with the two plain fronts of the bodice. The corset was an essential part of this syle as there is no stiffening in the dress bodice. The skirt is made up of three widths (all selvage to selvage widths 34 1/2" wide); the waist seam entirely bisects the bodice and skirt; and the skirt is box pleated (8 box pleats total) into the waist seam all around. The bodice is lined with plain linen, as are the sleeves and the pleated back has been cut with a center back seam. Garments such as this have seldom survived. The rich blue, most certainly derived from the indigo plant, has been very well dyed by a highly skilled dyer. According to family history, the dress is believed to have belonged to Anne Brooks (b.1744), the daughter of Joseph Brooks (1710-1750) and Mary Bliss (b.1710) who married in 1734 and moved to Palmer, Massachusetts. In 1765, Ann married Caleb Morgan of West Springfield, Massachusetts.

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