The Lifecycle of CLothing

​​DATE: Thursday, July 18th

TIME: 1:00 PM

About the program:

Americans invested a tremendous amount of labor into making and maintaining their wardrobes during the 19th century. This presentation will explore the life cycle of clothing during the 1800s: how it was created, mended, remade, washed, and ultimately recycled.

This presentation will highlight examples of garments and artifacts from the Illinois State Museum’s collections. After the presentation, the audience will have the opportunity to do the following:

Reflect on their own experiences with making, mending, washing, and recycling clothing, drawing parallels between the 19th century and today;
Share memories of this work in their families from earlier generations; and
Explore modern attitudes towards “fast fashion” and mending vs. discarding.

About the presenter:

​Erika Holst is the Curator of History at the Illinois State Museum. Her most recent exhibition, on view in 2023, is Growing Up X, an exploration of the toys, technology, and cultural touchstones that shaped Generation X.

Erika has worked in the public history field for more than 15 years, during which time she has curated more than a dozen exhibitions. She is passionate about sharing stories of people and history through material culture. Before joining the Illinois State Museum, Erika served as Curator of Collections at the historic Edwards Place in Springfield, IL.

Erika’s publications include Wicked Springfield: Crime, Corruption, and Scandal During the Lincoln Era; Edwards Place: A Springfield Treasure; and Historic Houses of Lincoln’s Illinois, as well as several scholarly and popular articles. She holds an MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and a BA from Illinois Wesleyan University.

The program is free and open to all thanks to Illinois Humanities!

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The Museum offers a variety of events and programs throughout the year.  We  host speakers on local historical topics, have larger events with local musicians  and exhibit openings, host craft workshops, give tours and much more!  

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