Exhibit News

Today is the first Friday of the month and that means it’s time for the First Friday Art Trail. Today we will be replacing the center dress with this 1920 wedding suit.

This two piece reindeer-tan wool suit was worn by Ethel Teague when she married Ernest Raney on September 15, 1920 in Abilene, Texas.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite wedding dress here or at the museum for the dress that will be featured in the center May 2012.


Staff Favorite

CHANEL, Two-Piece Wool Suit, 1960s

When I think of Chanel, I imagine stark black and white contrasts in boxy silhouettes, metallic and pearl accessories, and heavy wool blends. Mix these together and you have a recipe for the perfect Chanel suit.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the founder and namesake to the fashion house, turned the industry on its head with her androgynous approach to women’s clothing. She emphasized comfort and simplicity in all her designs and dared to utilize men’s clothing as inspiration. This 1960s, two-piece, wool suit represents the core ideals of all Chanel creations by playfully intermixing traditional feminine and masculine shapes. The form-fitted, mid-knee length skirt offsets the prominent shoulder structure of the jacket. Buttons on the cuffs and center closure are emblazoned with the classic double “C’s”.

The suit embodies not only the innovative character of all Chanel fabrications, but sets the bar for quality workmanship and design.

Object of Day

Two-Piece Burgundy Wool Suit, 1908

The military style, as a fashion trend, is a recycled themed which has inspired numerous fashion designers throughout the ages. It is a style that resurfaces one minute only to be pushed back down the next. Today’s military fashion trends are not inspired by the Georgian and Victorian era, such as the one shown here with its ornamental decoration, but with functionality and utility in mind.

During the Victorian and Georgian periods, certain elements seen on military uniforms were reworked into women’s fashion, especially on women’s riding habits and coats. Occasionally, woman’s fashionable garments, such as this two-piece burgundy wool suit, adopted a few military elements like a frog closers, chevrons on the sleeves and a particular style of jacket.

Like the notorious Heidi Klum’s saying on Project Runway “One day you’re in. The next day you’re out”, the same can be said about the military style.

Object of the Day

Four Piece Cream Colored Suit with Rust Velvet Trim, 1977

Worn by Roger Williams

Roger Williams, world-renowned pianist, wore this suit for the first time for his appearance with the Arthur Fiedler’s Boston Pops Concert. It was subsequently worn for concerts at the White House for President Nixon and Ford. The suit was also worn when Mr. Williams preformed with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra in the city’s first Summer Pops Night in 1977. The suit was then given to Museum on June 10th, 1977.

In 1975, the curator of Textiles at the Museum saw Roger Williams perform with the Boston Symphony orchestra on television. She wrote to Mr. Williams complimenting the performance and adding a request to have the suit that he wore to be donated to the collection. She wrote, “It occurred to me that your formal suit would be a very significant addition to our collection, its modern and sophisticate as it is, it borrows inspiration from a much earlier period. Is there a possibility that you might consider placing it in our museum when you have finished your season of wearing it?” In a hand written response, Mr. Williams said, “That’s a brand new suit, but when I’m through wearing it, it’s yours!”

Hand written letter from Roger Williams. “That’s a brand new suit, but when I’m through wearing it, it’s yours!”

Roger Williams is known for his 1955 hit “Autumn Leaves” which was the only piano instrumental to reach number one on the Billboard pop charts. It remains the best-selling piano record of all time, with more than 2 million sold.

He was nicknamed the “pianist to the presidents,” Mr. Williams played for every commander in chief from Harry Truman to George W. Bush. His last trip to the White House was in 2008, when he performed at a luncheon for then-first lady Laura Bush.

The suit was worn on the cover of his album, "Roger Williams Live".

Mr. Williams was good friends with Jimmy Carter, with whom he shared a birthday. When the two men turned 80, Mr. Williams played a 12-hour marathon at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, with the former president in attendance.

Roger Williams passed away on October 8th 2011, he was 87.