The Drexel Historic Costume Collection
The Drexel Historic Costume Collection (DHCC) was formed to serve as an educational resource for the students of Drexel University. Through the remarkable generosity of our donors, the collection has become one of the finest teaching collections in the United States. Our mission as a University-based collection is to educate and inspire, while providing a significant resource for an ever-expanding community of historians, scholars, artists, and designers. Westphal College’s new URBN Center facility has greatly improved the accessibility and visibility of the DHCC and allowed us to honor A. J. Drexel’s original educational intent in taking a leadership role in research and scholarship, while preserving the collection for future generations of researchers and admirers.
The DHCC has been featured in exhibits such as, A Legacy of Art, Science & Industry: Highlights from the Drexel Collection, Rest Your Feet, and Brave New World: Fashion & Freedom, 1911-1919 in conjunction with the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA).
Click Here to download the Brave New World: Fashion & Freedom, 1911-1919 Brochure
"The collection is a tweed, glitter-filled dream come true for vintage shoppers ... In between are a bevy of high-style artifacts: romantic day dresses from the 1850s, candy-colored wool coats from the 1960s courtesy of Norman Norell." –– from The Philadelphia Inquirer feature, "What's in Drexel's Closets? Timeless Textile Treasures." Click here to read this article.
Special Event – DHCC Style Saturday Seminar Series (March 8)
From the rococo rose to the pop art daisy, floral motifs have been a perennial favorite. Join us Saturday, March 8, 9:45 a.m. in the URBN Center Lobby (3501 Market St., Philadelphia) for an extended look at the fashionable floral throughout the centuries. This seminar includes a lecture/presentation by Drexel Historic Costume Collection (DHCC) curator Clare Sauro, light refreshments, and an exclusive behind the scenes look at examples of historic floral garments in the DHCC.
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets!
Support the DHCC
Community engagement is extremely vital to the life of the collection. The DHCC’s efforts – exhibitions, publications and lectures – are only made possible by the enthusiastic support of the public and the remarkable generosity of our donors.
For more information on collection tours, donations and acquisitions, please contact DHCC Curator Clare Sauro at 215-571-3504 or via email at email@example.com.
Five Things You May Not Know About The DHCC
1. It is one of the oldest teaching collections in the United States.
2. The total holdings are estimated at more than 12,000 objects.
3. The DHCC contains garments worn by many noted women of style such as Greta Garbo, Babe Paley, and Princess Grace of Monaco.
4. The oldest documented objects are a man’s waistcoat dating from the 1750s and a group of sixteenth century velvets.
5. The DHCC is an internationally recognized collection and has lent objects to exhibitions in Paris and Milan.
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