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Fashion and Costume Studies

This guide offers an overview of interdisciplinary resources that are useful to the study of costume, fashion, and dress.

Museums and Collections

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Black t-shirt with sleeves and bottom cut off. White writing states "This Ain't Yo Mama's Civil Rights Movement." Black and gold evening coat with fur collar.
Hands Up United, T-shirt worn by Rahiel Tesfamariam at a protest commemorating Michael Brown, 2015. National Museum of African American History and Culture.  C. G. Gunther's Sons (American, founded 1820), Evening Coat, ca. 1930. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute.

There are many museums around the world that contain textiles and garments related to the cultures of BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color). It is important to recognize the context in which museums collect and exhibit objects from traditionally marginalized groups. Museums in colonizing nations such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and others often acquired art objects illegally through looting and exploitation, a practice that is considered illegal today in many countries but which was actively practiced at least through the 20th century. For more information on the ethics of collecting and preserving cultural heritage and repatriation efforts, visit the Museum Studies research guide