Colorado State University’s Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising Displays Historical, A-Z Treasures of Collection

Note to Reporters: Print quality photos of items included in this exhibition are available upon request.

Be thankful that swimsuits are no longer made of wool, and view many other treasured artifacts from Colorado State University’s historical collection of textiles, clothing and accessories that will be displayed during the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising’s exhibition “ABCs of the Avenir Museum.”

The exhibit, which runs Aug. 24– Feb. 1, will feature two items that represent each letter of the alphabet – one upper case and one lower case. The artifacts, which will focus on clothing and accessories, have been carefully selected to display the breadth and depth of the museum’s permanent collection of more than 13,000 artifacts that include historic and ethnographic clothing and textiles, lace, accessories and chairs.

Included in the exhibit are:
– “A” – an asymmetrical bustle dress from 1882,
– “B” – a bubble dress from the 1950s,
– “M” – an Arnold Scaasi dress of blue and black moiré fabric from the 1980s,
– “P” – paniers, which are basket-like foundation structures at the hips of a dress, in a dress from 1928
– “S” – a blue wool Jantzen swimsuit from the 1930s,
– “D” – a 1912 black and gold dolman coat with fur collar and cuffs, and
– “W” – a wedding dress from 1948 that was featured on the cover of that year’s autumn edition of “Bride” magazine.

The Avenir Museum is one of the few university collections with an added emphasis on international objects, including a collection of 500 kimono and more than 300 textiles from Central and South Asia. Western artifacts include 19th and 20th century men’s and women’s apparel, elaborate fans and hats, beaded flapper dresses, shoes, hand-made lace and famous designer apparel. Among the jewels of the collection are designer dresses from the late Mr. Blackwell, Arnold Scaasi, Carolina Herrera and Calvin Klein. It is also home to the internationally renowned Hellmann lace collection which includes rare examples of 18th and 19th century hand-made lace.

Third Thursday Lecture Series
During exhibitions on select Thursdays, the Avenir Museum presents lectures topical to the current exhibit. All lectures are free and open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m. at the University Center for the Arts Annex, 216 East Lake Street, in room 136.

Meet the Curator: Along with the exhibit, the museum’s new curator, Susan J. Torntore, will give an opening lecture on Thursday, Aug. 30.

Blue Alchemy: Stories of Indigo: A viewing of the film “Blue Alchemy: Stories of Indigo,” a documentary produced by the Avenir Foundation, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 20. The documentary weaves a visually stunning story filmed in India, Japan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mexico, El Salvador and the United States, looking at indigo dyeing’s cultural, historical and current global trade importance.

An Object of Interest: An object featured in the exhibition of the “ABCs of the Avenir Museum” will be explored by curator Susan J. Torntore on Thursday, Oct. 18.

The Avenir Museum is in Colorado State’s Department of Design and Merchandising, part of the College of Applied Human Sciences.