Treasures of the Textiles and Clothing Museum


January 28 – April 21, 2013


Opening reception: Sunday, February 3, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The exhibit “Treasures of the Textiles and Clothing Museum” highlights some of the museum’s key collection holdings including:

  • Examples of our earliest items (men’s coats circa 1725 and 1745)
  • Items that epitomize the “look” of each decade of historic dress (including high fashion designer and Des Moines native Halston)
  • Objects related to the history of Iowa State University and the State of Iowa (dress worn by Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton)
  • Ethnographic objects from nearly every corner of the globe.

content-mary-alice-spring-2013-9-of-9This exhibit features the oldest pieces in the Textiles and Clothing Museum. Sara Marcketti, museum curator and associate professor of the Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management department, selected the items for the special story each tells about a person or a period in history. For the 20th century, the exhibit showcases one key piece that epitomizes each decade.

Of the nearly 50 pieces featured, many have a special connection to the university as well as the Ames community and state of Iowa. Others have a cultural significance that is outlined in the intricate details. Iowa State students helped research each piece, even interpreting the meaning behind the different motifs.

The Textiles and Clothing Museum Collection is a unique record of the history and material culture of many global societies, cultures, and time periods. It includes the everyday alongside the beautiful and priceless, from present day European-American high fashion garments to ethnic objects dating from the late Roman period.


A 70-page, full-color exhibit catalog can be purchased for $12 and is available at the Iowa State University Book Store, in 31 MacKay Hall, or by emailing