Revealed: A Century of Women’s Underwear
A Zoom Lecture Presented by Callie Raspuzzi, Bennington Museum Collections Manager
Unseen and unmentionable, underwear has always been an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe. From restricting corsets to expanding petticoats, women’s underwear was used to mold the body into a particular shape on which fashionable clothing could be exhibited. How underwear was manufactured changed drastically between 1800 and 1900, reflecting the American clothing industry in general. Two hundred years ago women made most of their families’ every day clothing at home using locally produced materials. One hundred years later they purchased the majority of their underwear ready-made. Textile mills in Bennington manufactured knit union suits, undershirts, long johns and stockings that were sold all over the country. In this Zoom lecture, (which you can watch while wearing nothing but underwear), we invite you to learn about the literal underpinnings of American Society- past and present.
CALLIE RASPUZZI holds a MA in Museum Studies from George Washington University. She has been the Collections Manager at Bennington Museum for 15 years. She has also curated history themed exhibits for the Museum including the “Early Vermont” gallery. She has overseen a project to catalog and selectively scan the museum’s collection of over 17,000 photographs and negatives.
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