Interpreting History Through Costume: A CSA Western Region Symposium

I’m so excited to share with readers that the Costume Society of America’s Western Region has just released its registration flyer for the next regional symposium! To be held March 16-18 at the William S. Hart Ranch in Newhall, CA, “Interpreting History Through Costume” will include a wide range of activities and intellectually stimulating paper presentations.

The William S. Hart Ranch

For those unfamiliar, William S. Hart was a silent film star – primarily of cowboy movies and he became an avid collector of western art and artifacts (including costumes). His historic 1910 Ranch House will provide an exciting backdrop to the paper presentations.

This academic symposium includes presentations connecting fashion, history, theatre costume, national costume, gender, re-enactors, and much more (it also includes papers by my good friend and regular Worn Through contributor Brenna Barks, and former Smithsonian curator Shelly Foote). Highlights include:

  • A Comparison of Costumes Worn for Performances of Sheridan’s “The School for Scandal”
  • Fashioning Greek Identity-Representing “Greekness” in the 19th Century
  • Saris to Skirts: Negotiating National Identity through Costume
  • Collecting Japan: The Kimono and Textile Collection at the Clark Center for Japanese Culture
  • Dressing the Part: Mary Pickford’s Use of Costume

Additional activities include tours of the Hart Museum and a special costume display, a screening of the William S. Hart Film Tumbleweeds (1925), social time and opportunities to explore the Ranch (which is home to a heard of American Bison and other animals).

For complete details on the symposium and to register, download the flyer below.

Interpreting History Through Costume

March 16-18


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  1. I loved the William S. Hart home when I visited a few years ago with my fellow Docents from Heritage Square in Oxnard, California. I only wish I could come back, but have since moved to Arizona. I am selling my costumes through my website, just because I can’t find anywhere to wear them. If only…but I will keep looking because the world of fashion in late 19th and early 20th centuries is so fascinating. It was a different method of production, but ideas and style were still influenced by magazines showing “fashion plates” and later the newspaper photographs or drawings, and then the movies came along just about the time mass production became possible.

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