DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution)
(for more information about DAR click on their logo above)
Explore the revolutionary fashions of the women who may have participated in the Suffrage Parade!
The DAR Museum Exhibition, “Fashioning the New Woman: 1890 – 1925,” looks at fashions from the last years of the bustle to the flapper era (1890-1925). The revolution that took place in women’s styles at this time reflected enormous changes in women’s lives. American women were taking on many new roles and activities, and fashion had to follow.
Who was the New Woman?
The New Woman was a new stereotype named about 1890, representing growing numbers of women engaging in athletic sports, seeking higher education and even careers, taking white-collar office jobs, and pursing other activities outside the “domestic sphere” where society told them they belonged.
Many American women also entered social reform movements, feeling that their roles as protectors of the home sphere required working for reforms in areas such as food safety, education, temperance, and child labor. Women’s suffrage was a civil rights issue that also inspired many women.
Active lives required more practical clothes than the many-layered, heavily draped outfits of the late Victorian lady. A timeline of fashion from 1890 to 1925 traces the gradual changes that added up to major modernization of the American woman’s style. Sports clothing, including riding jodphurs, an automobile duster with goggles, swimsuit, golf and tennis outfits, and a divided skirt for bicycling, will also be displayed. College life, the office worker or “business girl,” Red Cross workers of World War One, and the suffrage movement will all be examined in the exhibit.
Special loans of suffrage banners and sashes from the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum will be on display; other lenders include the Shippensburg University Fashion Archives and Museum and several private lenders. The bulk of the exhibit features garments from the DAR Museum’s collection.
About the DAR Museum
The DAR Museum collection features more than 30,000 examples of decorative and fine arts, including objects made or used in America prior to the Industrial Revolution. Furniture, silver, paintings, ceramics and textiles, such as quilts and costumes, are exhibited in 31 period rooms and two galleries. The main gallery features changing exhibitions and displays of selected quilts, coverlets and samplers. The DAR Museum Shop offers a variety of unique gifts and books.
The DAR Museum, located at 1776 D Street NW, is free to the public and open 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday . Docent tours of the period rooms are offered from 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Monday – Friday and 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday. The DAR Museum is closed Sundays, Federal holidays, and for one week during the DAR annual meeting in July. For information on the DAR Museum, visit www.dar.org/museum or call (202) 879-3241 to schedule a group tour.
About the Daughters of the American Revolution
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. With more than 170,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. Encompassing an entire downtown city block, DAR National Headquarters houses one of the nation’s premier genealogical libraries, one of the foremost collections of pre-industrial American decorative arts, Washington, D.C.’s largest concert hall, and an extensive collection of early American manuscripts and imprints. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.dar.org.