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Fashion Statement

April 7 @ 10:00 am - September 15 @ 5:00 pm

On view April 7, 2019 – September 15, 2019


Since the 18th century, the attire of Jewish Marylanders – a distinctive and diverse cultural group – has spoken volumes about their many, overlapping, and sometimes conflicting identities: as Americans, as immigrants, as Jews.


Using the disciplines of history and material culture studies, Fashion Statement, which runs through September 15, features clothing and accessories worn by Jewish Marylanders—women, men and children – in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. It also incorporates historical photos and documents that tell the story of each garment. From evening gowns and fur coats from the early 19th century to a Baltimore women’s army corps uniform, purchased at a Parisian department story during World War II, to a tee shirt in Yiddish celebrating former Raven Joe Flacco, the garments span the centuries and provoke discussion on how Jewish Marylanders use clothing to silently proclaim who they are.



The exhibit is divided into four sections, beginning with “The Chosen Clothes,” which showcases how Maryland Jews demonstrated that they belonged to a specific social, occupational or religious segment, often downplaying their unwanted “greenhorn” status or claiming a place in the economic hierarchy steps above their means. “Fabrics of Faith” features articles of ritual clothing with a comprehensive display of such accessories as kippahs (skullcaps) and women’s head coverings. “Attire Aspirations” emphasizes the imagery that conveys to us the best way to put ourselves forward, featuring ads from iconic Baltimore retailers, including various posters from Hutzler’s, Baltimore’s upscale department store for much of the 20th century.



In the final section, “Unique versus Uniformed,” the visitor explores clothes that express an affiliation with an organization. The final piece in this section, “Baltimore Icons,” looks at the accessories of two famous Jewish Baltimoreans, who are often identified by a single article of clothing. On display is historian, journalist and author Gil Sandler’s iconic porkpie hat and philanthropist Shoshana S. Cardin’s famous scarves. Interactive stations are woven throughout the exhibit, providing visitors with the opportunity to think about their clothing choices, both how they dress and where they shop. At one station, visitors can create their own “message” shirt using symbols and images.


Check out Fashion Statement “extras” here!


Interested in bringing a group to see this exhibit? Click here!

This exhibit is on view concurrently with Stitching History from the Holocauston loan from the Jewish Museum Milwaukee.




This exhibit is made possible, in part by our lead sponsor: PNC Bank Greater Maryland.


Additional support is provided by:

The Herbert Bearman Foundation

A gift in memory of Hugo Dalsheimer

The Greif Family Fund

Harriet Stulman

The David B. Liebman Philanthropic Fund, Sue and Dr. David Liebman

Nancy Patz Blaustein

Wendy M. Jachman and Jeffrey H. Scherr


Media sponsor:

Public Programs:


Connected Threads (Members Only)
Thursday, April 11th at 7pm


Fashioning Identity
Sunday, April 14th at 1pm


Suiting Everyone: The Needle Trades in Baltimore
Sunday, May 5th at 1pm


Silk Painting Workshop
Sunday, July 14th at 1pm


Dressing for God: Expanding the Sacred Wardrobe
Sunday, August 25th at 1pm


Keeping Up Appearances: American Jews & Fashion
Sunday, September 8th at 1pm


Beginner Crochet Workshop
Thursday, September 12th at 7pm


>>View the full Jewish Museum of Maryland program calendar here.<<


April 7 @ 10:00 am
September 15 @ 5:00 pm