JMM Original Exhibit 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 store 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,” 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.
Photos of Exhibit (by Will Kirk)
Public Programs for Fashion Statement
Connected Threads (Members Only)
Thursday, April 11th at 7pm
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
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
The David B. Liebman Philanthropic Fund, Sue and Dr. David Liebman
Nancy Patz Blaustein
Wendy M. Jachman and Jeffrey H. Scherr
Help support exhibits, programs, and projects like this at the Jewish Museum of Maryland by making a gift online today!