J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

New England Style at Old South in February 2007

In the spirit of former congregant Anna Green Winslow, Old South Meeting-House has invited “fashionistas everywhere” to a series of midday presentations each Thursday in February 2007. “Fashion Conscious: A History of New England Style” will explore evolution in styles from the 1600s through the 1900s: how fabrics were acquired, how styles changed, international influences, and personal histories. Here’s the line-up.

1 Feb: Comfort and Style: 17th & 18th Century Fabrics
From a simple shift to an elegant open gown, textiles were a valued commodity in the colonial era. In an illustrated lecture, Diane Fagan Affleck, Senior Research Associate at the American Textile History Museum, discusses the complex means by which fabrics were acquired and the myriad styles and designs available to American colonists.

8 Feb: A Social History of Victorian Costume, by textile and costume historian Lynne Bassett

15 Feb: When the Girls Came Out to Play: The Birth of American Sportswear, by Prof. Patricia Campbell Warner (book-signing to follow)

22 Feb: Needles and Pens: The Sewing Diaries of Four American Women, 1883-1920, by Karen Herbaugh, Curator at the American Textile History Museum

I’ve given short shrift to the presentations past the eighteenth century, but you can find longer descriptions of each event at the Freedom Trail Events page.

All lectures run 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The cost for each is $5 adults, $4 students/seniors, free for members. Old South Meeting House is located at 310 Washington Street in downtown Boston, near the Downtown Crossing and other T stops. For more information, call 617-482-6439.

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