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The Mary C Doxsee Historic Clothing and Textile Collection

Various clothing items from collection

The Mary C. Doxsee Historic Clothing and Textiles Collection holds over 2,500 historical costume pieces that range from an 1820's day dress to 1920's scarab beetle hairpins to 1980's color block tops and everything in-between. The Doxsee Collection prides itself on being a teaching tool for individual student use, classroom presentations, community outreach and other roles it is used in for academic and community purposes.


Current Exhibitions

Late Spring/Summer 2021: Latin American Textiles!


Past Exhibitions

  • 1970's Bright and Bold Skirt Prints, Spring 2021
  • Sunny Disposition, Fall 2020
  • American Suffragists, Spring 2020
  • Fun with Dick and Jane in the 1950's, Fall 2019
  • 1930's Evening Gowns, Fall 2019
  • Coats, Spring 2019
  • Roaring Into the New School Year with the 1920's, Fall 2018
  • Crazy for Paisleys!, Spring 2018
  • Career Closet Highlights from The Career and Leadership Development Center, Spring 2018
  • Helen Mansfield Robinson Jobe: Dick and Jane series children's' author, Fall 2017
  • Textiles From Around the World, Fall 2017
  • For a complete list of past exhibits please contact us!

Clothing Curiosities & Fun Facts

HEMLINES. Unassuming yet something that we all come across on a daily basis. High, low, fringed, ruffled or raw – hemlines are nothing new but the term is. Before the 1920’s hemlines were just referred to as ‘skirt length’ since women’s’ skirt lengths had been ankle/floor length in Western cultures for centuries. The term hemline was introduced in the 1920’s when skirt lengths began to get considerably shorter than they ever had before!

Hemlines were first raised a few inches above the floor around 1915 when designers created the wartime crinoline with a fuller, loosened skirt. A lot of women greeted this new look with open arms as they saw it as a practical style better suited to the time when women were not only more active (outdoor sports/activities) but also started entering the workforce at unprecedented levels. These changes in society, that were accelerated by WWI, fostered an idea of increasing economic independence for women as well as a focus on youth culture; thus the popularity for short skirts prevailed! During the Great Depression in the 1930s, hemlines did lower again to the floor, but only for evening wear; however, women did continue to wear shorter skirts during the day that were hemmed just above the ankle on average.

By the 1960’s designer Mary Quant, who had her own boutique on in London, started to feature short skirts worn with tights – the mini skirt! Its predominance in fashion also made popular by youth culture. Changing hemlines/skirt lengths are here to stay...just depends on the season.


Resources

  • We are currently working to modernize the collection for use by Ohio University students, faculty as well as the global online community - check back soon for links and updates!

What We Do

The Mary C. Doxsee Historic Clothing and Textile Collection is a proud addition to the Retail and Fashion Merchandising program here at the Patton College of Education. We strive to be a learning tool for students, faculty as well as the general public. Since the Doxsee Collection is a museum collection we also seek to preserve history/culture through clothing and dress items. There are over 2,500 items in the collection that range from an 1820's day dress to 1920's scarab beetle hair pins to 1980's color block tops and everything in-between. The Doxsee Collection prides itself on being a teaching tool for individual student use, classroom presentations, community outreach and other roles it is used in for academic and community purposes. 


History

Mary C. Doxsee Historic Clothing and Textile Collection began as a passion for Ms. Doxsee, who was a professor in the Home Economics department here at Ohio University. Her interest in clothing and textiles was well-known and faculty, students and community members from around the area would offer her items to use as teaching tools in her class or just to keep to show students. Her husband, Gifford Doxsee, was a professor of Middle Eastern/North African studies and when he traveled to that area of the world he also brought back textiles and clothing for her to add to the growing collection. Eventually, when Mary retired in the early 1980s the collection was named in her honor and is still used as a teaching tool at Ohio University for present and future generations of students.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Mary C. Doxsee Collection is to educate students and interested public about dress and textiles of historical significance. The Doxsee Collection is a repository for examples of historical dress and textiles. The mission includes a focus on the education and conservation, preservation and restoration of dress and textiles through consultation and direct


Contact

Trina Gannon Blair
Assistant Professor of Instruction
Retail and Fashion Merchandising
McCracken Hall 121A
740.593.4422
gannont@ohio.edu