Dressed to Play!

Feb 17 – May 19, 2019

The weather outside may be frightful, but inside the Museum we’re back in the good old summertime. Summer fun is the focus of this amusing exhibition that illustrates summertime festivities enjoyed throughout the years, while highlighting some that surprisingly have remained unchanged.

It’s fun to reminisce about the past, especially when we recall pleasant days frolicking at the lake, taking in a ball game, enjoying a picnic with grandma’s famous cookies, catching the fish of a lifetime, or even going to the County Fair. Families have long appreciated spending time together to enjoy the warmth and camaraderie of summer, and their clothing often reflects the occasion.

Our clothing is also a reflection of our personality, and it is usually the first thing people notice. Specialized clothing immediately lets people know what type of activity you are partaking, such as swimwear for a day at the beach, spandex for biking the trails, or a special party dress for the community dance. This is nothing new to the 21st century. People have worn distinctive attire in pursuit of summertime pleasure for many generations.

This exhibition showcases how clothing styles for children, men and women have changed over the decades, and helps us appreciate design innovations – let’s all be glad we no longer have to wear wool on a hot summer day in July. Dressed to Play! also features a variety of paraphernalia used for these warm weather activities, and accompanying historic photographs show local scenes of memorable activities and events, most of which are drastically different from what we are familiar with today.