SFDC Designwire

An Illustrated Presentation by Cynthia Amneus


Arrive early for the wedding-themed reception of petits fours and champagne!

The American Decorative Arts Forum invite you to hear Cynthia Amneus examine the compelling allure of the white, single-use wedding dress for modern women – and the wedding dress’ current iconic stature.  A woman’s wedding day remains as a singular opportunity to be transformed into something she has fantasized about her entire life.  Today, the pristine white gown, worn once and then carefully preserved, seems to be the tradition.  We assume this singular piece of clothing has always been white, fitted to the body, decorated, trained, accessorized with a veil, and used on a single, momentous occasion.  However, the present manifestation of the wedding dress is an assemblage of invented traditions created, in large part, by 20th century commercialism.  Ms. Amneus will attempt to demystify some of the more egregious assumptions that color – or whiten – our beliefs about wedding clothing.

Wedding attire in past eras was both fashionable and ordinary.  Such clothing was often colorful rather than white.  If the dress was opulent, the purpose was to display family wealth and station rather than for the personal beautification of the bride.  For many brides, it was simply one’s best dress intended to be worn again for other special occasions. 

Lecturer: Cynthia Amneus earned a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University, followed by a master’s degree from Illinois State University with a concentration in textiles and fibers.  Her career has run the gamut from studio artist to fiber arts instructor and professor (at the University of Cincinnati, then Xavier University), costume technician and, most recently, curator.  As a costume technician, she mounted more than 100 costumes for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Lecture date & time: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 8:00 PM

7:15 PM mini-exhibition: Celebrate your nuptials again with wedding photographs and albums!  Unpack your wedding dress and veil.  Share your wedding accessories.  Perhaps you still have that wedding cake bride-and-groom, bride-and-bride or groom-and-groom decoration! 

Lecture location: Florence Gould Theatre, Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park,100 34th Avenue.  Enter from the bayside, lower level entrance between the café and the gift shop. 

Admission: $10 for SFDC members and $15 to the general public.  Please show your SFDC badge at the door. 

Contacts: Rob Speaks at 415.609.657 or Gordon Fine at 415.346.4856

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