With the beginning of the new year, the Ellen Noël Art Museum is planning several new exhibits.
The museum is currently showing an exhibition that a local textile connoisseur has been working on for several years, in an exhibition entitled: Fiancee: 250 Years of Wedding Fashion.
The exhibition explores the fascinating history of the white wedding dress and its iconic stature in Western cultures.
It includes around 63 wedding dresses and 15 men’s ensembles that date back to the 1770s to the present day and show how many wedding traditions and fashions have changed over the years.
The exhibition started on December 3rd and will last until March 7th.
“I think one of the bigger aspects of the exhibition is what you think of the white wedding dress and how it has changed over the years,” said curator Daniel Zies. “In the early days, not everyone could wear white, it was more for royals and people with a lot of influence and money. It wasn’t until after Queen Victoria in the 1840s that she made it quite popular. After that it became a tradition and people became interested in what she was doing. “
The collection is from Steven Porterfield, who lives in Midland. According to Zies, the exhibition has been in the works for about two years.
“We already had some of his exhibitions in the museum, but not this one,” said Zies. “We’ve always talked about it and it’s a great resource to be here in the Permian Basin. We were able to draw from his collection. “
It’s not the first time the museum has partnered with Porterfield.
“We have been working with Porterfield for several years,” said Zies. “He mentioned that he has a large collection of wedding dresses. It’s been over two years since attempts were made to assemble, prepare, and restore them for the show, and that’s how it came about. There aren’t many people who can do 250 years of textiles for a show. “
Porterfield also owns a Midland boutique store called Cat’s Meow.
“He is also one of the textile appraisers for the roadshows,” said Zies. “So he has this great wealth of knowledge as a textile historian.”
Being able to stay open during the pandemic has been a blessing as Zies says they were able to hold their exhibition shows.
“Fortunately, we were still able to be open with our museum and help people create social distance,” said Zies. “Being able to do something during a pandemic is great because it’s a good show. We’re glad we can still do it and people come and see it. “
The museum has several upcoming exhibitions including Women Artists: Four Centuries of Creativity, which examine works on paper etchings, engravings, lithographs, drawings, watercolors, woodcuts and photographs by some of the most important women artists of the past four years with a selection of 37 examples from the permanent centuries Collection of the Reading Public Museum. The exhibition takes place from March 18th to May 30th.
“We’re borrowing this exhibit from the Pennsylvania Museum of Art,” said Zies. “It’s a cool way of bringing well-known female artists to our institution. We also have our major region shows in May.
The Ellen Noël Art Museum is also hoping for an exhibition from Seattle, Washington, artist Michael Alm titled “Forest For the Tress,” which is scheduled for June 2021.
“We should have it last summer, but because of the pandemic we had to push it back another summer,” said Zies. “He’s got cool outdoor murals so we’ll have some in our gallery.”
Michael Bauer is a sports reporter for Odessa American. He can be reached at email@example.com at 432-333-7772 or on Twitter .