This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 27 June 2023, 6pm to 8pm
  • Location: In-person only
    Huntingdon Room, King's Manor, Exhibition Square (Map)
  • Audience: Open to alumni, staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Encounters with the materiality of Victorian parasols

Since the late eighteenth century, parasols were a common dress accessory. They are now a curiosity of history. Have you ever held a Victorian parasol? Here is your chance! They could be joyful and fun. The discerning lady of means matched hers to different occasions and outfits and updated them with each changing fashion. They also had the serious purpose of preserving the desired pale complexion.

The manufacturing of these objects supported vast and often exploitative industries with local and global dimensions. Trading networks spanning from South America to the North Atlantic and Eastern Asia supplied materials such as rare woods, silks, baleen (a product of the whaling industry), precious stones, silver, and ivory.

This public workshop will bring you up-close to several objects that have never been shown in public. Join our panel of craftspeople and researchers for an exploration of the various ways in which the materials of these fashion accessories can be studied. In an accessible and entertaining format, our specialists will offer new insights into studying and working with these materials. They will show that the expertise of a lace-maker, bone-carver, and material scientist are just as relevant for a richer understanding of fashion history as that of dress and art historians.

Speakers are:

  • Dr Cordula van Wyhe (Department of History of Art, University of York);
  • Gil Dye (independent researcher and lace maker);
  • Dr Chris Holland (Senior Lecturer in Natural Materials, the University of Sheffield);
  • Rick Sutton (bone carver).

Complimentary refreshments included.

This event is presented by York Art History Collaborations and the Digital Museum of Dress Accessories (DMDA), the Department of History of Art, University of York, in association with the Yorkshire Country House Partnership (YCHP).

Want to go further? Historic Country Houses are a great place for studying fashion history in all its many dimensions! Visit the Yorkshire Country House Partnership website for more information on local houses and their collections.

See also:

One Object, Many Voices: Fashion History Up Close: Looking at Georgian Fashion from the Inside Out at Fairfax House, York, on Wednesday 12 July