Henry Art Gallery
Thursday, June 7, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Not Unto Ourselves Alone Do We Dress: A Conversation with Ann Poulson and Christian Alborz Oldham

From birth until death, our every moment is subtly accompanied by use of textiles. It’s not often that we give much thought to these textiles that, particularly in the form and shape of clothing, undeniably act as signifiers of such variables as class, occupation, and cultural affiliation. Who was responsible for their design and manufacture? On which historical models were they based? What can we glean from them in regards to the society in which they were created? What kind of value was assigned to them, either during their useful lives or in their afterlives in museum collections?

Ann Poulson, Associate Curator of Collections, has been invited by MFA student Christian Alborz Oldham to join in a discussion of these concepts as illustrated by items they have selected together from the Henry Art Gallery’s Costume and Textiles collection.

Ann Poulson is the Associate Curator of Collections at the Henry Art Gallery.  She has earned degrees in Art History, Fashion History and Museum Practice, and Modern British History; and held positions at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Sotheby’s, and the National Portrait Gallery, London, among others, before joining the team at the Henry in March 2018. 

Christian 光雲 Alborz Oldham--If I am wearing a shirtdress, I will pull it up, making sure to grab the back half and pull it around my waist, and then sit down. If I am wearing a suit without a belt on the trousers, and there is no coat hanger, I will probably stand. If I am wearing a suit without a belt on the trousers, and there is a coat hanger, I will probably remove my jacket, and sit. If I am wearing a suit without a belt, and there is no coat hanger, I will probably stand. If I am wearing a suit without a belt, and there is a coat hanger, I will remove my jacket, and sit. If I am wearing a trench coat, and there is no coat hanger, or the stall is too small to comfortably remove the coat, I will stand with my legs bowed, so as to catch the left and right sides of the coat with my knees against the fabric of my pants, and stand...

This program is a result of the Henry’s invitation to artists exhibiting in the 2018 University of Washington MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition to utilize public programming as a generative tool for expanding upon themes and concepts found within their work.

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