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Fashion and Satire

February 14, 2017

Fashion and Satire - Professore Jill CareyIn June 2014, Professor Jill Carey, M.Ed, viewed a group of drawings by Orson Lowell in the collection of Jean and Fred Sharf.  It was then her curiosity was sparked. "What immediately interested me in the illustrations," says Carey, "was the humorous manner in which people were depicted, including their fashion styles and how this information informs viewers about society life during one of the most progressive periods in American history."  She then embarked on a journey to establish the social context and satirical intention of the works of Orson Lowell and Charles Dana Gibson, and assembled a group of Lasell fashion students to assist her in her research.

Over the course of two years, Carey and her students underwent extensive research by carefully studying vintage fashion books, Fashion and Satire - Book Coverinvestigating the Lasell Collection, and exploring the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts.  Their work was originally supposed to be featured at a local museum, but the agreement fell through.  Undeterred, Carey reached out to the Preservation Society in Newport, Rhode Island, where she met with Ashley Householder, the associate curator of the Preservation Society.  Impressed with Carey and her students' work, Householder received board approval to open Carey's Fashion and Satire exhibit at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.  It opened January 27, 2017, and will run through May 7th.  Meanwhile, Carey's professional partner, Frederic Sharf, met with Museum of the Society of Illustrators in New York City, who agreed to allow the exhibit to run September 5th to October 28th.  To accompany the exhibits, Sharf, Carey, and Carey's students collectively published the book Fashion and Satire: The Drawings of Orson Byron Lowell & Charles Dana Gibson.  

Carey credits a portion of the success of Fashion and Satire to her students.  "Having the opportunity to work on this project with a team of dedicated Lasell Fashion students has been a teaching dream," says Carey, "Each student has brought a unique skill set to this Connected Learning initiative while being exposed to the educational value of professional partnerships."  

Prof. Carey's work was featured on Channel 5's Chronicle, Thursday February 16, 2017, which you can watch here.