The Museum at FIT presented the exhibition A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk from September 13, 2013 – January 4, 2014. It was the first museum exhibition to explore in depth the significant contributions to fashion made by LGBTQ (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer) individuals over the past 300 years. In the very early stages of planning this exhibition, curators Fred Dennis, senior curator of costume, and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, envisioned, and fund-raised for, a strong and dynamic educational exhibition website. It was imperative that this special exhibition had a significant web presence, not only for the run of the show but, that could live on past the closing of the physical exhibition. The Museum at FIT is grateful to FIT Trustee Richard Anderman for generously funding for the development of the exhibition’s educational website.
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The site features a diverse array of content. The grid page points to the various sections of the exhibition.
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Each grid image opens up to reveal a section overview with the option to view “more images” in that section. Each image selected tells a story with a short chat.
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Other special features of the website include: an interactive timeline, a social media feed with calls to action on our various platforms (of note was a special facebook page for the exhibition), specially produced videos of folks talking about being gay and their relationship to fashion (Anna Blume’s video being particularly moving), highlights from our two-day education symposium, and links to a host of other resources, such as a lesson plan, syllabi, bibliography, exhibitions reviews, and a music play list, curated by artist Scott Ewalt, featuring songs from the 1920s to today that address LGBTQ life in various ways.
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“For many years, gays and lesbians were hidden from history. By acknowledging the historic influence of gay designers, and by emphasizing the important role that fashion and style have played within the LGBTQ community, we see how central gay culture has been to the creation of modern fashion.” ~ Valerie Steele