Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

3 Generations Visit “Uncommon Threads: Stories of Missouri Brides” at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park (near my new home)—and go to the playground afterwards

My niece took a break from her work with the National Consumer Law Center and brought her two daughters over to view the bridal dress exhibit at the Missouri History Museum (click here for beautiful pictures from the exhibit) (Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park). Amazingly, it's free!

The brochure describes this exhibition thusly:
Beyond the workmanship of silk and lace, a wedding gown tells the story of the woman who wore it and the time in which she lived. Wedding dresses, photographs, and paintings...explore fashion and customs through the years while bringing to vivid life the personal stories of 19th-and 20th century Missouri women who wore these dresses on their wedding day.

What a review of women's fashions and by inference the role women were expected to play...from the late 1800s through the 1970s. From the bustle and the corset to an elegant crocheted pants suit, radical in any setting at one time...how much more so to wear as one's bridal costume? There's a trunk filled with trousseau items...and, possibly my favorite, a couple dressed for an Afro-centric ceremony in flowing robes.

Especially fun was going in a family girl-group...my niece and I each remembered our own wedding dresses and their functions in our lives either before or after the actual ceremony. For my first wedding, Mother and I made mine in 1968 when I was 19...out of white patterned and textured polyester from a vogue pattern. I often wore it afterwards. The girls wondered what Grammy Julia wore for her weddings. M. shopped for the dress she might get married in, but was definite that she wouldn't be wearing a corset.

Afterwards, we all four wandered over to the slickest playground I've seen outside of a magazine (behind the Forest Park visitor's center). There's even a braille map of the playground at the entrance, lots of fun climbing structures with a springy surface to walk on and land on. I sure could have used this during my years of jumping out swings and skinning my knees.

Most popular was a gushing plume of water the children ran in and out of on this hot day until their clothes clung to their bodies, completely sodden...a toddler stipped out of her diaper and stood there in the heart of the water's spray...ah, the rapture! Until her mother, embarrassed, prompted her in the rules of sharing and simply running straight through.

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4 Responses »

  1. What a rich experience for three generations of family "girls" to visit such a feminine exhibit together.

  2. Your site is a special common sense site which is a pleasure to wander in. We could use more like it with with its ease and comfort of travel. Your father is an inspiring writer. His work reaches across the miles. I keep stopping by, as time allows which serge me on.

    Vjay

  3. Meeting in St. Louis is proving an adventure for us, your readers! I loved the tour of wedding dresses from the exhibit and devoured all pictures and words...thank you for making it accessible. Swing on!

  4. It's fun to leisurely read through your blog like the Metro newpaper activities and catch up on your life now in St. Louis.

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