Current Exhibition in the Library Company’s Louise Lux-Sions and Harry Sions Gallery:

Fashioning Philadelphia - The Style of the City, 1720-1940

July 20, 2015–March 4, 2016

Home to modest Quakers, prosperous free blacks, well-heeled international transplants, and working classes of all sorts, Philadelphia was once the country's most cosmopolitan city. Observers remarked that our tastes were as refined as those of Paris and London.

In addition to being known for stylish residents, Philadelphia gained a reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse by the 19th century. Called the “Workshop of the World,” the city supported countless manufacturers producing goods used in the fashion industry. Tanneries, ironworks, and mills made the leather, metal, and cloth that a thriving community of shoemakers, tailors, and milliners fashioned into parasols, hoop skirts, shawls, and hats.

Philadelphia did not just make clothing and accessories, but also shaped American ideas about fashion. The 19th century’s most important fashion magazines, such as Godey’s Lady's Book, were published here and distributed across the country. Chestnut Street became world-renowned as one of the most fashionable retail corridors, where men like retail pioneer John Wanamaker situated their stores. This exhibition tells the largely unheralded story of the city's contributions to the early fashion industry, from the early-18th through the mid-20th century.

The exhibition and its accompanying programming are supported by funds from the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation

 

 

 

 

EXHIBITIONS AVAILABLE ONLINE

 

Online exhibitions are arranged by title, click on image to view.

A United State: American Identity and Memory in the Stereograph

A United State: American Identity and Memory in the Stereograph

Ardent Spirits

Ardent Spirits: The Origins of the American Temperance Movement

Art & Artifacts

Art & Artifacts: Discover the Library Company's Art and Artifact Collection

Benjamin Franklin: Writer and Printer

Benjamin Franklin: Writer and Printer

Benjamin Franklin: Writer and Printer

Black Founders: The Free Black Community in the Early Republic

“Building a City of the Dead: The Creation and Expansion of Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery”

Building a City of the Dead: The Creation and Expansion of Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery

Capitalism by Gaslight: The Shadow Economies of 19th-Century America

Disassembled Daguerreotype and Case, ca. 1859.

 

Catching A Shadow: Daguerreotypes in Philadelphia, 1839-1860

 

Celebrating 40 Years: The Print & Photograph Department, 1971-2011

The Centennial Exhibition

The Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA

Crisis of the Union

The Crisis of the Union: An Electronic Archive of Documents about the Causes, Conduct, and Consequences of the U.S. Civil War

The Emancipation Proclamation: One Step Toward Freedom

Ephemera!

Ephemera!: Featuring the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society

"Everyman His Own Doctor:" Popular Medicine in Early America

"Every Man His Own Doctor:" Popular Medicine in Early America

Endless Amusement: Jesse Lentz VCP Artist-in-Residence Intern, Summer 2012

Faces and Facades

Faces and Facades of Philadelphia: Three Decades of Portraits by John Frank Keith

 

Far from the Path of Virtue: Women on the Margins of Morality in Antebellum America

 

From the Bottom Up

From the Bottom Up: Popular Reading & Writing in the Michael Zinman Collection of Early American Imprints

The Genisis of Republicanism

That’s So Gay: Outing Early America

The Genisis of Republicanism

The Genesis of Republicanism: The Birth and Growth of the Grand Old Party, 1854-1872

The Hook and the Book

The Hook and the Book: The Emergence of Crochet and Knitting in Early American Popular Culture

Ice Skating

Ice Skating in 19th Century America: A Pictorial View

In Disguise

In Disguise: Cross Dressing and Gender Identity

Intersections

Intersections: Scriptures, Prints and Paintings in Antebellum America

John Brown

John A. McAllister's Civil War: The Philadelphia Home Front

John Brown

John Brown: 150 Years from the Raid

The Liberation of Jane Johnson

The Liberation of Jane Johnson

Living Color

Living Color: Collecting Color Plate Books at The Library Company of Philadelphia

Living Color

Mirror of a City: Views of Philadelphia Recently Acquired from the Jay T. Snider Collection

Nineteenth-Century Pharmacists’ Trade Cards from the William H. Helfand Collection

Nineteenth-Century Pharmacists’ Trade Cards from the William H. Helfand Collection

Pennsylvania German Broadsides: Windows into an American Culture

Pennsylvania German Broadsides: Windows into an American Culture

Philadelphia Gothic

Philadelphia Gothic: Murders, Mysteries, Monsters, and Mayhem Inspire American Fiction, 1798-1854

Disassembled Daguerreotype and Case, ca. 1859.

 

Philadelphia on Stone: The First Fifty Years of Commercial Lithography, 1828-1878

 

Portraits of American Women

Portraits of American Women: Women Writers, Women in Religion, and Women of the Republican Court

Richard Allen

Richard Allen: Apostle of Freedom

Risky Business: Winning and Losing in the Early American Economy, 1780-1850

Risky Business: Winning and Losing in the Early American Economy, 1780-1850

“This Extraordinary Woman”: Portraits of Female Curiosities in Early American Print Culture

“This Extraordinary Woman”: Portraits of Female Curiosities in Early American Print Culture