By Michael Gioia
16 Oct 2012
The free exhibition, organized by Kent State University Museum and traveling the U.S., was created in conjunction with a new book released this month, "Rebel Chic," and will be on display in the Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery through Jan. 12, 2013.
"Katharine Hepburn is one of the giants in the history of the performing arts," said Jacqueline Z. Davis, Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleishman executive director of NYPL for the Performing Arts, in a statement. "For her, creating a fully realized character went way beyond the words in the script. She realized the importance that her costume would have in not only defining her character but also drawing the audience into the story. This wonderful exhibition highlights this pivotal skill of a master performer."
"Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen" includes selections from Hepburn's personal collection of performance clothes, featuring gowns from "The Philadelphia Story," "Adam's Rib" and "Long Day's Journey into Night" and casual modern dress from "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and "On Golden Pond."
Stage costumes designed for Hepburn by Valentina, Howard Greer, Cecil Beaton and Jane Greenwood, and film and television costumes by Margaret Furse, Ruth Morley and Noel Taylor are on display in the exhibition. The exhibition also includes pieces from her personal wardrobe — clothing that was worn for publicity appearances, as well as for casual and rehearsal wear.
The Library for the Performing Arts will also host a free program, "Katharine Hepburn: Rebel Chic," Oct. 18 at 6 PM in the Bruno Walter Auditorium. The panel will discuss Hepburn's dual roles as hard-working actress and fashion icon.
Panelists will include Jean Druesedow, the director of the Kent State University Museum and former president of the Costume Society of America; Barbara Cohen-Stratyner, curator of exhibitions at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; Nancy MacDonell, a fashion journalist and author; Judy Samelson, former editor of Playbill magazine; and Kohle Yohannan, historian, curator, and the author of several fashion books, including "Valentina." Druesedow moderates.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. For more information, click here.