The Quinn Hall Textile Gallery 

Fashioning East and West:

Investigating the Cross-Cultural Exchange of Materials, Methods, and Meanings

This exhibition has been designed, curated, and installed by students studying fashion and textile history and conservation in the department's master's program.

The textiles and garments on display were initially researched by students in a material culture studies course taught by Dr. Linda Welters. The material culture approach investigates the relationship between people and their possessions, examining aspects of materiality, making, history, and preservation.  Material cultural studies are typically multi-disciplinary, blending ideas and approaches from history, art history, anthropology, archeology, and beyond.

In this course, garments from China, Japan, and Korea were studied in tandem with garments made in or for  Western European and North American markets that borrowed design elements from the traditional dress of these cultures. Students in the department's exhibition practicum course, under the direction of instructor Rebecca Kelly, reviewed this research. They considered numerous fine arts, fashion and textile exhibitions that had explored themes of “East Meets West.” Exhibitions have often looked at exchange as being unidirectional.

The exhibition’s curatorial team expanded their thinking and consideration of these textiles and garments by looking at them from both global and regional perspectives; discussing design exchange not just from East to West but exploring the more complex and reciprocal exchanges between each culture. We also have considered the journey that these textiles took as they made their way to Rhode Island to become part of the university’s study collection. Objects in this exhibit can be seen on this omeka site in the collection "Fashion East and West."

The Quinn Hall Gallery is located on the first floor of Quinn Hall, 55 Lower College Road, Kingston,RI. 

Quinn Hall Textile Gallery will be is open Monday through Friday until May 31. Beginning June i, the Textile Gallery will be open Tuesday and Thursday until September 3, 2024. The gallery will be open Monday through Friday beginning September 3, and throughout the Fall semester.


Previous Exhibits

Dressed for Business: A Retrospective Look at the Suit

and Beyond (1923 - 2023)

Rebecca Kelly and Susan J. Jerome, curators

"What's In A [Designer] Name? An Investigation of Twentieth-Century Fashion Labels" 2022

"THE KALEIDOSCOPE OF TEXTILES: Dress as Multi-Dimensional Cultural Documents" 2020 - 2021

"One American Family - A Tale of North and South" 2019

“Feminism and Fashion of the Twentieth Century”    2018

“125th anniversary of the founding of URI”     2016

“Director’s Choice from the Historic Textile and Costume Collection”    2015

“The Rise of the Readymade Apparel Industry”     2014

“The Other White Dress”     2014

“I Do. Wedding Fashion 1749 to 1975”     2013

“From Kitchen to Kitsch: Aprons from the Seventeenth Century to the Present”     2011/2012

“Heritage Preserved: Five Rhode Island Families”     2010

“Elephants, Paisleys, and Plaids: Indian Influence on Western Textile Design”    2009

“Reflections of Modernism: Textiles from the Tirocchi Dressmakers’ Shop, 1915-1947”   2008

“Keep Me Warm”     2008

“China: the Power of Design”     2007

“Fashion with a Flourish: Embellishments From 1850-1940”     2007

“Undress: At-Home Wear Through the Centuries”     2006

“These are a few of my favorite things”  Faculty and Staff Choices     2006

“Purple: Celebrating 150 Years of Synthetic Dyes”     2006

“Nature’s Dyes: Clothing and Textiles From Around the Globe”     2005/2006

“History in Stitches. Six Centuries of Embroidery”     2005

“At the Crossing: Midwestern Amish Crib Quilts and the Intersection of Cultures”     2004

“American Woven “Coverlids” Coverlets from the Historic Textile and Costume Collection"     2004

“What We Wore: Clothing from 1976-79”     2003

“Lace: the Elegant Fabric”     2003

“From Exotica into Americana”     2003

“Dan Cooper”     2002

“Silk”     2001

"Geometrics in Fashion: Art Deco Influence on Textile and Apparel Design"     2001

“Tissues of Dreams: Dressmaker Patterns”     1999

“Threads of History”     Inaugural Exhibit 1999