A Visit to Athens, Georgia

Submitted by Nancy J. Hollister

On Wednesday, June 12, 2013, TASA members experienced another fantastic event.  After carpooling to Athens, the day began at the home of Erika Lewis including coffee/tea, fruit and delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Erika gave a tour through her beautiful Victorian home, discussing the displays of her work and collections from around the world.

Next, the TASA members met Dr. Jose Blanco who made a presentation on the work that he is doing at the University of Georgia, Department of Family and Consumer Science.  Dr. Blanco’s responsibilities include the historic clothing and textile collection.  He discussed the previous exhibits that have been held at the school, the challenges of collecting and storing the garments and accessories, and his vision for the future.  He demonstrated many examples of the collection spanning several centuries.  The visit to the department was concluded with a tour of the storage and working areas of the department.

After lunch on the campus, the TASA members toured an exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Art which was called  “Fashion Independent–The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor”.  Ann Taylor (1910-2007) was clearly a woman ahead of her time–a licensed pilot, an Olympic skier, championship tennis player, skiwear designer and above all a style icon.  The collection spans the time period after World War II through the 1970s and includes approximately 200 pieces from some of the most important couturiers  of the 20th century including, Mariano Fortuny, Cristobal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy and Charles James.  A 30 minute film was also shown about Ann Taylor’s life seen through the eyes of her son and friends.

As the group carpooled back to Atlanta, they reflected on the exciting, fun-filled day in Athens and the appreciation they had for the hard work by all of those involved in making it possible.  With special thanks to our leader Gail Goodwin, to Erika Lewis who opened her home and made all the arrangements including free parking, to Dr. Blanco for sharing his collection and knowledge, and to the docents at the Georgia Museum of Art who herded us through the exhibit.   Here are some images from the trip:

 

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