February 09, 2016

Special Exhibition Dressing Downton™: Changing Fashion for Changing Times Opens at the Driehaus Museum

CHICAGO, February 9, 2016

Celebrate the sixth and final season of the beloved period drama Downton Abbey®, at Chicago’s Own American Palace, The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

On view from February 9 through May 8, 2016, Dressing Downton™: Changing Fashion for Changing Times features more than 35 costumes from the popular British television series Downton Abbey. The award-winning costumes are produced by renowned London costume house Cosprop Ltd. Many use original fabrics and embellishments from the early 20th century, while others are re-created from old photographs, paintings, patterns, and magazine pictures. The exhibition offers an immersive new perspective on the show’s most memorable characters, both upstairs and down, while chronicling the great changes taking place in Britain during the tumultuous early 20th century.

“It’s fascinating to see the evolution of fashion over the course of four seasons of Downton Abbey,” says Driehaus Museum Guest Curator Ruta Saliklis. “Throughout the exhibition, visitors learn about the historical and cultural influences evident in these visually stunning costumes.”

The costumes are presented in an immersive context, surrounded by the lavish interiors of the Driehaus Museum — once the drawing rooms, living rooms, libraries, and bedrooms of the affluent Nickerson and Fisher families of Chicago. The stories of the Fishers in particular, an urban family of new industry wealth who lived in the house from 1901 to 1914, create a fascinating contrast to the aristocratic lifestyle of the Crawley family in the British countryside.


Presenting Sponsor: WTTW | WFMT
Sustaining Sponsor: Parties & Special Events by Lettuce Entertain You
Supporting Sponsors: Chicago Reader   Sophisticated Living

About the Visitor Center

In anticipation of Dressing Downton’s popularity, the Driehaus Museum will be expanding into the adjacent Murphy Auditorium. The Murphy will act as the Museum’s Visitor Center throughout the run of Dressing Downton.  It will facilitate admissions, provide general guest amenities, and feature a temporary tea room, as well as a guest lounge.  Guests will check in to the Visitor Center area and then enter the Museum to view the exhibition through the adjoining easement.  The Driehaus Museum Store will move in its entirety to the Visitor Center for our guests’ shopping convenience before or after the exhibition. 

About the Driehaus Museum Tea Experiences

Escape and relax in an inviting garden-inspired setting inside the Visitor Center adjacent to the Museum. From February 11 through May 6, 2016, the Driehaus Museum will be offering the opportunity to enjoy a traditional English tea before or after viewing the Dressing Downton exhibition. The tea includes seasonal scones and cake breads, tea sandwiches and a variety of sweets catered exclusively by Parties & Special Events by Lettuce Entertain You® as well as a selection of two specialty teas locally sourced from Chicago purveyor, Rare Tea Cellars. Museum visitors are required to purchase advance tickets online or by phone in order to reserve their seat for tea.

Public Programming during Dressing Downton

To celebrate the exhibition coming to Chicago, and the final season of the popular television series Downton Abbey®, the Driehaus Museum is presenting a selection of special programs. These include author events, a Cole Porter tribute concert, and period-appropriate movie nights, as well as a signature lecture with Downton Abbey set designer Jude Farr sponsored by Northern Trust. To bid our favorite characters farewell, there will also be a Downton Abbey® Members-only series finale viewing party sponsored by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company on March 6, 2016, the evening the last episode airs.

Special Exhibition Faces and Fortunes: Chicago Fashion 1910-1921

To compliment the Dressing Downton exhibition, the Driehaus Museum has curated a special companion historic photograph exhibition, Faces and Fortunes: Chicago Fashion 1910-1921.This exhibition features 15 photographs highlighting the clothing worn by aristocratic Chicagoans during the same time period as Downton Abbey®

About Dressing Downton Tickets

Due to the anticipated popularity of the exhibition, Driehaus Museum visitors will be required to purchase advance tickets online or by phone. Tickets will be available for purchase at DriehausMuseum.org or by calling 312-482-8933, ext. 21. Self-guided admission, an audio tour, and an exhibition guide are included in the price of general admission to Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times.

Dressing Downton™: Changing Fashion for Changing Times is produced by Exhibits Development Group in collaboration with Cosprop Ltd., London, NBCUniversal International Television Production, and Carnival Films.  © 2015 Carnival Film & Television Limited. All Rights Reserved.  The special exhibition is touring North America through 2018.

About the Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Steps away from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum offers visitors a fascinating view of one of the few remaining examples of the palatial homes erected by the wealthy of America’s Gilded Age.  The lavish interiors are complemented by stunning examples of period furniture, decorative arts, stained glass, and period pieces selected from the Driehaus Collection. For more information about the Museum, visit DriehausMuseum.org.

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum
40 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60611

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For all media inquiries regarding Dressing Downton™: Changing Fashion for Changing Times, contact Lindsay Silk-Kremenak, 312-482-8933, ext. 39 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Michelle Molise, 313-549-3137 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Press images for Dressing Downton™: Changing Fashion for Changing Times can be found on the Press section of the Driehaus Museum website.


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