Analysis and characterization of 1930s evening dresses in a university meseum collection

Marilyn R. DeLong, Kristi Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose was to demonstrate a process to characterize a segment of a university collection from an object base using an existing aesthetic framework. A collection consisting of 160 evening dresses from the 1930s were analyzed for their repetitive and defining features and their dispersion throughout the decade. Dresses were selected as examples of the defining features and analyzed using the concept of structuring within DeLong's (1998) framework of visual analysis. This process demonstrated how aesthetics could be applied to raise awareness of artifacts within the collection. The result was a characterization of this 1930s collection in terms of defining features that included structuring and the visual result of an integration of layout, surface, and light and shadow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-122
Number of pages24
JournalClothing and Textiles Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004


  • 1930s
  • Aesthetics
  • Artifact analysis
  • Historic costume
  • University museum collection


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