Costumes

Left: Photo of the dress from a Bonhams auction listing. Right: Father Gilbert Hartke with the gifted garment

There’s No Place Like Home—but What’s the Right Place for Dorothy's Dress From 'The Wizard of Oz'?

Donated to the head of Catholic University’s drama department in 1973, the garment's ownership is now at the center of a legal dispute

Actress Blake Lively wore a Statue of Liberty–inspired gown whose copper bow unfurled into a blue-green train.

Gilded Age Excess Lived on at the 2022 Met Gala

Celebrities paid tribute to the era of extravagance through gold-adorned ensembles, splashy headdresses and more

The Queen's Ball, a ticketed experience from Netflix tied to the second season of "Bridgerton," is just one example of modern audiences' enthusiasm for the Regency era.

Based on a True Story

Why Are Regency-Era Shows Like 'Bridgerton' So Popular?

An Austen expert and a period drama TV critic reflect on the enduring appeal of romance series set in turn-of-the-19th-century England

A western-style performance outfit worn by Patsy Cline and sewed by her mother. The suit features record-shaped patches stitched with the titles of some of Cline's records.


 

Women Who Shaped History

When Patsy Cline Broke Through as a Country Music Phenom

The recording star sported a homemade suit as spectacular as her voice

A publicity still from The Wizard of Oz. A lecturer at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. recently stumbled onto one of the costumes worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film.

Cool Finds

Judy Garland's Long-Lost 'Wizard of Oz' Dress Rediscovered After Decades

A lecturer at Catholic University discovered the rare costume wrapped in a trash bag in a drama department office

An oil-cloth cape worn by a young Republican during a late-night, torch-lit campaign march ahead of the 1880 presidential election.

When Young Americans Marched for Democracy Wearing Capes

In 1880, a new generation helped decide the closest popular vote in U.S. history

James Corden is no common place mouser as he takes on the role of Bustopher Jones, "The Cat we all greet as he walks down the street; his coat of fastidious black."

Purrfect or A-Paw-Ling? Why 'Cats' Still Gives Some Theatergoers Paws

Experts disagree on the hit musical's merits; four of the original production’s slinky, feline costumes are held by the Smithsonian

Celine Dion arrives for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

How Well Did This Year's Met Gala Exemplify ‘Camp’?

The concept of camp goes far beyond what Susan Sontag wrote in her seminal essay

The giants and big heads have been a hit among Folklife Festival-goers, says performer Jesus Bach Marques. "They're amazed by our giants! For most of them, it's something really new."

Catalonia

For Hundreds of Years, Papier-Mâché Has Lent a Surreal Face to Catalan Culture

Street performers disguised as Giants and Big Heads blend reverence with ribaldry at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The chevrons on the Panther's early suit, and the tessellated triangles on his later model, hint at the "sacred geometry" of triangular forms common to several African cultures.

King T’Challa’s Black Panther Suit, a Bold Statement of Afrofuturist Pride, Comes to the Smithsonian

Pounce on the opportunity to celebrate contemporary African-African filmmaking at the National Museum of African American History and Culture this fall

Civil War reenactors fire a salute in a public parade.

Civil War Reenactments Were a Thing Even During the Civil War

These 'practice battles' are the root of today's Civil War reenactors

A suit worn by actor Lin-Manuel Miranda for the popular Broadway hit Hamilton  and a mid-1800s portrait of Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton by Daniel Huntington arrive at the Smithsonian.

A Portrait of Eliza Hamilton and a Costume Worn by Lin-Manuel Miranda for 'Hamilton' Arrives at the Smithsonian

Paying homage to the spirit of philanthropy, the museum honors the Eliza Project and the Graham Windham orphanage

The sequins on the shoes are so delicate that conservators clean them with a Q-tip and a little cold water.

How Dorothy's Ruby Slippers Came to the Smithsonian

A successful Kickstarter Campaign funds efforts to bring back their sparkle and keep them ruby

Freeman Fisher Gosden and Charles Correll, c. 1935 (detail), as "Amos and Andy"

Commentary

The Long, Unfortunate History of Racial Parody in America

Art historian Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw discusses the painful performative origins

Ray Bolger's widow, Gwendolyn, donated the costume to the Smithsonian Institution after the comedian's death in 1987.

Smithsonian Will Stretch to Save Scarecrow’s Costume, Too

Turns out the Ruby Slippers were just the beginning of an epic journey of cultural preservation

Girls are saying "let it go" to princess costumes in favor of superheroes.

Trending Today

Kids Ditch Princess Costumes in Favor of Superheroes This Halloween

For the first time in over a decade, princesses falter on the charts

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love #TheShirt

Cool Finds

Mr. Darcy’s Wet Shirt is Coming to the United States

It’s the costume that launched an entire generation of Jane Austen lovers

The glamorous actress in the 1940s.

How Katharine Hepburn Became a Fashion Icon

Celebrate the Hollywood star with a look at her stellar costumes

The first official exhibition exclusively of Star Wars costumes, "Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Wars and the Power of Costume," opens at Seattle's EMP Museum on January 31, 2015.

Inside the Three-Decade Evolution of "Star Wars" Costumes

A Smithsonian traveling exhibition offers an unprecedented glimpse at costumes from a galaxy far, far away

Tony Award winner Geoffrey Holder's ingenious design used a skillet to complete the Tinman’s hat in the 1975 Broadway production of The Wiz.

Breaking Ground

The Tinman's Hat From "The Wiz" Offers Just a Hint of the Musical's Beating Heart

When the all-black musical production opened on Broadway 40 years ago, critics scoffed, but audiences embraced it

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