History Museum of Mobile exhibit to feature costumes from TV’s “Downton Abbey”

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – The History Museum of Mobile is already looking forward to 2023. The museum announced that its next major exhibition will feature the clothes from the popular TV series Downton Abbey.

Following the first of the year – Dressing the Abbey – will feature 35 award-winning costumes featured in the TV series, which ran for six seasons and was followed by two blockbuster films.

“We expect huge crowds to come to see this wardrobe – the wardrobe worn by the actors on the Downton Abbey series. We think there’s going to be a really big and positive response,” said Dr. Meg McCrummen Fowler, director of the History Museum of Mobile.

The response on the museum’s Facebook page was overwhelming – some of the comments read:

“We should see it.”

“Yes, definitely!”

“I know you loved Downton Abbey! That’s cool!

“We need to figure out how to make this a book club field trip.”

The museum is curating its own exhibition that runs alongside the Downton costumes – and digs deep into her closet to show Port City fashions from the same period.

“This looks at the same time period — roughly from the 1890s to the 1930s — and shows what was happening in Mobile during that time. Therefore, from our own collection of over 117,000 objects, we selected artifacts – mostly clothes – that point to the same cultural shifts and changes in Mobile,” said Fowler.

And every true fan knows – a Downton Abbey exhibition wouldn’t be complete without high tea. Dressing the Abbey officially opens on January 28th and runs through April 22nd.

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A full calendar of events surrounding the exhibition will be released shortly, including experiences such as the social ritual of ‘high tea’, which featured prominently at Downton Abbey.

Here is the official press release from the History Museum of Mobile:

HISTORY MUSEUM OF MOBILE is pleased to announce the next major exhibition, Dressing of the AbbeyOpening January 2023. Dressing of the Abbey weaves together fashion, history and pop culture in one exhibition of costumes Downton Abbey™one of the most watched television dramas in the world.

Showcasing 35 costumes worn by men and women, the exhibition invites visitors to explore the turmoil of the Edwardian era and the cultural impact of the First World War. From lush country tweeds to sumptuous evening gowns and starched footmen’s liveries, the textiles in this exhibition speak of a moment of transformation in art, fashion, design and history.

“The exhibition approaches textile design as a means of analyzing how art reflects changing societal and cultural traditions,” said Meg McCrummen Fowler, director of the History Museum of Mobile. “Visitors will see how textile design reflected and produced changing ideas about society, culture, manners and history during the transformational phase of Western history.”

The exhibition can be seen from January 28 to April 22, 2023 at the History Museum of Mobile.

From the History Museum of Mobile’s own collection of over 117,000 objects, the museum is curating a supplementary exhibition, Dressing Mobile: 1920s fashion in the port city. It will take place simultaneously and will show the transformation of mobile society and culture from 1890 to 1930. The museum is also opened Lay the table, a hands-on exhibition of formal table settings, menus, tea customs and more.

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A range of programs will enrich the visitor experience and increase the educational value of the exhibition. From involving local artists and designers in lectures, exploring the performative rituals surrounding tea drinking, designing creative tablescapes for one’s own home, to teaching ballroom dancing – the planned program is designed in such a way that there are meaningful connections to both the exhibition themes as well as to the exhibition themes enables community.

The winning costumes in Dressing of the Abbey were developed by London costume house Cosprop Ltd. produced.

The History Museum of Mobile is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The exhibition is developed and distributed by the Exhibits Development Group in association with Cosprop Ltd., London, England. The exhibition is not endorsed, sponsored, licensed, associated or otherwise associated with the Downton Abbey™ television series, NBC Universal International, Carnival Film and Television Limited or their agents.

About the Historical Museum of Mobile:

The history of Mobile begins in the History Museum of Mobile. Over 117,000 objects weave the rich history of Mobile and the surrounding area, from the prehistoric past to the present. Located in the heart of downtown, the History Museum of Mobile operates three campuses: the main exhibits are in the Old City Hall-Southern Market building at 111 South Royal Street; Colonial Fort Condé is located at 150 South Royal Street; and the Phoenix Fire Museum is located at 203 South Claiborne Street.

In 2020, the History Museum of Mobile announced a partnership with the Alabama Historical Commission, the Mobile County Commission, and the City of Mobile to build, curate, and operate it Klotilde: The exhibition in the heritage house under construction in historic Africatown. The exhibition tells the story of Klotilde and the remarkable men, women and children who founded the Africatown community.

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