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Nevada Historical Society Presents Textiles In White The Language of Clothing

The exhibit Textiles In White: The Language of Clothing focuses on white textiles from the Nevada State Museum and Nevada Historical Society collections.

The exhibit showcases a variety of white clothing, textiles and accessories from throughout Nevada’s history. In addition, a collection of historic fashion plates, historical photographs from the Society, clothing advertisements and a selection of materials on historic fashion norms, behaviors and etiquette will be on will be on display.

This collaborative project was created by curators Jan Loverin and Shery Hayes-Zorn, who have worked together as colleagues since 1997. It will be on display through July 2, 2011.

“I consider Jan, a great friend and mentor these past 14 years. I was excited that we could work together on a new project,” said Hayes-Zorn. “Clothing speaks to people on many levels and when images are added, it brings an exhibit to life.”

The exhibit will include a man’s white and purple stripe summer morning suit worn by famed Nevada photographer P.E. Larson ca. 1890s, two wedding dresses including one worn by Emily Coffin Ross in 1910 and the other donated by Pat Raycraft Kearns, worn in Belmont, Nevada ca. 1910, a graduation dress worn by Arvine Blundell to her graduation from Sparks High School, June 10,1921 and many others.

“White has long been used as a symbol of purity, virginity, innocence, cleanliness, status, and power,” said Loverin. “It has been associated with cultural ceremonies and rites of passage. Additionally, white has been associated with the wearers age and time of year.”

The Nevada Historical Society is one of seven museums managed by the State Division of Museums and History, an agency of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. The Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs serves Nevada’s citizens and visitors through cultural and information management, presentation and promotion of cultural resources, and education. The Department also includes the State Office of Historic Preservation, Nevada State Library and Archives and the Nevada Arts Council.

Nevada Historical Society, 1650 North Virginia Street, Reno

For more information on the Department of Cultural Affairs, call (775) 687-8323 or visit the department’s website at

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