Maria Wrońska-Friend
James Cook University, Cairns, Australia


Clothes are an excellent medium to tell human stories and engage with museum visitors. They can reveal a multitude of information about personal attitudes, feelings and emotions, aperson’s identity, customs, beliefs, social standards and ethical values of the day. Due to this personal element inherent in the clothes, museum visitors frequently relate more instinctively to dress than to other types of objects.

In order to communicate this close, intimate relationship effectively, if possible, it is worth presenting the exhibition text using the original words of the owners of the dress, witnesses of the events on which the garments were worn, or social commentators. This approach can be successfully used in the presentation of contemporary as well as historical clothes, but it is applicable only in those cases where the personal, verbatim statements are available.

  • Contemporary dress – the Hmong: refugees from Laos
  • Personal narrative and historical collections
  • How to document personal history of dress
  • Further sources
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