Sunday, January 26, 2014

Upcoming Lecture Series: The Social History of Dress in 19th Century Canada

Do you have some old family photographs but don’t know when they were taken? Do you know some of the major fashion innovations and stylistic changes in the 19th century that can be of help in dating old photographs?

If you want to learn more, please join me for this two-part lecture series at the North York Central Library branch in Toronto. This course is intended as a primer on the social history of dress seen in 19th century photographs from the Victorian age to the Edwardian age, with a special emphasis on Canadian history.

Victorian photography offers a glimpse into another time. Not long after photography was invented in 1839, the medium allowed families and individuals to preserve their likeness in a matter of minutes. For the first time in history, all classes of society could stop time, preserving the reflected light of their image for generations to come. These images are embedded with clues related to codes of dress and behaviour marking them as mirrors of their age.

The lectures will be illustrated and there will be handouts.  Weather permitting, I hope to bring in a small selection of 19th century artifacts, such as fashion journals, garments and accessories, as well as examples of Victorian photographs including a daguerreotype, tintype, carte des visites, and cabinet cards. To close, there will be a discussion on best practices for the care of old photographs and extant garments to assist with preserving precious family artifacts.

The lectures will be held on Tuesday, February 18th and 25th from 2-4 pm.

Advance registration is required. For further information, email or visit the Ontario Geneological Society website.