Threads of Our Community: A History of the Avenir Museum is a virtual exhibition of the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, created in part with funding from a CARES grant during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The concept for the exhibition was originally developed before the pandemic hit and planned to open with a physical exhibition in Fall 2020. Unable to host any events in physical spaces, the virtual exhibition then became an avenue for bringing humanities and education to the public. The exhibition is a collection of digitized items showcasing the growth Avenir Museum has undergone. The Avenir began as a small teaching collection in the 1950s and has since grown into a collection of approximately 25,000 historic clothing and textile artifacts, housed in a state-of-the-art museum facility. This digital collection consists of materials from the virtual exhibition dated 1986 to 2010 and including photographs, brochures, catalogs, newspaper articles, and photographic slides.

Recent Submissions

  • Megan Osborne standing among collection drawers 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2015
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of Collections Manager Megan Osborne standing among stacks of collection drawers waiting to be unpacked into the newly expanded Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising in 2015.
  • Doreen Beard unpacking books 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2015
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of Director Doreen Beard unpacking books in the new reading room of the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising in 2015.
  • Mover unloading a rack of garments 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2008
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of a mover unloading a rack of historic garments into the new storage facility in the University Center for the Arts annex building in 2008.
  • Mover unloading collection drawers 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2015
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of a mover unloading collection drawers into the newly completed Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising in 2015.
  • Susan Torntore at classroom construction site 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2014
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of Curator Susan Torntore standing at the corner of the new classroom on the construction site of the museum building expansion in 2014.
  • Jack Curfman and Megan Osborne planning exhibit 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2015
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of faculty member emeritus Jack Curfman and Assistant Curator and Collections Manager Megan Osborne planning the installation of the “Tiny Bits and Pieces” exhibit in 2015. Curfman and Osborne are examining a ...
  • Silk road artisans of Uzbekistan exhibit installation 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2010
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of “Silk Road Artisans of Uzbekistan” exhibit installation, held in the Avenir Gallery in the University Center for the Arts in the fall of 2010. Several textile pieces are displayed next to each other.
  • Jack Townes, Linda Carlson, and student moving mannequins 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2008
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of Jack Townes, Curator Linda Carlson, and an unidentified student moving mannequins out of the Gifford Building in 2008. All three are holding mannequins in bubble wrap, posing outside a building.
  • Tying the knot exhibit installation 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2017
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of the “Tying the Knot” exhibit installations, held in the large gallery of the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising in the spring of 2017. Dresses on mannequins are displayed in front of large photographs ...
  • Allure of the Moroccan caftan exhibit installation 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2017
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of caftans in the exhibit installation “The Allure of the Moroccan Caftan,” held in The Richard Blackwell Gallery in the fall of 2017. A violet caftan with embroidery down the length of the front is positioned ...
  • Orange exhibit installation 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2018
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of the exhibit installation, “ORANGE: A Short History of Orange in Fashion,” held in the Richard Blackwell Gallery in the spring of 2018. Several orange garments on mannequins are lined up in a display case.
  • Linda Carlson preparing drawers 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2008
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of Curator Linda Carlson preparing drawers for the collection move out of the Gifford Building in 2008.
  • Handkerchiefs exhibit installation 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2018
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of a selection of handkerchiefs in the exhibit installation, “Nothing to Sneeze at: One Woman – 1,107 Handkerchiefs,” held in the Avenir Gallery in the University Center for the Arts in the spring of 2018 Several ...
  • Linda Carlson and student with Mr. Blackwell dress 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2010
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of a student assisting Linda Carlson with photography of a Mr. Blackwell dress from the collection in 2010. Both are standing next to a mannequin, pulling the skirt of a dress down over a petticoat layer.
  • Rose Gorrell making a hat storage mount 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2019
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of graduate student Rose Gorrell making a storage mount for a hat from the collection during a class in 2019.
  • Megan Osborne and Linda Carlson at Avenir Museum opening gala 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2016-01-29
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of Assistant Curator and Collections Manager Megan Osborne and Curator Emeritus Linda Carlson posing at the opening gala for the new Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising building on January 29, 2016.
  • Kevin Kissell speaking to class 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2016
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of faculty member Kevin Kissell speaking about a historic garment from the collection to his fashion illustration class at the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising in 2016. Kissell is standing next to a ...
  • Susan Torntore and students documenting textiles 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2015
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of students assisting Curator Susan Torntore with documentation of a new donation of textiles to the collection in 2015. Students are working over garments on tables, and Torntore is looking at a spreadsheet.
  • Students in Tom Lundberg's fiber arts class 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2018
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of students in faculty member Tom Lundberg’s fiber arts class researching in the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising’s reading room in 2018.
  • Students documenting textile fragments 

    Author(s):Unidentified photographer
    Date Issued:2002
    Format:born digital; digital photographs
    Photograph of students documenting textile fragments from the collection during a class in 2002. Two students wearing face masks are seated at a table with textile fragments.

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