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Royal Ontario Museum Senior Curator wins prestigious Costume Society of America award


The Royal Ontario Museum is pleased to announce that Dr. Alexandra Palmer, the ROM’s Nora E. Vaughan Senior Curator has won the Costume Society of America’s (CSA) prestigious Millia Davenport Publication Award 2020 for Christian Dior: History and Modernity, 1947-1957. The award recognizes excellence in scholarship in the study of costume in a published book or exhibition catalogue that makes a significant contribution to the study of costume. Dr. Palmer also won the award in 2009 for Dior: A New Look, A New Enterprise (1947-57), a feat only achieved by two other scholars in the CSA’s 30-year history.

Drawing from close analyses of the Royal Ontario Museum’s haute couture collection, Christian Dior: History and Modernity, 1947-1957 explores the style, cut, and feel of Christian Dior’s New Look in a lavishly detailed exploration of the timeless designs by the modern couture master. Dr. Palmer wedded extensive research, sketches, and documentary material with the rich archives of Christian Dior Héritage, Paris, to create an essential read for those interested in fashion, art, culture, and history. The Costume Society of America’s jury praised the book as “a glorious document of a collection that sets the bar for how museums should write about clothes - acknowledging all parts of the creation process - designer, makers, public relations, marketing, and consumers. This book makes the House of Dior three-dimensional"

Christian Dior: History and Modernity, 1947-1957 is a companion publication to the ROM original exhibition, Christian Dior. Following a highly successful run at the ROM, the exhibition travelled to the China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou and will be presented at the McCord Museum in Montreal later this year.

About the Author
Alexandra Palmer is the Nora E. Vaughan Senior Curator, Global Fashion & Textiles at the Royal Ontario Museum where she responsible for over 44,000 artifacts in the collection of western fashion and textiles. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the University of Toronto. Dr. Palmer has curated many exhibitions, including Christian Dior (2017) and Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting (2014) that received the 2015 Richard Martin Exhibition Award. She has contributed to numerous museum catalogues, scholarly books, and journals as well as authored the award-winning books, Dior: A New LookA New Enterprise 1947–1957 (2009) and Couture & Commerce: The Transatlantic Fashion Trade in the 1950s (2001).

About the Publication
Christian Dior: History and Modernity, 1947—1957
By Alexandra Palmer
With photographs by Laziz Hamani and patterns by Berta Pavlov
Publication Date: November 30, 2018
8 x10, 280 pages, fully illustrated
Royal Ontario Museum and Hirmer Publishers

Opened in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum showcases art, culture and nature from around the world and across the ages. Among the top 10 cultural institutions in North America, Canada’s largest and most comprehensive museum is home to a world-class collection of 13 million art objects and natural history specimens, featured in 40 gallery and exhibition spaces. As the country’s preeminent field research institute and an international leader in new and original findings, the ROM plays a vital role in advancing our understanding of the artistic, cultural and natural world. Combining its original heritage architecture with the contemporary Daniel Libeskind-designed Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, the ROM serves as a national landmark, and a dynamic cultural destination in the heart of Toronto for all to enjoy.

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