If you are a history enthusiast and also enjoy fashion then here is a suggestion for an interesting day trip. Just head to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and visit the University Museum’s exhibit “The Great War: Women and Fashion in a World at War, 1912-1922” which is running now through July 5. Kent is approximately a 45 minute drive from Cleveland.
A Bit About World War I Once called “The war to end all wars,” World War I recently commemorated its 100th anniversary (It started on July 28, 1914.) Labeled as one of the deadliest conflicts in history, more than 16 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of World War I. The War paved the way for major political changes in the world and forever altered the roles of women in society.
Women were called to the workplace to contribute to the war effort and for the first time served in the armed forces. More than 12,000 women served in the Navy during World War I. It was soon after the War that women received the right to vote.
“The Great War: Women and Fashion in A World at War, 1912- 1922” Giving visitors a glimpse of women’s lives at home, at play and now at work during a 10 year time span, this exhibit features fashions that show the shifting roles of women in society during that period. Nearly 30 ensembles are highlighted in this exhibit including a naval uniform, a nursing uniform, fashionable day and evening wear, bathing suits, athletic clothing, accessories like hats and shoes and even a selection of undergarments.
The collection shows the change to shorter skirts and looser, less confining clothing and more suit -like fashions developed for practical reasons. This new era of fashion saw items like petticoats and corsets go by the wayside.
Also featured in this historical exhibit are several propaganda posters including some for recruitment and some which ask the women on the homefront to save and conserve materials and food.
The Kent State Museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children under 18.
For more information about “The Great War: Women and Fashion in a World at War, 1912-1922” exhibit, call 330-672-3450 or get online at www.kent.edu/museum.
The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Dr. in Kent, Ohio. It is approximately a 45 minute drive from Cleveland.