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The Indiana University Center for Art + Design
welcomes an official College of Arts and Sciences Beauty Themester exhibition presented by the Sage Collection. Eye of the Beholder: Fashion and Transforming Ideals of Beauty will open Friday, October 14 and continue through Friday, November 18. An opening reception will be held on Friday, October 14, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, with curator's remarks at 6:30.

Ideals of beauty and body shape are varied and often unattainable. Dictated by “fashion gatekeepers”, the stylish female form cycles between a Classical column, a floating hourglass, and bustled volume at the rear of the skirt. These three iconic silhouettes are illustrated by thirty women’s ensembles selected from the Sage Collection, demonstrating ideals of beauty and body shape from 1775 to the present. 

The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. IUCA+D Gallery hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 9 am - 5 pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-5 pm.

See images from the exhibition here.

The Illustrated Woman: Fashion Images from the Sage Collection

The Illustrated Woman demonstrates how fashion illustrations express shifting standards of beauty and the collective cultural, social, and aesthetic ideals of their time. These images create a shared visual culture that not only communicates changes in silhouettes, fabric, color, and hairstyles, but also encompasses variations in posture, gesture, and facial expression. In 2016, photography and video have largely replaced fashion illustration, but serve the same ends—transmitting changing ideals of beauty as well as promoting and selling new fashion products.

The images on view in The Illustrated Woman
are just a small sample of fashion-related documents, publications, video, and ephemera from the Sage Collection, part of the new School of Art and Design at Indiana University. These materials, along with women’s, children’s, and men’s clothing, comprise a 25,000+ piece social history and fashion collection in existence since 1937.​​

The Illustrated Woman: Fashion Images from the Sage Collection, is an official Indiana University Beauty Themester event, and will be on view in the Scholars' Commons of the Herman B Wells Library through December 9.

Join us at the opening reception for The Illustrated Woman Tuesdsay, September 20 between 3:30 and 5:00 pm. In celebration of this Themester event, Sage Collection Curator Kelly Richardson will give a brief talk, "The Illustrated Woman" at Hazelbaker Hall, Wells Library E159, at 4 pm.


Halston: Line and Legacy celebrates the innovative Coty Award-winning 20th century fashion legend. Synonymous with 1970s glamour, Halston's unique minimal aesthetic and regard for the female form resulted in modern clothing that was sensual, comfortable, and elegant. While he was known for his association with artists and celebrities, Halston became a household name via an agreement with JC Penney. Though the arrangement ended badly for the designer, he set the stage for today's high fashion-mass market collaborations. Best known for his work in cashmere, silk jersey, and Ultrasuede, the designs of this modern classicist have had a lasting influence on women's fashion. This exhibit features objects from the Sage Collection, Halston Heritage, and the personal collection of Halston's niece Lesley Frowick. Halston: Line and Legacy is made possible by support from the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design and the College of Arts and Sciences.

View images of Halston: Line and Legacy.

Undress Me: A Peek at 19th and Early 20th Century Undergarments


Exhibition collaboartion with The Kinsey Institute Gallery – September 19 through December 23, 2014

Reception Friday, September 19, 4:30 to 7:00 pm at Morrison Hall / Indiana University / Bloomington


Undress Me presents a selection of playful vintage photographs of women in lingerie from the Kinsey Institute art collection paired with period undergarments on loan from the Sage Collection at Indiana University. Dating from the late 19th century to the 1920s, the corsets, petticoats, brassieres, drawers, robes, and other garments on view served the functional purposes of shaping and protecting; however, their decorative elements reveal that undergarments, though private, were also meant to be seen and appreciated.

The Sage Collection is excited to present its new exhibition, UBIQUI-TEE: T-Shirts Design Culture at the IU Center for Art + Design (IUCA+D) in Columbus, Indiana, April 12-June 29, 2013.

The t-shirt has evolved from its humble origins as a man's undergarment to one of the most ubiquitous pieces of clothing in our closets. View more than 100 examples of this popular phenomenon from the Sage Collection, as well as selected objects from the Kinsey Institute, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, the Monroe County History Center, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, and the Indiana State Museum.

Opening Reception: Friday April 12, 5-7 pm. Make sure and wear your favorite t-shirt to the opening!

For further information, contact 812-375-7550 or, or

This exhibition is now closed.

View the e-invite here>>

View images of the exhibition here>>

The Sage Collection and the Monroe County History Center present Garden Glamour: A Floral Fashion Frenzy! at the Monroe County History Center.

Beautiful and ephemeral, flowers fascinate us with their colors, forms, and fragrances. From blooms faithfully depicted with botanical accuracy to fantastic floral abstractions, the flower endures as a favored fashion motif. Garden Glamour: A Floral Fashion Frenzy explores this motif in functional and decorative accessories such as gloves, hats, purses, neckties, shoes, scarves, and jewelry, from the Sage Collection and the Monroe County History Center. Curated by students in F402: Collection Management for Historic Costume and Textiles, this exhibit features accessories from the early 20th century to the present day.

Opening reception Friday, April 6, 5-7 pm at the Monroe County History Center, 202 East 6th Street. Join us at this free Arts Week Everywhere event and make your own fabulous floral accessory!

Garden Glamour: A Floral Fashion Frenzy! is on view from April 6 through August 25, 2012.

View the Garden Glamour: A Floral Fashion Frenzy! evite»
View images of the Garden Glamour: A Floral Fashion Frenzy exhibition»

This exhibition has closed.

Fashioning a Legacy Irwin Sweeney Miller Style features artifacts from members of the Irwin Sweeney Miller family of Columbus, Indiana.  The Irwin Sweeney Millers fostered a number of successful businesses including Irwin Union Bank and Cummins Engine Company, and are noted for their philanthropic interests in the arts, architecture, and humanities, as well as their commitment to community and spirituality.

Spanning more than 100 years, the women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing and accessories in this exhibition come from a large number of artifacts donated over a 40-year span, beginning in 1969. Exhibit highlights include gowns by Vionnet and Molyneux worn for presentation at the Court of St. James in 1923 and 1928; J. Irwin Miller’s raccoon coat; haute couture by Jean Patou; and clothing by notable American designers Bill Blass, Adele Simpson, and Ben Reig.

Fashioning a Legacy will be the inaugural exhibition in the new Indiana University Center for Art and Design-Columbus (IUCAD-C). Scheduled to open in November 2011, IUCAD-C is a partnership between IU-Bloomington and the Columbus community. With downtown Columbus providing the infrastructure for the education services and Indiana University-Bloomington providing dedicated faculty, IUCAD-C will offer a boutique program of design studies, building on the existing assets of the community and the university. IUCAD-C will examine design in its broadest definition by integrating interior design, architecture, industrial design, art, and fashion—revealing their unifying elements and principles.

Fashioning a Legacy Irwin Sweeney Miller Style ran from November 4, 2011 through January 7, 2012 in the IUCAD-C gallery, 310 Jackson Street, Columbus, Indiana.

View images of Fashioning a Legacy »

"Child's Play: Aesthetics, Gender, and Fashion" at the Monroe County History Center, Bloomington, Indiana, October 17, 2009 through February 27, 2010. Revealing as much about the world of adults as it does the world of the young, "Child's Play" explores the dynamics of aesthetics, gender, and fashion, and illustrates the conscious and unconscious messages sent by the manner in which we clothe our children.

View the "Child's Play" exhibition blog »
View a video about the exhibition »
Listen to a December 2009 WFIU broadcast about the exhibition »

"Fantasia: Fans from the Sage Collection" exhibition in Monroe County History Center, Bloomington, Indiana, October 12, 2007- January 6, 2008. October 12, 2007- January 6, 2008. More than 70 examples from the Sage Collection’s fans illustrate the different forms of fans from around the world and demonstrate the manner in which a fan is: ceremonial and practical; a symbol of high status; and a fragile, feminine plaything.

Fantasia Exhibit PDF »
View images of the exhibit »

"Bijoux: The Jewelry of Esther Collyer" exhibition in the Fine Arts Library Foyer, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, June 8 –August 21, 2006. Selected pieces of 20th century costume jewelry from the collection of Esther Collyer. Co-curated by Jessica Rall and Petra Slinkard, Assistant Curator Kelly Richardson.

View images of the exhibit »

"Was There a Mrs. Kinsey?" exhibition in the Monroe County History Center, Bloomington, Indiana, November 4, 2005—March 26, 2006. Selected objects of women’s and children’s clothing from Clara Kinsey, her ancestors, daughter, and grand children along with photographs from the Kinsey Institute. Curated by Kelly Richardson.

"The Allure of Dress: Function, Fashion, Fantasy, Fetish" exhibition installed in the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, October 16, 2004—January 16, 2006. Objects from the Sage Collection, Kinsey Institute, and the Mathers Museum illustrating a variety of themes associated with clothing, modesty, sexuality, and fashion across time and cultures. Co-curated by Kathleen Rowold, Kelly Richardson, Elaine Gaul, and Catherine Johnson-Roehr.

"Bill Blass: An American Designer" exhibition installed in the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana, October 4, 2002—December 17, 2002. The first full retrospective of the work of Bill Blass, featuring selected sketches, drawings, and women’s clothing from five decades of Blass designs. Curated by Kathleen Rowold, designed by Michael Vollbracht.

View images of the exhibit »

"The Nineteenth Century Revisited: Sartorial Silhouettes" exhibition in the Monroe County Historical Society Museum, Bloomington, Indiana, October 12, 2000—February 25, 2001. Five 19th century gowns representing the varied aesthetics of that century. Curated by Kathleen Rowold.

"Collection/Recollection: Objects Donated by Residents of Meadowood Retirement Community", March 31—May 1, 2000. Clothing and accessories donated to the Sage Collection by residents of Meadowood Retirement Community in celebration of their 20th anniversary. Curated by Kate Rowold, Assistant Curator, Kelly Richardson.

"Flights of Fancy: The Art of Fashion’s Surface Design" exhibition in the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana, October 1—December 7, 1997. Selected objects of women’s, children’s and men’s clothing from 1830—1996, illustrating six surface design techniques (appliqué, beading/sequinning, embroidery, pleating/tucking, printing/painting, and quilting). Co-curated by Kathleen Rowold and Pat Roath.

"Stitches in Air: Five Centuries of Lace" exhibition in the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, Indiana, January 6—March 7, 1993. Laces demonstrating the variety and technical ingenuity of lace making since its beginnings in the sixteenth century. Co-curated by Nancy Krueger, Patricia Roath, and Kathleen Rowold.