January 9, 2015
"No Lady of Leisure" Temporary Exhibit at the Chisholm Trail Museum Extended
Kingfisher, Okla. -- The Chisholm Trail Museum is proud to announce that, due to popular demand, the temporary exhibit "No Lady of Leisure," will be extended through March 2015. The items in this exhibit are on loan from one of the foremost collectors and historians of Victorian era attire, Marna Davis of Shooting Star Enterprises in Oklahoma. The exhibit showcases 24 original, rare Victorian era handmade dresses worn by women from the Civil War through the turn of the 20th century. The exhibit also displays original patterns and equipment women used to make their clothing, such as an 1880 metal dressmaker and numerous original pattern guides. Through narrative and original photographs the exhibit reveals "what a difficult situation most respectable but poor in the purse women found themselves in" who out of necessity found a way to clothe themselves respectably, "yet still be able to perform household duties which were their sole domain." The exhibit also delves into the invention and availability of the sewing machine, the development of the sized sewing pattern and the development of the network of roads and railroads to provide women with materials to create their own clothes during this time. The dresses on display represent various geographical and socioeconomic styles, from those who lived on the frontier during and after the land runs in Oklahoma to those who lived in large cities in the United States throughout the Victorian and early Edwardian periods.
Also on display is an early post-Civil War era bustle wrapper dress, an original 1883 "McDowell drafting system" made of adjustable brass strips, 1880s bright turkey red wrapper dress and a late 1890s original crochet booklet with pattern examples. The exhibit reveals the extremely difficult situation in which most middle-class women found themselves regarding appropriate attire while also bearing large numbers of children and running households on the farm and in the cities.
After touring the "No Lady of Leisure," visitors are encouraged to tour the rest of the museum where they will learn the histories of Jesse Chisholm, the Chisholm Trail, the Land Run of 1889, and early territorial and statehood days in Kingfisher and Kingfisher County. There is also a Victorian Era historical site on the museum grounds with five original historical structures, including two original log cabins, the first bank building in Kingfisher, an original one-room school house and a one-room rural church. Additionally, visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the Governor Seay Mansion that was owned by the second territorial governor of Oklahoma, Abraham Jefferson Seay. This beautiful, Victorian Era home is decorated in the Victorian style with original, handcrafted crown molding and pocket doors. The home is furnished with many of Governor Seay's original belongings.
For more information about the Kingfisher Chisholm Trail Museum and to follow upcoming events and programs, please visit www.ctokmuseum.org, like the museum on Facebook or call 405-375-5176. The Governor Seay Mansion and Chisholm Trail Museum are located at 605 Zellers Ave. in Kingfisher. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed major holidays). Admission to the museum is $4 for adults, $2 for children and $3 for seniors. For more information about Kingfisher and Kingfisher County, please visit the Kingfisher Chamber of Commerce website at www.kingfisher.org.
The Chisholm Trail Museum is an affiliate of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information visit www.okhistory.org.