Friday Photo: Oh So Elegant

When attempting to interpret an 18th century house, it can be challenging to get a sense of how the world looked and felt back then. What did 18th century Annapolis and its residents look like, and how can we as interpreters of history show that to visitors to Hammond-Harwood House? One of the things we offer for classes that come to the House on field trips is the opportunity to try on clothing of the era. Boys wear breeches, shirts, and cocked hats, while girls get to try on petticoats and gowns. We don’t, however, have anything as elegant as the ensemble above from 1774 to offer them. This is a watercolor by Ann Frankland Lewis that is now in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). There does not seem to be any information about Lewis except that between the years 1774 and 1807 she selected a gown from a fashion journal, made a watercolor rendering of it, and titled it “Dress of the Year.” All of Lewis’s watercolors, including Ms. 1774, can be seen here.

I promise that next week my Friday photo will cover a topic other than fashion. I just find that subjects like clothing and hair are so easy for visitors to relate to, and I always did love playing dress-up…



Filed under Friday Photo, History

2 responses to “Friday Photo: Oh So Elegant

  1. Meghan

    Who said we didn’t like to read about 18th century fashion on Fridays? It’s part of my TGIF ritual!

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