Exhibition Archives



CUT! Costume and the Cinema
October 2, 2013 | January 19, 2014

Costumes play a critical role in the success of any period film. They set the scene and establish authenticity and ambience. They also reveal clues about a character’s status, age, class, and wealth, in addition to his or her role in the story. CUT! Costume and the Cinema takes an in-depth look at the art of making costumes through the renowned British costumer, Cosprop Ltd.

The films represented in the exhibition depict five centuries of history, drama, and comedy with more than 40 period costumes worn by film stars Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Johnny Depp, Ralph Fiennes, Angelica Huston, Keira Knightley, Uma Thurman, Kate Winslet, and many others. In all, more than 30 actors from 27 films, including Sherlock Holmes; Academy Award-winner The Duchess; and perennial favorites Pirates of the Caribbean, Sense and Sensibility, and The Phantom of the Opera, are featured.

Costumes created for period films must not only withstand the test of time, but must also stand up to intense visual scrutiny. When a camera zooms in for a close-up, every hand-created detail must look authentic and perfectly executed. This presentation allows the viewer to get close to the stories portrayed on screen and to appreciate the fine details that often can only fleetingly be glanced on the screen.

Since 1986, when the Academy Award for Costume Design was awarded to a Cosprop designer for A Room With A View, the company has supplied costumes for 24 nominated films. In 2008, three of the five Oscar nominees included Cosprop designs; and in 2009, the Academy Award for Costume Design was awarded for The Duchess, the highest accolade for a designer and the costumers that provide the film’s costumes. Like their period prototypes, these opulent costumes are crafted of sumptuous fabrics and decorated with intricate embroidery, brocade, and lace.The exhibition tour is organized by Exhibition Development Group, USA in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London, England.

The Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992 is generously providing lead sponsorship. Major support is also provided by the Marcia and Otto Koehler Foundation and Terry Touhey. The Director’s Circle and the Host Committee are providing additional support.
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