The Best of the Katie Best Collection 1880-1940

The Best of the Katie Best Collection 1880-1940

Monday, May 7, 2012 to Friday, September 7, 2012

An exhibition organized to showcase the Katie Best Collection within the Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design Department’s Historic Costume Collection. 

Pieces from the collection of Katie Best, an established historic clothing collector from Omaha, Nebraska, are used to illustrate the evolution of women’s roles in an exhibition “Best of the Katie Best Collection” which opens at the Robert Hillestad Gallery May 7th and runs through September 7th, 2012.  A reception will open the exhibition on May 4th from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Dr. Barbara Trout will present “The Collector and Her Mission,” a slide presentation and commentary showing highlights of the Katie Best Collection at 2:30 p.m.  The Friends of the Robert Hillestad Textile Gallery has planned this presentation to immediately follow their  Annual Meeting, June 10th, 2012 at 2:00 in the afternoon.  A public reception will follow the presentation from 3:15 to 4:00p.m.  The TMFD Historic Costume Collection will be open to those attending the event.   All events are free and open to the public.  The lecture will take place on the lower level of Human Sciences Building in room 11.  The annual meeting will be in room 31, also on the lower level.

Graduate student Kristen Weber, in fulfillment of her master’s degree, has identified four groupings of women’s garments from the Katie Best collection within the TMFD’s Historic Costume Collection.  These four groupings span the years 1880 through 1940 and illustrate the evolution of women’s domestic, workplace, community, and political roles.  To further clarify and support the garment selections, images from middle class periodicals of the time such as Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping were consulted.  Twenty garments will be exhibited as well as reference and organizational materials Katie used to build her collection. 

The Hillestad Gallery is part of the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design in the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences. The gallery is on the second floor of the Human Sciences Building on East Campus, on 35th Street north of East Campus Loop (map at Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and by appointment. Admission is free. Guest parking is available near the building and metered stalls are located in the Nebraska East Union lot. For more information, call (402) 472-2911 or visit  School and community groups are welcome. Please call in advance to arrange a tour or download the tour request form from the gallery webpage. A limited amount of funding is available for underwriting bus or van expenses to bring in student groups.


White Printed Cotton Dress, Circa 1800s, 2009.005.092, Katie Best, Donor.  Courtesy of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design Department.  Photographer:  Orville Friesen.


Lingerie Dress, Circa 1910s, 2010.003.039, Katie Best, Donor. Courtesy of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design Department, UNL.  Photographer:  Orville Friesen.


Brown Business Dress, Circa 1895, 2009.005.102, Katie Best, Donor.  Courtesty of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design Department, UNL.  Photographer:  Orville Friesen.