Changing Perspectives

Staff have been really busy working on our new Interpretive Guide which will include a fantastic new layout.  We are also going to include some great content on the 20th century perspective that was such a huge influence on the way they did the Reconstruction.  Sometimes we forget that “History” is not made of unchanging facts and certainties.  History is our PERSPECTIVE of what happened before! 

While thinking about how we can talk about this evolution with visitors, I stumbled onto this amazing timeline by Colonial Williamsburg’s Costume Design Center, which celebrated their 75th anniversary last year!  They have developed this website feature that goes through their program and the changes that have happened since they started in 1934. 

http://www.history.org/history/clothing/designcenter/timeline/

It includes some fantastic images you can click to enlarge, and really highlights how our knowledge and accuracy has improved since we started interpreting historic sites like Pennsbury!  Enjoy!

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3 comments on “Changing Perspectives

  1. shirley brilliant says:

    Our time period is not the same. and these were dressed

    for parties. At Pennsbury, I think it was more rustic and

    working for all. s hirley

  2. Pennsbury Manor Staff says:

    Yes you’re right Shirley. They are interpreting the 1770’s, which is a couple generations later in the century. Still, the way they started with a focus on the elite and then gradually decided to include all classes of people and research their clothing is fascinating! Can you imageine going there today and only see people in those hooped dresses and embroidered jackets? To us, that would be totally unrealistic, but back then it was the latest historical trend.

    Pennsbury actually went through a similar transformation. We were never as elaborate as Williamsburg’s first clothes, but my understanding is that our focus on William Penn and his life has gradually expanded to include the contracted laborers, servants, and slaves. Our clothing is also constantly evolving as we learn more! Someday it would be really cool to do a picture comparison through Pennsbury’s decades – what do you guys think? Have we changed that much?

  3. I every time spent my half an hour to read this blog’s articles or reviews everyday along with a cup of coffee.

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