NDSU's Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection is a co-sponsor of a significant upcoming international event in Fargo.
On Tuesday, Sept. 10, a nine-member delegation of the Okayama Japan-America Cultural Exchange Society is set to present a prized Hina doll set to the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society. The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the West Acres Shopping Center Food Court's north entrance. The public is invited to attend.
According to Ann Braaten, assistant professor and curator of the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection, the presentation traces its history back to "Miss Okayama," a 1927 Friendship Doll that has been housed in the collection since 1973.
The purpose of the delegation's visit is to further friendship between the Japanese people and the United States that started in 1927 with the Friendship Doll exchange. The doll exchange was an effort to smooth mounting political tensions between the two countries. Children in the United States collected and sent more than 12,000 dolls to Japan. In return, a doll was presented to each state and several major cities. The Miss Okayama doll was presented as a gift from the children of Okayama Prefecture to the children of North Dakota.
"Miss Okayama provides a continuing bond of friendship between Japan and North Dakota," Braaten said, noting the doll will be on display during the Hina doll presentation. "The Japan-America Cultural Exchange Society sponsored the restoration of the 1927 Friendship Doll in 2001. We are honored that organization has reached out again to further ties between Okayama, Japan, and Fargo."
The Japanese delegation, led by Chikao Kawabata, executive general director of the exchange society, plans to present a 15-doll Hina doll set that will have a permanent home with the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society. The Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society, Fargo, is developing a botanic garden for the region. Included in the plan is the Garden of Mind and Soul, designed in a Japanese garden style.
Hina dolls are displayed during a Japanese holiday called Hinamatsuri, also called Dolls' Day or Girls' Day. Its historical roots go back to the Heian period, which ended more than 800 years ago. The holiday is based in the former belief that dolls possessed the power to contain bad spirits. The early dolls were placed in a boat and sent down a river to the sea, supposedly taking troubles with them.
NDSU is partnering with the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society, West Acres Shopping Center, Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau and North Dakota Tourism to host the event.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.
Curator Ann Braaten and Collection Manager Jacqueline WayneGuite will speak about suffragist Kate Selby Wilder on Friday, March 2 from 12-1 p.m. in the Hidatsa room of the NDSU Memorial Union.
They will explore the dress used by Wilder in her role as an activist for women's suffrage in the 1910s and later as a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in the 1920s. Wilder was the first woman elected as a city official in North Dakota.
This event is in conjunction with NDSU's Women's Week 2012.
The Memorial Union Art Gallery will host a unique exhibition that is a collaboration of art and history from Tuesday, February 28 to Saturday, March 10, 2012. The Emily Reynolds Historical Costume Collection has dresses on display that were worn by prominent Fargo women, Kate Selby Wilder and Ruth Roberts Haggart. The dresses have unique and detailed ornamentation as well as textures. Both dresses create a picture of the feminine side of the Fargo elite.
The dresses are accompanied by artwork by well known regional artist, Natasha Neihart. Neihart combined her "love of anatomical form with the study of texture" in her work for this exhibit. She created a sepia, charcoal, and pastel drawing of Ruth Roberts Haggart as well as an oil portrait of Kate Selby Wilder. Both pieces bring the women's personas to life as well as showcase the light, texture, weaves, and details. The pieces also stand as a strong example of using art as a method to tell the story of the era.
Both of the women featured in the exhibition are excellent examples of influential women of Fargo in the 1910s. Kate Selby Wilder was a prominent member of the Votes for Women League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union. She also was elected to the Fargo City Commission in 1919. Ruth Roberts Haggart, was also amongst the accomplished women in the early Women's Movement in Fargo. In fact, her family was in the forefront of development in our region.
The exhibit as a whole gives a glimpse of the era of "Women of Influence." From the clothing, artifacts, and adornments, to the artwork, texture, and representation of the women, this is an exhibit that everyone must see.
Neihart will discuss her creative process for an artist's talk on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 5pm at the Memorial Union Art Gallery and Ann Braaten, Curator of the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection will provide background on the Fargo women who served as Neihart's subjects. Please join us for refreshments!
On Friday, October 14, our curator Ann Braaten and collection manager Jacqueline WayneGuite presented at the Costume Society of America Midwest Symposium in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The presentation, titled "A Woman of Considerable Influence - Kate Selby Wilder - A North Dakota Suffragist," contextualized garments worn by a local suffragist that were donated to the ERHCC.
In the 1910s and 1920s, Wilder campaigned for women's right to vote and for the Women's Christian Temperance Union. She was the first woman elected to a city office in North Dakota.
To learn more about Wilder and the garments she owned and wore, please contact us for an appointment.
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ERHCC welcomes Jacqueline WayneGuite as the new Collections Manager.
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