French drawing room at Hillwood


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Ingenue to Icon

This is the first program in the Ingenue to Icon Series about the 20th century transformation of women through fashion.

Marjorie Merriweather Post became an icon of elegance, during a century that witnessed vast changes in fashion.  Post was a prominent woman, among the first females to serve on the board of a major corporation, philanthropist, patron of the arts, and socialite. She created a distinctive, elegant image and worked closely with fashion designers across Europe and the United States throughout her lifetime.  She viewed her clothing as a snapshot of costume history, and saved her collection for future generations to admire. Her collection represents some of the best designers, latest trends, and most exquisite materials, from the early 1900s until the time of her passing in 1973.  Her life and story are sewn in the seams of every garment.


5:30-6:30 pm: Mansion and Ingenue to Icon open for touring
6-6:30 pm: Members-only reception with the speaker
6:30-7:30 pm: Lecture
7:30 pm: Book Signing (Please note: To participate in the book signing portion of the lecture, it is Hillwood's policy that all books must be purchased from the Museum Shop. To preorder your copy of Ingenue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion from the collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post call the Museum Shop at 202-686-8510.)

About the Speaker

Howard Vincent Kurtz is Hillwood’s Associate Curator of Costumes and Textiles. He has curated three exhibitions presenting the Post family costumes: Ingenue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion from the collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post (which includes a companion publication with the same title), Invitation to the Ball: Fancy Dress Costume of the 1920s, and Wedding Belles: Three Generations of Post Family Dress. Invitation to the Ball is currently a traveling exhibition for museums in the United States. In addition to his work at Hillwood, Howard is the Professor of Theater and Head of the Design and Technical Theater Program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He is also the President of the Costume Society of America, Mid-Atlantic Region and a member of the CSA National Board of Trustees.


About the Ingenue to Icon Lecture Series

Explore the 20th century transformation of women through fashion.

Gather inspiration and explore the 20th century transformation of women through fashion in this three-part lecture series, including:

Thursday, October 1: Ingenue to Icon: 70 years of Fashion from the Collection of Marjorie Merriweather Post, by Howard Vincent Kurtz

Thursday, October 15: Chanel and Her Rivals: Women and 20th-Century Fashion, by Valerie Steele

Thursday, October 22: The Contemporary Role of Fashion in Politics and Power, A Conversation with Robin Givhan

Tickets for the lectures on October 15 and 22 are sold-out. Seats are available for the lecture simulcasts, which will air the lectures live at another space at Hillwood. Click the link to purchase tickets.

Related Programs

Marjorie Merriweather Post came of age during some of the most transformative times for American women in the twentieth century. The seven decades of clothing represented in the special exhibition, In