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Thursday, July 16, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Fashion and Disease Prevention


Alison Matthews David, Fashion Historian


Thursday, July 16



Fashion accessories like masks are just one part of how fashion has been used over time to prevent the spread of disease. Caroline Kipp, curator of contemporary art, talks with fashion historian Alison Matthews David about where today’s masks fit into the story of how we protect ourselves with clothing.


About the Series: The Art of Masks


Since April 2020, the U.S. Center for Disease Control has asked for people to wear face masks in public to curb the spread of COVID19. This shift has given rise to a mass movement of cloth mask making. Artists leapt into action to produce masks for healthcare and frontline workers or as an alternative economy for lost income, while others customize masks to communicate identity, beliefs, or concerns. Further, mask making has raised questions about the future of fashion with regards to health and sustainability. 


Through a series of conversations with the museum’s curator of contemporary art, Caroline Kipp, experts from a range of disciplines will discuss various issues and questions raised by the proliferation of mask making and wearing. Join us on Zoom or Facebook Live for the special lunchtime series July 7-8 and July 15-16 at 12pm. 


About the Speaker:

Alison Matthews David is a historian of dress and textiles, focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth-century fashion, accessories and material culture. Her work intersects with multiple areas including medical history, criminology, and occupational health. Her creative work includes fashion curation, and she launched the journal Fashion Studies with her co-editor Dr. Ben Barry in 2018. She is currently the Graduate Program Director for Ryerson’s MA Fashion program.