University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
School of Architecture College of Design

Storied Lives: Women and Their Wardrobes


Storied Lives: Women and Their Wardrobes


January 27 – May 20, 2018


EXHIBITION | January 27, 2018 – May 20, 2018

Goldstein Museum of Design, Gallery 241, McNeal Hall, St. Paul campus


Co-Curators: Marilyn DeLong, Barbara Heinemann, and Caren Oberg


Storied Lives: Women and Their Wardrobes celebrates the working woman of the 20th century through the exquisite wardrobes of three women with prominent careers in the Twin Cities. Their stories and careers varied from occupational therapist to Twin Cities journalist for WWD to the President of Harold, a boutique clothier specializing in designer clothing for women. The exhibition also includes interviews with other Twin Cities women whose careers gained prominence in the mid-late 20th century.

This exhibition, drawn from the collection of the Goldstein Museum of Design, focuses on the stories women tell about experiences with their clothing, including motivation for selecting items, what they valued when they wore them, and those practices and experiences of wearing these items that make them special.

The exquisite wardrobes of the three women featured illustrate the various sides of meaning for them in the multiple layers that make up their lives (i.e., discerning, playful, serious, important, innovative, and functional). Each woman attached different meanings to the items based upon her relationship to the clothing that shaped her wardrobe. These meanings evolved as each individual’s life happened. This exhibition explores the visual result of clothing on three women, motivations for which vary from gaining pleasure in wearing beautiful clothing hidden under a lab coat, to clothing aiding the promotion of a competent woman who knew the value of wearing the fashions she was in the business of selling.


Related Events:


OPENING PARTY | Storied Lives: Women and Their Wardrobes Opening

Friday, January 26, 2018, 6:00-8:00 PM, Gallery 241


WORKSHOP | Smart Wardrobes

Thursday, March 1, 2018, 6:30 PM, McNeal 274

Featuring digital and capsule wardrobes research with Lucy Dunne and Haeun Bang.


PANEL | Reflections on My Wardrobe

Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 6:30 PM, McNeal 274




Goldstein Museum Press Release

MN Daily: Fashion-centered exhibit opens on St. Paul campus

City Pages: Event Feature

City Pages: 52 Free Things to Do This Weekend Feature



Images below taken by Alex Tuthill-Preus, for the MN Daily.

Storied Lives Exhibition

Storied Lives Gallery Space

Storied Lives Gallery Mannequin Ensemble

Contact Information

Goldstein Museum of Design

364 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-624-7434 |

[directions and maps]