The "Curtain Dress" : construction, conservation, and analytical research

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Villarreal, Nicole

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This thesis examines the condition of the “Curtain Dress” of Gone With the Wind (GWTW) with the purpose of advising a conservation plan that would allow its exhibit in 2014 as part of the 75th anniversary of the film. The dress has been stored since 1981 in the Harry Ransom Center (HRC) at the University of Texas at Austin as part of the David O. Selznick (DOS) Collection. The project addresses the book, the film, the creation of the dress, and what happened to it after filming was over. A collaborative team was formed including HRC staff, a conservator, and graduate students from the Textiles and Apparel Division at the University of Texas at Austin. The author of this study provided historical context, document analysis, construction evaluation, and fiber testing. A timeline for the book, film, and garment was established; communications from Selznick referencing the dress were analyzed; construction details were photographed and documented for reference; and colorimetry and spectroscopy techniques were used for fiber analysis.



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