Historical society plans first exhibit

Published 9:27 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

A century’s worth of fashion will be on display at the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society this summer.

Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society Executive Director Kimberly Blair and exhibit organizer Hazel White show off one of the pieces in the “Century of Fashion: Fashion Through the Decades” exhibit at the Bank Street headquarters.

The society is putting its new exhibition room to good use with the first exhibit. An opening reception is set for Saturday.

“We are going to do four exhibitions a year,” said Hazel White, who orchestrated the exhibit. “This is the first of the series. We happened to have this stuff, so that’s what we started with.”

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The exhibit features about 16 large pieces, including flapper dresses, wedding gowns, a mouton fur, dressing gowns, formal gowns and more. There are also numerous hats, gloves, watches, jewelry, purses, shoes and other accessories.

The pieces have been donated to the historical society through the years and were stored in trunks in the Bank Street headquarters. One special piece, a green formal gown that formerly belonged to Katherine Godwin, is on loan from Riddick’s Folly.

Godwin was the first lady of Virginia from 1966 to 1970 and from 1974 to 1978 as the wife of two-time governor Mills E. Godwin Jr., a Chuckatuck native.

Kimberly Blair, executive director of the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society, said she had hoped to include more things in the exhibit, but they ran out of space.

“I hope people come and can say, ‘Oh, I remember that!’” Blair said.

Lynn Barlow and Stephanie Moore also helped to set up the exhibit.

“We do appreciate the members who donated this stuff, and we hope people will enjoy,” White said.

Blair said “A Century of Fashion: Fashion Through the Decades” will be on display through August. The next two exhibits likely will feature tableware and quilts.

An opening is set for Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. Tea and scones will be served.

The historical society, located at 137 Bank St., is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. It is closed on Wednesdays and the weekends.