Invitation to the Ball
Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Fancy Dress Costumes
January 17 through March 08, 2015
Marjorie Merriweather Post was the heiress to the Post Cereal empire, which later became General Foods under her leadership, along with her second husband, E. F. Hutton. In the early twentieth century she was a very well-known business woman and art collector who established three estates, one in Washington, D.C., now the location of the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, a second, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, and Topridge in the Adirondack Mountains. Her collections ranged from eighteenth-century French decorative arts to a splendid assortment of Russian Imperial art assembled while she was resident in Moscow with her third husband, Ambassador Joseph E. Davies.
This exhibition, from the collection of the Hillwood Museum, focuses on the splendid, fancy dress costumes that were designed specifically for Post when she attended the elaborate balls popular in the 1920s. Costume balls were often organized as benefits for charity and Post, along with E.F. Hutton, were regulars at these occasions. Post commissioned her costumes from theatrical costume designers and she was often considered among the most exquisitely dressed.
Included in the exhibition are actual costumes worn by Post, as well as many of the accessories that completed the ensembles such as headdresses, shoes, and fans. The exhibition also includes archival materials such as invitations, correspondence, and the press notices that documented these social events.
Organized by the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.
ServisFirst Bank, Doug’s 2, Morgan Stanley, Dr. Marla Wohlman and Mr. John Crews.
Photography of installation at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts