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KSU Museum papers

Special Collections and Archives

KSU Museum papers

Special Collections and Archives

KSU Museum papers

Kent State University Museum Records, 1962-2017

Finding Aid

Prepared by Edith Serkownek, May 8, 2006; Updated April 2015
9 boxes (1 record storage box, 4 document cases, 3 A/V storage boxes and 1 flat box), 8.5 cubic feet, 11th floor

Historical Note

This history of the Kent State University Museum is excerpted from the KSU Museum web page, "The Story of the Kent State University Museum."

"In January, 1982, Kent State University received the largest and most valuable gift offered since its founding in 1910: the collection of fashion, historic costume, paintings and decorative arts amassed by Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman, partners in Jerry Silverman, Inc., a manufacturer of better dresses on Seventh Avenue in New York City. They were persuaded to make this extraordinary gift to the University during the administration of President Brage Golding who endorsed their vision of establishing both a museum and a curriculum in fashion design and merchandising. Shannon's Ohio roots enabled the first connection with Kent State, and generous members of the Kent, Cleveland and Akron communities joined University Alumni in enthusiastically supporting the idea of a museum.

The original Silverman/Rodgers gift included 4,000 costumes and accessories, nearly 1,000 pieces of decorative art and a 5,000 volume reference library. In 1983, Akron antique collectors Jabe Tarter and Paul Miller donated their extensive collection of American glass. The KSU Museum collection now numbers over 20,000 objects - enriched by major gifts from Helen O. Borowitz, Paige Palmer, Martha McCaskey Selhorst, John Wilkinson, and many other generous donors.

The Museum opened in 1985 in Rockwell hall, the original University Library, which was renovated to meet the highest museum standards. Built in 1927, the building reflects Beaux Arts design elements which were restored under the supervision of Ted Curtis, former Kent State University architect, and the Cleveland architectural firm Whitley & Whitley."

Scope and Content

This collection consists of materials relating to the KSU Museum from 1962, when the idea of a museum on the KSU campus was studied, through the present. It includes six series. Series 1 contains papers relating to KSU Museum business and events including early correspondence regarding the creation of a KSU museum, Silverman-Rodgers project material, the architectural program for Rockwell Hall and files on important individuals involved with the museum organized chronologically. Series 2 contains KSU Museum publications including promotional books, visitor guides, newsletters, postcards, flyers and stationary and is organized topically. Series 3 contains photographs, promotional material and publication for KSU Museum exhibits. It is organized chronologically. Series 4 contains topical and event photographs and is organized chronologically. Series 5 contains newspapers, newsletters and magazine clippings on the KSU Museum and it's acitivities organized chronologically. Series 6 contains audio-visual materials includes both in-house material and news coverage of the KSU Museum and its activities organized chronologically. Additions will continue to be made to the collection. Please note copyright restrictions.


Box 1

Folder -- Contents

Series 1: Business and event files

KSU Museum business and event files organized chronologically. Research note: The (KSU) Museum Committee was formed in the early 1960s to study the feasibility of creating a museum(s) on the KSU campus and did not directly result in the creation of the current KSU Museum.

  1. (KSU) Museum Committee: Minutes, agendas and surveys: 1962-1963
  2. (KSU) Museum Committee: Minutes, agendas and surveys and photograph: 1964-1965
  3. Correspondence: Leslie Stegh, KSU Archivist, to William Taylor regarding creation of KSU Museum: April 1, 1974
  4. Silverman-Rodgers Project and KSU Museum: Correspondence and memorandums: 1981-1986
  5. Rockwell Hall: Architectural Program for Kent State University School of Fashion Design and Merchandising and Costume Museum: December 29, 1982
  6. Silverman-Rodgers Project: Fundraising material: [early 1980s]
  7. Silverman-Rodgers Project: Leadership Awareness Program narrative and background paper: [early 1980s]
  8. Alumni Association: Correspondence, publications and Alumni Gallery fundraising material: 1982-1985
  9. KSU Museum and School of Fashion: Progress reports and newsletter: 1983-1985
  10. Blum, Stella: Interview by Barbara Tober of Brides magazine: April, 1983
  11. "Dazzle" and "Reflections," KSU Museum Opening: Committee lists, invitations, memorandum, program and publicity: June-October, 1985
  12. KSU Museum: Press releases: 1985-1990
  13. KSU Museum: Advertisements in area publications from KSU Publications and Printing Services and memorandum: 1985-1988
  14. KSU Museum: Advertisements in area publications from KSU Publications and Printing Services: 1990-1991
  15. Rodgers, Shannon: Memorial service program, press release and obituary: March 6, 1996 and Undated [Note: Birth date is incorrect, Rodgers was born in 1911]
  16. Garfinkel, Stanley: Memorial program and obituary: September, 1997
  17. KSU Museum: "History of Museum" paper: Undated
  18. KSU Museum: Inventory of art and costume collection: Undated

Box 2

Folder -- Contents

Series 2: Publications

KSU Museum publications, topically organized.

  1. KSU Museum booklet: A Gift to the Nation: Published booklet (2 copies) and proof: [1982]
  2. KSU Museum booklet: The Kent State University Museum: Undated
  3. KSU Museum booklet: The Kent State University Museum (different publication, same title): Undated
  4. KSU Museum brochures, visitor guides and maps: Undated
  5. KSU Museum exhibit schedules and guides: 1997-ongoing
  6. KSU Museum membership cards and printer mock-ups: [circa 1985]
  7. KSU Museum newsletter: Fall, 2002
  8. KSU Museum postcards: Undated
  9. KSU Museum press kit: News releases and photographs of individuals involved in opening, Rockwell, costumes and glass collections: [1985]
  10. KSU Museum special events, rentals and workshops: flyers, folders, mailers, etc.: 1991-ongoing
  11. KSU Museum stationary: Undated

Box 3

Folder -- Content

Series 3: Exhibits and Collections

Museum exhibit and donation files. These files may include photographs, promotional material, gallery guides, exhibit scripts, correspondence and exhibit publications. Organized chronologically, then alphabetically by exhibit title.

  1. KSU Museum: Tarter/Miller donation: Interiors and objects: Photographs: [circa 1983]
  2. Canton Art Institute and KSU: Nightingales and Dragons: The Robes of China: Photograph, slides and publications: 1984
  3. KSU Museum: "Dazzle" and opening exhibits: Photographs: September 27, 1985
  4. KSU Museum: Alumni Gallery Exhibit: Photographs: 1986
  5. KSU Museum: Growing Collections, Nancy Reagan dress: Photographs: [1986]
  6. KSU Museum: Brides, Brides, Brides: Photographs and slides: 1987
  7. Musee des Arts de la Mode, Paris: Christian Dior Retrospective exhibit: Two KSU Museum dresses were loaned for the exhibit and KSU Professor, Stanley Garfinkel showed his documentary, Completely Dior: Slides: 1987
  8. KSU Museum: Girl Scout display: Photographs: 1987
  9. KSU Museum: Indian exhibit and reception for dignitaries: Photographs, slides and correspondence: September-November, 1987
  10. KSU Museum: Talking of Hats: Photographs: 1987
  11. KSU Museum: Blue & White Chinese Porcelains: Photographs and exhibit brochure: 1988-1989
  12. KSU Museum: Embroideries from the collection of Cora Ginsburg: newspaper clippings and exhibit text: 1988
  13. KSU Museum: The Fascinating '20s: Photographs: 1988
  14. KSU Museum: The Lure of Lace: Photographs: 1988
  15. KSU Museum: Victoriana: Photographs, slides, exhibit brochure and exhibit publication: 1988
  16. KSU Museum: Modern Masters: Photograph, slides and exhibit brochure: 1989
  17. KSU Museum: Zuber: Exhibit handouts: 1989
  18. KSU Museum: Jana Jaffe donation of evening pants with KSU logo beading: Photograph, correspondence and newsclippings: 1990
  19. KSU Museum: Henry Dunay donation of quartz egg: newspaper clipping: 1991
  20. KSU Museum: The Romanian Exhibition: Photographs and slides: 1991
  21. KSU Museum: The Romanian Exhibition: Publications and flyers: 1991-1992
  22. KSU Museum: San Antonio Fiesta Costumes: Exhibit publication and fhotograph: 1991
  23. KSU Museum: Pauline Trigere: A Retrospective: Invitation: 1994
  24. KSU Museum: Costumes, Quilts and Coverlets: Continuing Traditions: Exhibit Guide: 1994-1995
  25. KSU Museum: Bejeweled: Designs by Judith Leiber: Slides: 1995
  26. KSU Museum: Design for the Opera: The Glimmerglass Opera Production of Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea: Opening program: 1995
  27. KSU Museum: Gone with the Wind: Women, Race & Material Culture in the 20th Century: Flyer: 1997-1998
  28. KSU Museum: Textured Reflections: Greek Regions & Their Costumes: Flyer: 1997-1998
  29. KSU Museum: What Daisy Wore: Gatsby Era Costumes from the Helen O. Borowitz Collection: Flyer: 1997
  30. KSU Museum: Court and Conquest: Ottoman Origins and the Design for Handel's Tamerlano at the Glimmerglass Opera: Invitations: 1998-1999
  31. KSU Museum: Wrapped in Splendor: The Art of the Paisley Shawl: Flyer: 1998
  32. KSU Museum: Japanese by Design: Invitation: 1999
  33. KSU Museum: Panache: Paige Palmer--A Salute to Fifty Years of Fashion & Fitness: Flyer: 1999(?)-2000
  34. KSU Museum: Unidentified exhibits and objects: Photographs and slides: [1980s-1990s]
  35. KSU Museum: The Artistry of Adrian: Hollywood's Celebrated Design Innovator: Exhibit booklet: 2002
  36. KSU Museum: Fashion on the Ohio Frontier: 1790-1840: Exhibit booklet: 2003-2004
  37. KSU Museum: Origin and Synthesis: Selected Weavings by Janice Lessman-Moss: Postcard: 2004-2005
  38. KSU Museum: Chado Ralph Rucci: Exhibit publication and postcard: 2005-2006
  39. KSU Museum: Oscar de la Renta: American Elegance: Exhibit publication: 2006-2007
  40. KSU Museum: Object Lessons: Authenticity in African Art: 2006-2007
  41. KSU Museum: Mood Indigo: March 27, [2008]
  42. KSU Museum: Confessions and the Sense of Self: Works by Noel Palomo-Lovinski 2003-2009: 2009
  43. KSU Museum: Gazette du Bon Ton: 2009-2010
  44. KSU Museum: The Kokoon Arts Club: Cleveland Revels: 2009-2010
  45. KSU Museum: I Never Leave the House Without a Hat: The Savanna Vaughn Clark Collection: 2010
  46. KSU Museum: Stavropoulous: 2010
  47. KSU Museum: Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen: 2010-2011
  48. KSU Museum: New and Noteworthy: Recent Acquistions to the Collection, 2010-2011
  49. KSU Museum: On the Home Front: Civil War Fashions and Domestic Life, 2011-2012
  50. KSU Museum: Sustainable Fashion: Exploring the Paradox: 2011-2012
  51. KSU Museum: Life, Thoughts & Garments and Resist, 2012-2013
  52. KSU Museum: Undress: Shaping Fashion and Private Life and Fandemonium, 2012-2013
  53. KSU Museum: Geoffrey Beene: American Ingenuity, 2015
  54. KSU Museum: Inside Out: Revealing Clothing's Hidden Secrets, 2015-2016
  55. KSU Museum: Fashions of Southern Africa, 2016-2017
  56. KSU Museum: The 1980s: An Age of Excess, 2017
  57. KSU Museum: Fashion of the Forties: From World War II to the New Look, 2017-2018
  58. KSU Museum: Fringe Elements, 2017-2018
  59. KSU Museum: Satin Glass from the Tarter/Miller Collection: Flyer: Undated

Box 4

Folder -- Content

Series 4: Topical and events photographs

KSU Museum photographs: Organized chronologically and then topically.

  1. Rodgers/Silverman fashion shows: Photographs, tickets and programs: [1979-1982]
  2. Rockwell Hall: Publicity photographs with Rodgers, Silverman, Blum and others in front: Photographs and slide: [circa 1984]
  3. Rodgers, Shannon: Receiving KSU honorary degree: Photographs: December 21, 1985
  4. KSU Museum volunteers and/or staff with collections: Photographs: [1985] and Undated
  5. Mull, Dr. Francis G. and Martha E., unveiling of dedicated exhibit gallery: Photographs and program: October 16, 1986
  6. KSU Museum receives grant from The Cleveland Foundation: Photographs: [1986]
  7. John Vollmer, KSU Museum Director, with VIPs in Asian exhibit: Photographs: [1986] or [1987]
  8. John Vollmer, KSU Museum Director with Stanley Garfinkel, KSU Professor, viewing Dior gown: [1987]
  9. Unidentified KSU Museum/Fashion School events: Photographs: [1980s-1990s]
  10. Unidentified VIP groups touring KSU Museum (Rodgers in many photographs): Photographs: [1980s-1990s]
  11. Youth groups touring KSU Museum: Photographs: [1980s-1990s]
  12. Lesage embroidery class: Photograph and slides: [July 22-29, 1995]
  13. Cyr, Kathy, KSU Museum administrator and assistant to the director: Photograph: Undated
  14. Kruckeberg, Vicky, KSU Museum conservator: Photographs: [circa 1986]
  15. Models in historic costumes: Photographs used to publicize Rodgers' collection and KSU Museum collections: Photographs and slides: Undated
  16. Rodgers, Portraits: Photographs: Undated
  17. Rodgers and Silverman, Portraits: Photographs: Undated
  18. Silverman, Portrait: Photographs: Undated

Box 5

Folder -- Content

Series 5: Newspaper, newsletter and magazine clippings

Magazines, newsletters and KSU publications organized chronologically within each folder.

  1. Magazines: 1984-ongoing
  2. Newspaper and KSU publication clippings: 1981-1985
  3. Newspaper and KSU publication clippings: 1986-1988
  4. Newspaper and KSU publication clippings: 1989-1990
  5. Newspaper and KSU publication clippings: 1991-1993
  6. Newspaper and KSU publication clippings: 1994-ongoing

Box 6 Flat Box

Folder -- Content

Series 5: Newspaper, newsletter and magazine clippings

Scrapbook, newspapers and KSU publications organized chronologically.

  1. Scrapbook with newspaper clippings, tickets and advertisements regarding Silverman/Rodgers: May 31-July 7, 1979
  2. Newspapers and KSU publications (complete sections): 1981-1984
  3. Newspapers and KSU publications (complete sections): 1985
  4. Newspapers and KSU publications (complete sections): 1986-ongoing

Box 7

Folder -- Content

Series 6: Audio-visual materials

KSU Museum audio-video material organized chronologically.

  1. Shannon Rodgers narrative regarding KSU Museum donated items, "Taped as he was viewing slides of pieces in the collection." Audio tape, RT-60MC (small format), July 27, 1985
  2. Higbee's Video: "Dazzle" Opening in Style, A. AM Cleveland Segment B. Full Fashion Presentation: 3/4" video: September 27, 1985
  3. Higbee's Video: AM Cleveland Dazzle: 3/4" video: October 1, 1985
  4. Talking to... w/Dottie Fox/Dazzle--Kent State Fashion Museum: 3/4" video: October 23, [1985]


Folder -- Content

  1. Henry Dunay - Jeweled Art: VHS, May 3, 1988
  2. KSU Museum Promo by the Chestnut Society of Kent State University, VHS: 1988
  3. Good Morning America: Woodstock 25th Anniversary, KSU Serendipity costumes: VHS: August 11, 1989
  4. Lesage: VHS: Fall, 1990
  5. Handbags/Accessories: Peter Rogers and Judith Leiber: October 16, 1991
  6. The Romanian Exhibition: 200 Years of Costume and Art, VHS: [1991]
  7. The Romanian Exhibition: 200 Years of Costume and Art, VHS: [1991]
  8. The Romanian Exhibition, Promo, VHS: [1991]


Folder -- Content

  1. Morning Exchange with Francois Lesage: VHS: July 24, 1995
  2. Shannon Rodgers for Jerry Silverman: Style & Quality on 7th Avenue: VHS and DVD copy: [circa 1995]
  3. In Memoriam Shannon Rodgers, August 3, 1910 - January 9, 1996  A program in celebration of his life, VHS, 1996
  4. Princess Di's Dress: VHS, [1998]. Video of the opening of a Kent State Museum exhibition, Erin: A Royal Remembrance.  
  5. Kent State Fashion Collection Visits Toledo (TV News Cast): VHS: Undated
  6. Kent State University Paige Palmer: Undated

Box 10

Folder -- Contents

Series 7: Posters

  1. Posters: The Romanian Exhibit, 1991
  2. Posters: Cowboys and Hatters, 1996
  3. Posters: Fashion Art from Korea, 2000-2001