Yakima Valley Museum
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The Collections
Family History
Local History
Diversity & Breadth
Handle with Care
Bustles to Bikinis Yakima Valley Museum

shoe storageClothes, like all items in a museum collection, can be used to illustrate or explain a variety of topics in the history and culture of the region. Some garments are exhibited to show methods of construction, levels of craftsmanship, or, simply, unusual beauty. Other garments are heirlooms of a special family event, such as a wedding or christening; they help illustrate how people at different times celebrated life's universal milestones. Still others show how changing attitudes in society have affected fashion- the comparison of swimsuits in 1890 and 1990 is a good example. And specific community-wide celebrations or events continue to be advertised or remembered in the production of special clothing-such as T-shirts with unique logos and dresses made to be worn in a parade or at a fair. Bustles To Bikinis displays, in thematic groupings, both clothing accessories and complete outfits. These items represent the breadth and diversity of the Museum's entire costume collection.

*This special internet exhibit is divided into the following sections:

Clothes that Document Local History
A personal object donated to a museum often represents not just an individual's story, but an experience common to many. The three-dimensional objects collected by our museum, along with the documents and photographs preserved in the archives, record not just an individual's history, but the community's. Our community is well documented not just through archival material and photographs, but also through wearable reminders of community events.

Clothes that Document Family History
We surround ourselves with objects of functionality and beauty. Heirlooms, memorabilia, and treasured artifacts often reflect our family's history and what has been important to us as individuals. When passed from one generation to the next, these items create a link between our past and the future.

Diversity & Breadth
The costume collection at the Yakima Valley Museum spans all types of clothing from the rough home-spun, to the high fashion designer wear. Manufacturing processes include handmade about 1800 to a combination handmade and machine stitched with the introduction of sewing machines in 1849 to the mass-produced clothing after 1849.

Handle with Care
A Sign of the Time: Showing Their Age

Only a small fraction of our material culture­the tangible evidence of our past­has survived. The objects that remain to tell the story are fragile. Environmental elements, the wear and tear of use, neglect, inherent vice, vandalism, natural disasters, human conflict, and the passage of time are taking their toll. We are in danger of losing our heritage.
The Passage of Time
What survives through the years depends on a number of factors. Certain materials simply last longer than others. For example ceramics and stone are inherently stable, while other types of materials-such as textiles and basketry-are more susceptible to deterioration. In general, objects made from organic materials, either cellulose (plant) or protein (animal) sources, are more fragile than those made from more durable inorganic products such as metal and stone.

*You may select any area to jump to by clicking on the dresser drawers or by clicking the content selections on this page. you may also "take the tour" by using the Continue button. Continue


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