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Costume and Textiles Department Records

Identifier: CT
The records comprising series 1 through 5 consist of correspondence, booklets, yearbooks, and research notes for catalogs or proposed catalogs by the various Curators. The "unprocessed" series consists of more than 11.5 linear feet of records produced during the same time period as the other series, with some additional material dating from the early 1980s. These records are primarily departmental files, comprised of correspondence and subject files, and date from the 1960s to approximately1982. Another set of unprocessed records pertain to the annual Crystall Ball galas that were held from 1959 to 1976, including the bicentennial affair.

Inventories are available in the Archives.


  • 1920-1980


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research. Access to institutional records less than 10 years old is at the discretion of the Archivist.

Use Restrictions

The Costume and Textiles Department Records are the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.


17 linear feet


None available.

Historical Note

Nancy Andrews Reath was a Cataloguer and Acting Registrar from 1921 to 1925. In 1926 she was appointed the Assistant in charge of Textiles. In 1927 she became the Assistant Curator of Textiles. She became the Curator in 1933 and served until her death in 1936, when Marianna Merritt became Assistant in Textiles. In 1940 Marianna Merritt Hornor became the Assistant Curator of Textiles and continued thus until 1943 at which time she went on leave of absence until 1946.

From 1942 to 1946 Joan Prentice, an Assistant in Decorative Arts, handled the correspondence concerning textiles. At Mrs. Hornor's return her title was changed to Curator of Costume. In 1954 she became the Curator of Costume and Textiles until 1956 when she was the Advisor to the department.

Elsie Siratz McGarvey was appointed Curator of Costumes and Textiles in 1956 and continued thus until she retired in 1979. During 1979, Christine Atwater Jackson was acting Department head for part of the time. Adolph Cavallo succeeded Mrs. McGarvey in December 1979, but he left in February 1982. Susan Anderson then became Acting Assistant Curator. Dilys Blum, the current Curator, assumed the position in 1987. Two years later, Christina Haugland joined the department as Assistant Curator

Processing Information

These materials were arranged and described by Alice Lefton in 1988. Revised 2007. Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation.


Guide to the Costume and Textiles Department Records
Finding aid prepared by Alice Lefton (3/1/88). Revised 2007.
Language of description
Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation
Edition statement

Revision Statements

  • 1/20/2006: Susie Anderson: New nodes and citation
  • 6/11/2007: Bertha Adams: June 11, 2007
  • 12/19/2007: Bertha Adams: Biog/hist update

Repository Details

Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives Repository

Philadelphia Museum of Art
PO Box 7646
Philadelphia PA 19101-7646 United States