Fashion Museology

Talk by Marie Riegels Melchior, Associate Professor in European Ethnology, The Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen.

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The exhibition “Meet the Vikings” at The National Museum in Copenhagen demonstrates when fashion photography becomes a welcoming strategy to attract visitors to the museum. However, the strategy is heavily criticized as it confuses the perception and knowledge of the Viking age. The exhibition will be addressed and discussed in the talk. Photo: The National Museum.

In the talk Riegels Melchior will unfold and explain the term ‘Fashion Museology’ she initially introduced in the edited book Fashion and Museums: Theory and Practice (Bloomsbury, 2014) in order to organize and understand the developments around the entrance of fashion into mainly art and social history museums since the 20th century.

The term helped to describe and analyse what was going on particularly in the early 21st century, when the presence of fashionable clothing, fashion photography, fashion designers in museums seemed to explode, not only at the great international, metropolitan museums, but also at museums on the periphery of these around the world.

Further the talk will address the digitalization of fashion heritage on platforms like Europeana and Google Cultural Institute’s We Wear Culture and discuss the consequences and potentials of fashion museology for heritagization.

About the speaker

Marie Riegels Melchior is Associate Professor in European Ethnology, The Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen. Her talk is based on the following published work:

  • Riegels Melchior, Marie & Birgitta Svensson (eds.)(2014): Fashion in Museums. Theory and Practice, London: Bloomsbury.
  • Riegels Melchior, Marie (2019): “Fashion Curation. Unpacking a new discipline and practice”, in Malene Vest Hansen, Anne F. Henningsen & Anne Gregersen (eds.): Curatorial Challenges, London: Routledge, p. 51-64.
  • Riegels Melchior, Marie (in press): “Digital Fashion Heritage. Understanding and the Google Cultural Institute’s We Wear Culture”, in special issue on fashion digital memories of Journal of Critical Studies of Beauty and Fashion (will be published autumn 2019).


Marzia Varutti

Published Aug. 7, 2019 9:00 AM - Last modified Aug. 7, 2019 9:58 AM