Original Dress Worn in Sargent Painting On View at Joslyn

The Joslyn Art Museum has on view the display “Mrs. Rotch's Dress.” The art installation has a portrait alongside the original garment worn by the sitter is a rare opportunity.

This is the first installation of its kind at Joslyn, which they hope to inspire visitors to see the beloved Sargent painting in a new light. The dress is on view in the Merriam Gallery (gallery 8) through the fall of 2019.

Painting Credit:
John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925), Mrs. Abbott Lawrence Rotch, 1903, oil on canvas, Lent anonymously, L-1987.5

Dress Credit:
Callot Soeurs (French, active 1895–1937), Evening dress, about 1900, silk, chiffon, and linen lace, Lent anonymously, L-2018.1

It offers a distinct occasion to consider the artist, the subject, the dynamics of portraiture, and the culture of the time period during which both portrait and garment were produced. Now on view, the elegant blue and white evening dress designed by the Parisian couturier Callot Soeurs at the turn of the twentieth century and worn by Mrs. Abbott Lawrence Rotch for her portrait by John Singer Sargent. The premier international portraitist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Sargent flourished as a painter to the English aristocracy and American high society. He understood the importance of fashion and took great care in advising his sitters on their selection of wardrobe. Mrs. Rotch’s dress signified her wealth, sophistication, and modern taste while also providing an opportunity for Sargent to showcase his masterful handling of light and texture. Admired for his dazzling technical virtuosity and painterly technique, he influenced an entire generation of American portraitists.

Amy Rummel, Director of Marketing & Public Relations

Lecture Luncheon: Worn on This Day 


On Monday, November 4, the Joslyn Art Museum Association presents the 2019 Lecture Luncheon, "Worn on This Day," in celebration of the Callot Soeurs dress worn by Mrs. Abbott Lawrence Rotch for her portrait by John Singer Sargent. Guest speaker will be Dr. Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, an art historian specializing in fashion and textiles.
Dr. Chrisman-Campbell has worked as a curator, consultant, and educator for museums and universities around the world. She is a frequent contributor to books, scholarly journals, and magazines, as well as an experienced lecturer. Her areas of expertise include European fashion and textiles and French and British painting and decorative arts of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Her latest book, Worn on This Day: The Clothes That Made History, looks at garments worn on monumental occasions across centuries, offering capsule fashion histories of everything from space suits to wedding gowns, Olympics uniforms, and armor. Published by Running Press Adult, Worn on This Day is scheduled for release the week of the Lecture Luncheon. Watch for complete event registration details at www.joslyn.org.

Luis Jimenez