Amelia Peck, Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Renaissance Revival Parlor, Meriden, Connecticut, 1870; fashions by Ann Lowe (1898-1981). Film director: Julie Dash
The Shaker Retiring Room, New Lebanon, New York, ca. 1830-40; fashions by Claire McCardell (1905-1958). Film director: Chloe Zhao
The Frank Lloyd Wright Living Room, Wayzata, Minnesota, 1915; fashions by Charles James (1906-1978). Film director: Martin Scorsese
John Vanderlyn (1775-1852) “Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles”, 1818-19. Various American and French fashion designers, all fashions from 1973. Film director: Tom Ford.
During the summer of 2022, In America: An Anthology of Fashion was presented by The Met’s Costume Institute in collaboration with the museum’s American Wing. It highlighted sartorial narratives that related to the sometimes hidden histories of the American period rooms. Men’s and women’s dress was presented in vignettes installed in the first floor period rooms, from the four Federal Rooms of ca. 1805 to the Frank Lloyd Living Room of 1915. These interiors display a survey of more than one hundred years of American domestic life and tell a variety of stories—from the personal to the political, the stylistic to the cultural, and the aesthetic to the ideological. The exhibition reflected on these narratives through a series of three-dimensional cinematic “freeze frames” produced in collaboration with notable American film directors. These mise-en-scènes explored the role of dress in shaping American identity and addressed the complex and layered histories of the rooms.
Amelia Peck is the Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Decorative Arts and Consulting Curator, Antonio Ratti Textile Center. She graduated from Brown University and received an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. Her areas of expertise include American textiles and period rooms. In her forty years at the Museum, Amelia has curated numerous exhibitions and installations, including Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise of American Design, 1875-1900 (2001), and has been the author or general editor of many publications, including Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800 (2013). Recently, Amelia was a part of the curatorial team that produced Making The Met: 1870-2020 (2020) and co-curated In America: An Anthology of Fashion (2022).