Alexandra Palmer

Dr. Alexandra Palmer. Photo: George Whiteside

Alexandra Palmer

Senior Curator, Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Curatorship

Area: World Cultures, Textiles & Fashions

Exhibitions & Galleries: Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume

Bio

B.A., Art History, University of Toronto, 1979
M.A., History of Costume and Textiles (in conjunction with the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), New York University, 1981
Ph.D., Design History, University of Brighton, England, 1995

Alexandra Palmer is the Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Senior Curator and Chair of the Veronika Gervers Research Fellowship in Textiles & Costume at the ROM, and a Co-curator of BIG, the latest exhibit in the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume. She is cross appointed and teaches in Fine Art History at the University of Toronto, and the Graduate Programme in Art History at York University, and the School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University.

A Canadian born in Greece and raised in England, Alexandra received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Toronto, her M.A. in the History of Costume & Textiles from New York University in conjunction with the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum and her PhD in Design History from the University of Brighton.

Before she came to the ROM in 1997 she was Assistant Professor for Craft and Design History at Nova Scotia College of Art. At the ROM she has curated Measure for Measure  (1989) in the Samuel European Galleries, Au Courant: Contemporary Canadian Fashion (1997) and Papiers à la Mode for  The Institute of Contemporary Culture (2001), as well as Unveiling the Textiles & Costume Collection (spring 2002) , Elite Elegance: Couture in the Feminine Fifties (November 2002- spring 2003) and the exhibits in the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume since it opened in  2007.

Dr. Palmer has edited and contributed to numerous books, museum catalogues and journals. She is the author of two award winning books, Couture & Commerce: The Transatlantic Fashion Trade in the 1950s (2001) Clio for Ontario history, and  Dior: A New Look, A New Enterprise 1947-1957 (2009) Millia Davenport Publication 2010 Award. 

Dr. Palmer currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption, the first truly interdisciplinary, academic journal devoted to luxury. The journal consider's luxury in broad socio-cultural contexts, exploring and interrogating both our historical and contemporary understanding of the term.

Other Links
National Gallery of Canada - Audio Guide to fashion in paintings 1550-1940

Recent Publications

Year Publication
2009 "Dior. A New Look, A New Enterprise 1947-57." V&A Publications
2008 Giovanni Franci and Rosella Mangaroni. "Una breva storia della moda canadese." La Moda in Canada I libri di Emil: Bologna
2007 Michèle Ruffat and Dominique Veillon . "Haute Couture, Copies Nord-Américaines et Prêt-à-Porter." La mode des sixties. L’entrée dan las modernité. Autrement: Paris
2007 L. Welters and A. Lillethun. "Torontonian Taste in Couture." The Fashion Reader, Berg: Oxford
2007 "The Paper Caper. Fashions of the Sixties." RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion Benaki Museum, Athens
2007 "Inside Paris Haute Couture." The Golden Age: Haute couture 1947-57 V&A Publications
2006 "Christian Dior à New York." In Christian Dior et Le Monde, Christian Dior Musée et éditions Artlys, 31-39.
2006 "A Bomb in the Collection: Researching and exhibiting early twentieth century fashion." The future of the twentieth century. Collecting, interpreting & conserving modern materials, AHRC Research Centre for Textile Conservation and Textile Studies: Archety

Research Projects

Social and Cultural History of Couture in Toronto, 1900-1937

Printed Textiles in the 20th Century

History of the second hand fashion trade

Historical essays on Canadian fashion

Veronika Gervers Research Fellowship, supported by a memorial fund established in 1979 to commemorate ROM curator and textile scholar,

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