19th Annual Veronika Gervers Memorial Lecture

Clothing for the Warrior and the Courtier: Patterns of Sixteenth Century European Court Dress is the topic of this year’s FREE illustrated lecture

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is extremely pleased to present the 19th Annual Veronika Gervers Memorial Lecture on February 17 at 6:00pm to 6:45pm. This year features an illustrated lecture by the 2009 Veronika Gervers Research Fellow, Jennifer Tiramani. She will examine European sixteenth century dress and several objects of the ROM’s own Textiles and Costume collection, including a rare 1500 - 1530 brigandine, a garment worn by royalty or courtiers. A form of body armour, the brigandine is often compared to the modern day bullet proof vest. In the sixteenth century, it was considered a “hidden doublet of defense.” The brigandine in the ROM’s collection is made of crimson velvet with decorative brass headed rivets that hold in place the inner protective metal plates.

The lecture will discuss existing sixteenth century costume in the ROM’s collection -- mapping the cut and construction in order to understand decorative techniques and the play between armour and clothing. Jennifer Tiramani will examine how these garments were made and how they communicate Shakespeare’s text and the clothing worn by his fellow actors. For instance, in Othello, Cassio informs Roderigo that he is wearing a hidden brigandine,

That thrust had been mine enemy indeed
But that my coat is better than thou know'st.

Othello Act V Sc 1 line 28

Lecturer Jennifer Tiramani has worked as a Costume and Stage Designer since 1977. Based in the UK, she was Associate Designer at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East 1979-1997; Director of Theatre Design at Shakespeare’s Globe 1997-2005; and is presently Resident Designer of Mark Rylance’s Phoebus Cart Theatre Company. Among her numerous current projects, Tiramani is currently designing costumes for the Metropolitan Opera in New York

The lecture takes place in the Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre on the Museum’s Level 1B. Attendees should enter via the President’s Choice School Entrance, located at the Museum’s south end. The event is open to the public and is free of charge.

The Research Fellowship is supported by a memorial fund established in 1979 to commemorate the noted ROM curator and textile scholar, Veronika Gervers, to promote scholarly research that incorporates the ROM’s textile and costume collections. The Fellowship is open to Ph.D. candidates and international scholars whose research can make direct use of, or support, any part of the Museum’s collections. Successful Gervers candidates are selected by a committee of both museum and university scholars. Senior Curator Dr. Alexandra Palmer, of the ROM’s Textiles & Costume department, and herself a former Gervers Fellow, chairs the committee.

This event is presented by the Veronika Gervers Research Fellowship.