- circa 1910
This dress is important because the museum has hardly any children’s clothing, and most of that is “best”. The Royal BC Museum is not an art museum, though we do have many wonderful works of art. At our heart we’re a social (and natural) history museum. We tell the stories of people’s lives, as illustrated by their belongings. These rare and precious artifacts are often the everyday realities that are taken for granted when they’re in use, but are so evocative in retrospect: the work boots and school clothes, kitchen aprons, knit mittens on a string.
This embroidered and smocked blue cotton dress was made by a home sewer and then was worn and worn and worn. It’s stained and faded, grown into and out of, it’s been handed down and passed on. The girls who wore it were born in a world where women couldn’t vote and might have lived to see female prime ministers in Ceylon, India, Israel, Britain. Too bad it can’t talk; we have to tell the story on its behalf.