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Festival of the Arts

April 14, 2010

Profile view of Harries given a lecture at a microphone with his arm raised to his chin

The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) is a month long celebration of the arts with over 100 performances and events throughout the region organized through the inspiration of the Kimmel Center. The Westphal College is proud to participate with a Pearlstein Gallery exhibition featuring fashions from the Drexel Historic Costume Collection focusing on Paris and fashion design from the early 20th century. The 25-day festival will focus on collaboration, innovation and creativity among Philadelphia arts organizations. The $10 million endeavor is funded through a generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation and is the vision of the late Mrs. Leonore Annenberg, who was a long-standing proponent of arts and culture in Philadelphia and around the nation.

The inspiration for PIFA occurred one-hundred years earlier in Paris, a time of unusual creativity in music, art, theater and design. Our exhibition will highlight the emerging freedom and change in fashion that many associate with the roaring 1920s, but that actually began a decade earlier.  It was then that the muted colors and the hourglass silhouettes of the late nineteenth century were abandoned in favor of short skirts, bright “fauvist” colors and a slim uncorseted body.  Curated by Clare Sauro, the curator of the Drexel Historic Costume Collection, the exhibition will feature over a dozen garments and accessories including examples of French couture and garments produced in Philadelphia.