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Robert & Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection

April 4, 2014

One of the oldest research collections in the United States, Drexel’s collection of more than 12,000 fashionable garments, accessories, textiles, and related ephemera has been renamed The Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, in honor of a million dollar commitment from Robert (Hon. ’13) and Penny Fox (Hon. ’13).

“This is a transformative gift with lasting impact. It will ensure financial support of the collection for years to come and allow for exhibitions, conservation, and public programming. Furthermore, an online database will be created, allowing the students of Drexel, scholars, and the public access to this phenomenal collection,” said Clare Sauro, who has served as Curator of the collection since 2008.

Housed in Drexel's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design's URBN Center, the collection’s mission is to educate and inspire an ever-expanding community of historians, scholars, artists and designers. Through the remarkable generosity of donors, the collection has grown to preserve a far-reaching repository of fashion history with items ranging from late renaissance velvets to Parisian haute couture, to mid-20th century American garments by designers and retailers. Recent acquisitions include items from Prada, Oscar de la Renta and Romeo Gigli.

Previously only accessible by appointment, the collection recently opened its doors to the public for a series of engaging seminars, which feature presentations on themed aspects of fashion history and rare viewings of the collection. The first two event themes were the history of 1920s fashion and the perennial favorite of floral motifs in fashion. The third event, to take place on May 10th, will take an extended look at Philadelphia’s enduring icon of style, Grace Kelly, with an exclusive viewing of a coral encrusted gown worn by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1965.

Robert and Penny Fox are enthusiastic for the collection to be made more available to the public and to become an even greater resource to students, faculty and others. A ribbon-cutting event and reception will take place in early May.