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Drexel Debuts First Exhibit in Custom-Built Gallery Gifted from Robert and Penny Fox

September 25, 2018


Drexel University’s Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection (FHCC) of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design is opening its new, custom-built gallery space with the presentation of The Fox Collection, 2008-2018: A Decade of Renewal. The exhibition honors Robert (Hon. ’13) and Penny Fox (Hon.’13) for their generous support, which made the new gallery possible. It will open to the public on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 and run through March 23, 2019.

The Fox Collection, 2008-2018: A Decade of Renewal celebrates the wide range of fashion history and achievement preserved in the Fox Collection. The FHCC has grown exponentially in the last decade through the generous support of donors. The Fox Collection, 2008-2018: A Decade of Renewal celebrates this achievement; on display are a small sampling of some of donations from the last 10 years, including garments by Cristobal Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta, Issey Miyake and Ralph Rucci, among others.

The FHCC, heralded as a “world-class collection of fashion and textiles” by The Wall Street Journal, has grown exponentially in the last decade. The Collection has undergone a period of intense redevelopment. In addition to the new, custom-built 1,1000 square-foot gallery space, renovations, designed by Atkin Olshin Schade, have allowed the collection to double its existing storage space, improve its environmental controls, and add the James G. Galanos study room to accommodate students and researchers. The new gallery will present two exhibitions annually and offer associated programing.

Drexel founder and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel believed that the study of art and design was essential to a well-rounded education and specifically set aside significant funds for the purchase of art and artifacts. 

The FHCC contains works by many of the most celebrated designers of the past, such as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Christian Dior, Charles James and Elsa Schiaparelli. It has significant holdings from rare and important designers, such as renowned Parisian couture house Callot Soeurs and the exclusive, custom creations of New York designer Jessie Franklin Turner. 

In 2016 the FHCC received more than 700 ensembles and thousands of related materials from the James G. Galanos Foundation, creating the James G. Galanos Archive at Drexel University.

Housed in the URBN Center (3501 Market St.), the Fox Historic Costume Collection spans several hundred years. Its holdings range from Renaissance textiles to French couture. Many garments were worn by noted women of style, including American socialite and style icon Babe Paley and Princess Grace of Monaco.


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