Eyewear: Fashion with Vision

November 23, 2016, to February 5, 2017

Dr. Anne Bissonnette, Cybil Cameron, Katelin Karbonik, Katie Mooney, Naomi Milne,
Danielle Peel, and Donnalee Riley co-curators.

Few objects have had as immense a societal and personal impact as eyeglasses. In a fundamental way, this single object can transform individual lives, affect literacy, improve learning and, in doing so, impact entire nations. Changing the face of history with its corrective powers, eyewear is also a highly visible element of dress that is part of the fashion system. In popular culture it continues to be embedded with intellectualism yet is seldom seen in formal portraits, on television, in film or in fashion exhibitions. Worn by billions of people daily corrective and protective eyewear can be used symbolically for a range of personalities from conservative to assertive. Functional, decorative and rich in meaning, this unique object holds tremendous power and promise.

This exhibition received a 2017 Richard Martin Award from the Costume Society of America. This was the first time in the history of this award that is was given to an exhibition co-curated by students.

To access the Richard Martin Application, click here.

To access the HECOL 460 syllabus for Fall 2016, click here.

Cite this page (bibliography):

Bissonnette, Anne, Cybil Cameron, Katelin Karbonik, Naomi Milne, Katie Mooney, Danielle Peel, and Donnalee Riley. “Eyewear: Fashion with Vision,” Exhibitions, Clothing and Textiles Collection, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta Museums, November 23, 2016. [INSERT URL].

This exhibition is part of the undergraduate course “Nineteenth, Twentieth and Twenty-first Century Dress in the Western World” (HECOL 460).

Sponsorship provided by USEED crowdfunding donors and supported by our community partners and lenders: Jackie Anderson, Bijan Optical, The Observatory Opticians, and The Royal Alberta Museum.

Dr. Anne Bissonnette, Curator
325 Human Ecology
Phone: (780) 492-3604
Academic Profile