Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

2022

Photograph, Sarah Costumed for the Vanderbilt Ball

This is a Photograph. It is dated 1883. Its medium is reproduction. It is a part of the department.

The Vanderbilt Ball, planned by Alva Vanderbilt in 1883, was a defining event of Gilded-Age New York. The Washington Post called the event “A Bewildering Display of Wealth and Bizarreric.” Sarah appears in a Persian princess costume, wearing a blue brocade robe trimmed with fur and pearls, crimson girdle, belt, and turban.

Costume balls of the Gilded Age were lavish events for the wealthy, and costume stereotyping of cultures was common. This practice is considered harmful today because it can diminish the meaning of cultural dress.

It is credited Collection of Edward Parmee.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-4.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318805789/ |title=Photograph, Sarah Costumed for the Vanderbilt Ball |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=10 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>