Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Amelia Beard Hollenback, 1966
Not on view
This evening dress belonged to Amelia Beard Hollenback (1844-1918) who was born and raised in Brooklyn and married the prominent financier and philanthropist John Welles Hollenback (1835-1927) in 1874. The dress was originally worn in 1862, when Amelia Beard was a bridesmaid at the marriage of James and Nellie Sparkman, long time residents of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the early 1870s, prior to her marriage, Amelia altered the dress into its current polonaise style when, "on very short notice for a party '[she had] nothing to wear.'" The delicacy of the organdy and mull and the beautiful execution of the alteration exemplify Amelia Beard's resourcefulness and talent with dressmaking.