Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Mourning dress

Date:
1850–55
Culture:
American
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. F. W. Cameron, 1955
Accession Number:
2009.300.6884
Not on view
By the late Middle Ages in Europe, black had connotations of mourning, though it could also suggest worldly elegance and luxury, in part due to the costliness of black dye. Broadly worn as the color of grief during the nineteenth century, black could be perceived as both humble and sober or sophisticated and becoming. A shade of true deep black that did not quickly fade toward blue or brown was the mark of a fine-quality textile and the ideal for mourning attire. In their 1856 catalogue, Besson and Son’s Mourning Store of Philadelphia assured prospective buyers of the quality of their black goods, promising only "what is of the proper shade of black." This simple afternoon dress, appropriate for the third, or ordinary, period of mourning, is composed of a taffeta woven with narrow horizontal bands and dots in soft black.
Related Objects

Mourning dress

Artist: Date: ca. 1845
Accession Number: 2009.300.7703
Date: ca. 1845 Medium: silk Accession: 2009.300.7703 On view in:Not on view

Mourning dress

Artist: Date: ca. 1903
Accession Number: 2009.300.6441a, b
Date: ca. 1903 Medium: silk/wool, silk Accession: 2009.300.6441a, b On view in:Not on view

Dinner dress

Artist: Mme. Grapanche Date: 1884–86 Medium: silk Accession: C.I.63.23.3a, b On view in:Not on view

Dress

Artist: Date: 1860–65
Accession Number: C.I.69.33.4a–d
Date: 1860–65 Medium: silk, mother-of-pearl Accession: C.I.69.33.4a–d On view in:Not on view

Dress form

Artist: Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978) Date: 1949 Medium: plaster Accession: 2009.300.8498a, b On view in:Not on view