This dress is considerably less gaudy than continental and English clothing of the period. Yet, it is not lacking in sumptuousness. Rather, the green Spitalfields damask, attributed to Anna Maria Garthwaite about 1743-45, is richly displayed. The Costume Institute acquired this dress in 1994, knowing that it would be in the Museum's exhibition "John Singleton Copley's America." It has since appeared in our show "The Ceaseless Century." One could argue that the relative simplicity engenders more delight in the dress's inherent voluptuousness. Generations later, it was said that Boston ladies waited a year before breaking out their new Paris finery from Worth; perhaps the American sensibility in luxury goods is slow and deliberate. The outfit includes matching shoes.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Our New Clothes: Acquisitions of the 1990s," April 6, 1999–August 22, 1999.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Ceaseless Century," September 9, 1998–November 29, 1998.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "John Singleton Copley's America," June 7, 1995–August 27, 1995.