A magnificent costume exhibition is coming to St. Augustine on October 4, and there is every reason to be thrilled. Dressing Downton: Changing Fashions for Changing Times is a traveling display that will make its final stop at the Lightner Museum. The show will span October 4-January 7, 2018 and boast 36 garments featured on the TV series Downton Abbey. The Lightner Museum is a fitting venue with its collection of Gilded Age antiquities.
“If it’s meant to be anywhere, it’s meant to be at the Lightner Museum,” says museum Communications Coordinator Jennifer Jordon.
The experience will allow you to immerse yourself in the world we came to know and love. Imagine entering the Grand Ballroom as a 12-piece jazz band performs, advancing through 16 rooms, and being transported to Downton with its costumes and furnishings situated through and through. Attendees are encouraged to dress for the occasion – as in full-fledged 1920’s era attire.
Prepare for access to never-before-seen museum pieces which will be taken down from the seldom explored fourth floor staff quarters of the former Alcazar Hotel. Some original rooms will be open for viewing. Greeting you for this part of the tour will be Elizabeth Graham (Program Director and Fashion Designer) in a character portrayal of Alcazar Hotel’s Head Housekeeper Ms. Twombley. Guests will be greeted as if they are newly hired housekeepers in need of a fourth-floor servant quarters tour. After touring, you might sit for High Tea in the historic pool area of the museum.
Dressing Downton, Changing Fashion for Changing Times™ is an exquisite exhibition of 36 costumes and accessories paired to perfection in engaging vignettes, immersed amongst Otto Lightner’s collection of turn of the century fine art and furniture. Tickets for special group tours can be purchased online. General admission to the exhibit is $20 for adults, $10 for children 12-17, and $15 for active military, seniors, and college students. Children under 11 are free. Tickets are available for purchase online and time slots are available for reservation.
The event will kick off on October 3 with an opening reception where hors d’oevres, early 20th century-inspired cocktails, music, and snobbery will ensue. Period attire is encouraged to get in the mood for high-class, Gilded Age celebration. The event will go from 7-10pm and feature entertainment from Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra. Celebrity appearances will be made in conjunction with the exhibit. Tickets to the Opening Reception are $125 and can be purchased online.
NICHOLAS DAWES APPRAISAL EVENT
Antiquarian and appraiser Nicholas Dawes (Antiques Roadshow) will give a lecture about how to conduct appraisals. Mr. Dawes will host two events during his visit to St. Augustine. The events are part of Lightner Museum’s fall programming schedule, which seeks to highlight the Dressing Downton™ exhibition.
On November 3, 2017, at 10:30am, Mr. Dawes will present The Treasures of Downton: An Appraiser’s View, at the Casa Monica Hotel. This talk will focus primarily on the decorative objects d’art typically found in the great English homes of the 19th century.
On November 4, 2017, at 11am, Mr. Dawes will be giving a demonstration of his appraisal methods in Flagler College’s luxurious Flagler Room. Special ticket purchasers will be invited to bring in one small object for Mr. Dawes to appraise during this morning event.
Mr. Dawes moved to the United States from England in 1979 to pursue a career as an auctioneer, appraiser, author, lecturer and antiques dealer at prestigious firms such as Phillips and Sotheby’s. As a member of the Heritage Auctions team based in New York City, Mr. Dawes brings a wealth of experience and knowledge primarily focused on the history of ceramics, glass, silver, and other decorative arts. His experience also includes being a faculty member at Parsons School of Design and a lecturer at the Columbia Business School and Bard Graduate Center.
JESSICA FELLOWES LECTURES
Flagler College will host lectures with Jessica Fellowes (author and niece of show creator Julian Fellowes) on October 4. She’ll discuss the Downton Abbey family, behind-the-scenes exclusives, and later sit down to a VIP luncheon in Flagler College’s Solarium. Tickets to each lecture are $50 and tickets to the luncheon are $100.
FRANCINE SEGAN LECTURE AND TASTING
Later in December, TV personality and Food Historian Francine Segan (Food Network) will be present for a special chocolate lecture and tasting as well as a lecture on the food of Downton Abbey. Francine will also host a multi-course Gilded Age dinner and discuss food fads in the Americas during the Gilded Age. Tickets can be purchased online.
“Everyone gets it,” says Jennifer. “They get how important this is to the museum. But not just the museum, it will help everybody…People are going to be staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, going shopping, they’re going to be making an experience out of this.”
For tickets to the Opening Reception, general exhibit, and lectures or information about the exhibit, visit www.lightnermuseum.org/dressing-downton. Images via ©Carnival Films.
To see more events in St. Augustine, visit our online calendar of events!