Janet Arnold’s pioneering research into the cut and construction of clothes from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries provide invaluable information on clothing from the past. Her series of publications entitled Patterns of Fashion continues to make a profound impact in many fields, from the re-creation of historic dance and other forms of re-enactment to designs for stage, film and television. For art historians and conservators too, her insights have proved an indispensable aid to historical research.
For more than 10 years preceding her untimely death in 1998, Janet Arnold collaborated with Palazzo Pitti’s Galleria del Costume conservation department in Florence. Here she actively participated on the lengthy and difficult project of documenting and conserving the sixteenth century Medici burial clothes (of Cosimo I, Eleonora di Toledo and one of their sons) on which she contributed to several publications. Prior to this, she made several trips to Italy, and in particular to Florence, while researching for her books on Patterns of Fashion.
On the 10th anniversary of the passing away of this illustrious British costume historian, it is appropriate that in Florence - city of art, fashion, theatre and much more - a special event is being organized: a true tribute to Janet Arnold and her work. In the plans are four days of study, lectures, on-sight tours and visits to significant sites specifically tailored to the participants’ interests and essential to Janet Arnold’s work and to that of her followers.
The event will be on an international scale and involve the collaboration of the most prestigious institutions and researchers in the fields of costume history, conservation, costume replication and/or as many collateral fields as time and interest permit.
The organizers are appealing not only to textile and dress conservators and curators, art and costume historians, costume designers for stage, film and televisions but also students in these disciplines and interested members of the general public to attend this important and timely event.