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The McCord Museum's Clothes Make the MAN wins International Exhibition Award  

Montreal, Wednesday, April 9, 2003 — It is with great pride that the McCord Museum announces receipt of the Costume Society of America's Richard Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume for its recent major costume exhibition, Clothes Make the MAN. This prestigious accolade affirms the McCord's world-class reputation for innovative exhibition and for its outstanding costume collection. A travelling exhibition that highlights the Canadian man's relationship with fashionable dress, Clothes Make the MAN will be on display at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau from April 24 through September 1, 2003, and then will travel to the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City in 2004.

A ground-breaking exploration of its subject, Clothes Make the MAN goes beyond the evolution of garments and styles to examine the diverse factors that have influenced men's clothing choices across three centuries. The themes of Vanity, Exposure and Sportswear have proven highly popular with visitors and serve as springboards for discussions of intriguing and little-known chapters in the history of men's apparel. Featuring rarely-seen and sometimes novel artifacts from the McCord's collection, including 18th-century embroidered waistcoats and a 1950s tie hand-painted with a topless Hawaiian dancer, the exhibition debunks the myth that practicality is the main influence on men's clothing. Clothes Make the MAN also highlights clothing used to signal a man's social status, and shows how even small changes in dress, such as the evolution of the bathing suit and the introduction of the zipper fly on men's trousers, reflect broad shifts in cultural ideals.

The Richard Martin Award for Excellence in the Exhibition of Costume is named for Richard Martin (1947-1999), former curator of costume at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Richard Martin was an outstanding scholar, lecturer, critic and curator of many critically acclaimed costume exhibitions. Now in its second year, this award recognizes annually up to two institutions for excellence in the exhibition of costume. The McCord Museum is the first institution outside of the United States to win this award. The other Martin Award recipient for 2003 is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for their exhibition Miracles and Mischief: Noh and Kyogen Theater in Japan.

Clothes Make the MAN features artifacts and images drawn primarily from the McCord Museum's outstanding collections. The McCord's costume and textiles collection is considered the world's leading collection of Canadian dress, with over 16,000 items made, worn or used in Canada from the 18th century to the present.

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Nike Langevin
(514) 398-7100, ext. 251

The McCord wishes to thank the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage for its generous support.