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Costume and Textiles Study Room

Hours: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00-4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday (excluding holidays)
Location: Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Costume and Textiles, second floor, Perelman Building

Appointments required, please e-mail .

Study Room appointments >>

Appointments in the Study Room are intended to provide information from the first-hand study of objects that is not obtainable in other ways; to ensure that research requests are as specific as possible and that the objects made available will be as useful as possible, those requesting an appointment are encouraged to undertake preliminary research with other primary and secondary sources before completing an appointment application.

In most cases, Study Room appointments are for a maximum of two hours, and the number of objects that can be viewed is limited to about six, depending on and size, fragility, and storage location. Appointment availability may be affected by the department’s exhibition schedule and by staff and space limitations. Due to the fragility, rarity, and difficulty of handling certain objects, all requests are subject to the approval of curators and conservators.

The website provides a searchable database and images of some of the objects in the collection. The database Marcel, which provides a complete listing of collection objects (with or without images), can be used at the Museum’s Library and Wachovia Education Resource Center, both located in the Perelman Building.

Since many costume and textiles objects are not represented online, contact with specific requests about further collection holdings that may be of interest.

The Costume and Textiles Collection

Currently numbering more than 30,000 objects, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s costume and textiles collection is one of the largest and oldest in the country. The holdings, remarkable in their depth and breadth, encompass art of great quality from diverse eras and around the globe.

Exhibitions and installations of costume and textiles objects are regularly presented in the Joan Spain Gallery and the Costume and Textiles Study Gallery in the Perelman Building and in Gallery 271 of the main building. Because only a small percentage of the department’s large collection is on display, works from the permanent collection are made available for study by appointment in the Costume and Textiles Study Room.


In the Study Gallery

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.


Gallery Shot
Silver and Gold Fashions since 1960s
Costume and Textiles Study Gallery
In the mood for a bit of razzle-dazzle? Then come explore this presentation of glamorous and glittering dresses and accessories that utilize metallics in fashion-forward ways. See how designers Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Geoffrey Beene, Paco Rabanne, Rudi Gernreich, and others have used sparkling fabrics, embroidery, sequins, beads, and linked rings in eye-catching ways.

View Past Installations >>

Great Coats: Women’s Outerwear from the Collection
October 19, 2011 - December 02, 2012
Coats provide protection from cold, wind, damp, and dust, but as the outermost article of clothing worn outdoors, they are made to be seen and often make an important fashion statement. This installation focuses on inventive lines, interesting shapes, and ingenious uses of materials and embellishment in women’s coats from the 1920s to the early 21st century.

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