Redressing Histories of Early Hodinǫ̱hsǫ́:nih Women at Cornell, 1914-1942

This exhibition examines the histories, stories, and lived experiences of early Hodinǫ̱hsǫ́:nih (Haudenosaunee) (Iroquois) women at Cornell University from 1914 to 1942.

Dr. Joyce Brothers

Mother of Media Psychology

Mud Paintings

Sensing chemical and physical changes of microbial industry

This exhibition features art made with photosynthetic bacteria.

Circus Fashion

Featuring the Research of Circus in Fashion and Costume through Exhibitions

Circus Fashion is developed as a repository of exhibitions and resources on circus costume. Utilizing items from various resources across campus including the Circus Publicity Collection in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections and the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection, along with artifacts loaned by circus professionals and institutions, the Circus Fashion site elevates the study of circus costume into retrievable, publicly accessible information through engaged and creative scholarship.

Cultivating Silence

Nikolai Vavilov and the Suppression of Science in the Modern Era

Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov was one of the most brilliant geneticists of the 20th century, yet died in a Soviet prison for his ideas.

Ties that Bind: Quilting at the Clarke Africana Library

February 17-June 12, 2023

This two-part exhibit at the Clarke Africana Library celebrates the community-building tradition of African American quilt-making. Organized by Cornell University Library, Tompkins County Public Library, and the Community Quilting Resource Center, the Quilting Project honors Morrison’s legacy and her deep connection to quilt-making. In her novel Beloved, for example, she used an heirloom quilt as a storytelling device to connect the different histories of its characters. And, in exploring the African American diaspora experience throughout her work, Morrison wove complex narratives from a patchwork of voices across time and space. “Toni Morrison is one of the preeminent chroniclers of the African American experience and, much like quilt-making, she created beautiful, useful, and communal art out of the multiplicity and everyday experiences of her characters,” said project co-organizer Camille Andrews, emerging literacies librarian at Mann Library of Cornell University Library. “We hope that our community today, in these difficult times, will find inspiration in her works and legacy as they participate in the quilting project.” The Toni Morrison Quilting Project invited to participate remotely by making and donating quilt blocks and small quilts. Once collected, the quilt squares and small quilts will be donated to different local organizations and locations including the Toni Morrison residence hall, currently under construction on Cornell’s North Campus. Morrison earned her master’s degree in American literature in 1955 from Cornell, and she received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. She died in 2019. “It is amazing that Toni Morrison lived in our community and that her education here in Ithaca contributed to her extraordinary writing,” said Brigid Hubberman—CEO of the nonprofit Children’s Reading Connection and a quiltmaker spearheading the development of the Community Quilting Resource Center—who is helping to drum up awareness about the quilting project. “It is wonderful to have an opportunity for the Ithaca and Tompkins County community to come together with quiltmakers at Cornell to shine light on the beauty of Morrison’s legacy, stitching the most powerful words, wonder, and wisdom from her stories.”

Engaging Communities, Empowering Students

Engaging Communities, Empowering Students: Fostering Cross-Cultural Connections through Dress, 1936-1958 explores the different ways international students helped to foster cross-cultural understandings of dress on Cornell’s campus in the mid-twentieth century.

Uris Library Cocktail Lounge

Ready for a New Generation!

In 1982, Uris Library opened a new addition carved out of Libe Slope, featuring a panoramic window with glorious western views and very comfortable seating. It soon became known as the cocktail lounge, a popular spot for late-night studying and the occasional nap. In 2019, the well-loved room underwent a renovation to renew furnishings and equipment, and make it more accessible. This exhibition focuses on the design and renovation process.

Fabricating Archives of African History

Students in the seminar – Dress, Cloth and Identity in Africa and the Diaspora (HIST 2452) – have spent this semester exploring the different histories that can be traced through an analysis of how textiles are produced, traded, used and worn. The items in this exhibit provide just a small sample of the multiple histories woven into these fabrics as they journeyed from agricultural products, to finished cloths and designer dresswear.

When the Emperor Was Divine

Julie Otsuka’s novel, When the Emperor was Divine, was the 2013 New Student Reading Project book, read by all new Cornell undergraduates. The text imagines the historical experience of internment for Japanese Americans through the eyes of one representative, but unnamed, family. Through photographs, documents, maps, and artwork, our exhibition examines the story through the perspective of Ostuka’s characters—“the woman,” “the girl,” “the boy,” and “the father”— each of whom acts as narrator.

Uris Historical Tour

The University Library building, later renamed Uris Library, opened on October 7, 1891, precisely twenty-three years after classes began at Cornell University. The architect, William Henry Miller, was Cornell’s first student of architecture, remembered through his many buildings on campus and portrait, which hangs in the Uris Library lobby. In addition to the library, with its iconic tower, he designed Barnes Hall, Stimson Hall, Boardman Hall, and Risley Hall, two fraternities, the A. D. White House, the Central Avenue Bridge, and Eddy Gate.

Olin @ 50: Inspiration Since 1961

Half a century ago, life in John M. Olin Library looked very different — but the building itself is a long-standing symbol for generations of Cornellians. The exhibition on view in Olin and Uris libraries traces Olin’s history through photographs, drawings and artifacts. Beginning with Boardman Hall, the building that preceded Olin on the south side of the Arts Quad, it explores the state of Cornell’s libraries in the 1950s, which led to the building of one of the country’s largest university research libraries.

Clothing Amidst Conflict

Womenswear During World War II

How did global warfare affect women's fashion in the United States during WWII? In this exhibit, we explore women's changing roles during wartime through the clothing they wore. You'll find examples of what women wore in the military, nurse corps, factories, and on the homefront. "Clothing Amidst Conflict" reveals women's undeniable commitment to style during the war.

The Prep

A Curatorial Styling Exhibition on the Evolution of the Preppy Style and its Relevance in 2021

The Prep is a curatorial styling exhibit that analyses the trajectory of the preppy style from its origins to modern day. In exploring the stylistic and lifestyle characteristics that constitute being a prep, the history of how the subculture came to be, and how media representations have influenced the style and its demographic over time, the exhibit touches upon themes of nostalgia, class, inclusivity, and uniformity.

Building a Collection: Giok Po Oey and the John M. Echols Collection

Beginning with his hire in 1957, Giok Po Oey (1922-2010) worked tirelessly to build a world-class library collection of publications from and about Southeast Asia. Giok Po worked closely with the founders of Cornell’s Southeast Asia Program to build up this magnificent treasure known around the world as the John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia.

Bridging Worlds: Buddhist Words and Works

This exhibit celebrates the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Ithaca in October, 2007

Fashion in Transit

Fashion in Transit explores the relationship between what we wear and how we move. Organized according to forms of fashioned moment - swimming, sliding, walking, riding, rolling, flying, and orbiting - this exhibit illustrates the ways that garments and accessories have long been influenced by various modes of transportation, and in some cases, have been the very element that enabled those activities to take place.

Concealing and Revealing

The Legacies of American Swimwear

This digital fashion exhibition considers the nuanced social, cultural, and economic implications of swimsuits throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Bathing costumes from the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection are put in conversation with historical advertisements, photos, and articles that provide context. The exhibit challenges us to think about how the body, garment production, leisure, gender norms, and intersectionality are both concealed and revealed through swimwear.

Flights of Fancy

Fashion and Function in Circus Performance

The relationship between circus and fashion is one of ebb and flow, inspiration and aspiration: the iconic imagery of circus dress symbolism has long influenced design houses and couture displays, providing visual references that translate from the ring to the runway. This exhibition explores the circus as fashion inspiration by highlighting examples of past and present performers, designed spaces, and the symbolism of circus as fantasy. Step right up! The show is about to begin.

A Fashionista's Guide to the Galaxy

The Journey Begins

This exhibition is a journey to discover and explore science fiction and its fashion. Through a comprehensive look at the genre of science fiction we have curated an exhibition that dives into the many realms of this tiered genre. With a little perseverance, patience, and creativity, three student curators came together to deliver a fashion exhibition like no other. Prepare to discover multiple aspects of fashion's relationship with science fiction, from your favorite superheroes to popular culture references.

In Search of Costumes from Many Lands

This fashion exhibition critically examines the collecting practices of Professor Beulah Blackmore and Mrs. Ruth Sharp who contributed to the development of two ethnological dress collections on Cornell’s campus: the "Ethnic Collection" within the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection and the "Hmong Clothing and Textile Collection" within the Department of Anthropology Collections.

Trash: Rethink and Reclaim

In this exhibition we use trash as a lens to rethink the social constructions of waste, marginalization, and consumption and how we might reclaim these stories through repair, preservation, and re-narrativization. Trash is not just something produced by individuals that is automatically gross, offensive, disgusting or harmful. It’s all part of a wider sociocultural, political, ecological, and economic system.

Green Armor

Wrap, Protect, Cover, Perform

GREEN ARMOR is a fashion exhibition that explores and celebrates the power of the color green as a form of armor throughout fashion history. Green has a longstanding relationship with the human body: it signals illness but also alerts the body when it is safe to “go,” enhanced today by our collective Cornell COVID-19 dashboard that reminds us green is the “new normal.” We represent different facets of green armor through the following themes: The Troupers, The Emissaries, The Dancers, The Viewers and The Playwrights (In Three Acts).

Standards for a New Womanhood

Gender, Race, and Expertise

In her 1981 essay, “The Legacies of Slavery: Standards for a New Womanhood,” Angela Y. Davis explained that the 19th century cults of true womanhood and domesticity expressed an ideal of femininity that did not extend to Black women and enshrined whiteness at the beginning of movements for women’s independence. This exhibit asks how gender, race, and expertise intersect in the new profession of home economics by focusing on how this discipline re-fashioned women’s bodies around the year 1916.

Notes from Cornell Typewriters

From May to September 2018, Library users were invited to record their thoughts on vintage typewriters set up in Olin and Uris libraries. Inspired by Notes from a Public Typewriter, the typewriters allowed Cornellians to connect with each other and the past. This exhibit spotlights the machines and some of the messages left by people who were experiencing manual typing for the first time, and others who were reconnecting with a bygone technology and with it, long-forgotten memories.

A. D. White Library Tour

A curated tour through the President Andrew Dickson White Library, the historic heart of Cornell's first library, and iconic university landmark. This online exhibition explores the architecture, history, and people associated with the A. D. White Library.


visual narratives in Japanese pop culture

Engaging Early American History through Mapping

HIST 2391 - From Terra Incognita to Territories of Nation-States

History 2391 grew out of a desire to find a new way to expose students to the rich and diverse visual record of Early American history. The seminar engages the rich cartographic record of colonial North America via an in-depth analysis of two dozen iconic maps. Students assessed human representations of space across cultural boundaries, and explored change over time in the mapmaking practices of indigenous peoples and various European intruders.

Selections from the Barazangi Map Collection

Understanding the Middle East through Geologic Movement

This exhibit features maps donated by Professor Muawia Barazangi, emeritus professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The maps and images explore how plate tectonics created, and shaped the geography of the Middle East, and how that geologic history resulted in the region’s status as both an oil & gas rich region, and an epicenter of natural disasters.


A Passion for Spiders

Spiders are diverse, fascinating and surprisingly useful to humans.

The Trees of Cornell

Cornell's trees are at the core of the beauty of the university's campus, but of course they are also so much more.

Do It Yourself, Do It Together

Earth Thinking 1970 to Tomorrow

The Whole Earth Catalog captured the spirit of America's first Earth Day celebration.

Chinese Traditional Dress

The 10,000-item Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection holds many hidden treasures from several centuries of fashion. An exhibit, “Chinese Traditional Dress and Its Influence (1840-1960),” originally put some of its best Chinese pieces on display in the Elizabeth Schmeck Brown Gallery of the Human Ecology Building in 2013. Now the gallery will be open for viewing digitally, as well.

Written in Petals

The Language of Flowers in Victorian Europe

Attaching meaning to flowers was a signature--and surprisingly long lasting--cultural phenomenon of the Victorian era.

Black Excellence: Fashion that Prevails

Black Excellence: Fashion that Prevails showcases the work of Black style tastemakers, influencers, and designers. The exhibition is organized thematically around the influences of African heritage, elegance, entertainment, and education. Curator Sian Brown MA ‘20 interviewed Black fashion designers in North America about their experiences in the industry, including their struggles, triumphs, and joys. Her research findings are conveyed through Black Excellence, which explores fashion design as a site where Black culture, dress, and identity are negotiated and produced.


FASHION AND FEATHERS explores the complex and nebulous space between inspiration and exploitation. Throughout the exhibition, we have endeavored to identify as many birds as possible, hypothesizing about abstracted representations of birds and identifying actual feathers. We invite you to “go birding” in this exhibition. Look closely at each item, identify birds, and in doing so, reflect upon the beauty and tragedy of fashion and feathers.

Caught Between the Pages: Treasures from the Franclemont Collection

A peek at select treasures from the collection of Cornell entomologist John G. Franclemont introduces the early history of a fascinating life science.

A Buzz about Bees: Four Hundred Years of Bees and Beekeeping

The Phillips Beekeeping Collection at Cornell is a testament to human vision and dedication, and the labor of millions of bees.

Backyard Revival: American Heritage Poultry

Since they were first domesticated, nearly 10,000 years ago chickens have accompanied human beings everywhere on the planet.

CHOCOLATE: Food of the Gods

Popular to the tune of $74 billion annually, chocolate begins as a tiny blossom on a small tropical tree.

Challenging the Deep

The Voyage and Revelations of HMS Challenger

In late December of 1872, HMS Challenger left harbor to begin the great scientific voyage of her age.

Women Empowered: Fashions from the Frontline

WOMEN EMPOWERED: Fashions from the Frontline chronicles how women have strategically and persistently used fashion to empower and uplift. From activists to politicians, academics to servicewomen, artists to athletes, entertainers and everyday unsung heroes, WOMEN EMPOWERED uses fashion to tell the stories of women on the frontlines. The exhibit is therefore organized according to physical spaces--The Street, The Government, The Stage, The Sports Arena, The Academy--where fashion transforms, at times transgresses, and ultimately empowers.

Unturned Leaves

Early Women in Botanical Illustration

Prior to the 20th century, one of the few paths to scientific relevance for women was the pursuit of botany.

The Biggest Little Fashion City

Ithaca & Silent Film Style

The Biggest Little Fashion City explored Ithaca’s silent film history through the lens of costume, style, and fashion by chronicling the influence of the actors and actresses who lived and worked in Ithaca during the heyday of film production. Secondly, the exhibit highlighted the ways in which the new medium of moving pictures more broadly transformed fashion trends from the 1910s through the late 1920s.


An eclectic exhibition, indeed. It grew out of a simple and (intentionally) vague prompt: texture. What resulted was a group of students and staff members selecting some of the most visually stunning and beloved items hidden in the corners of our costume and textile collection. TEXTURE is about how fashion and textile objects can ask questions beyond their selvedges and seams.

Apples to Cider

An Old Industry Takes New Root

An age-old beverage has returned to the forefront with New York and Cornell University leading the charge.