The World in Motion, Fashion and Modernity 1885-1945

The Newport Historical Society is pleased to present ‘The World in Motion, Fashion and Modernity 1885-1945’, an exhibit focusing on the evolution of fashion from the height of the Gilded Age to the beginning of the modern era. The exhibit ran at the Newport Historical Society at 82 Touro Street from May-November 2021.

This exhibition is now closed. Please check back in Spring 2022 to learn more about our upcoming exhibition.

Virtual Opening at the Audrain Automobile Museum

Before you make your way to our in-person exhibit, enjoy this preview presented by Rebecca Kelly, Visiting Curator of Fashion History at the NHS, and David de Muzio, Executive Director, Curatorial & Collections, at the Audrain Automobile Museum.

In this exhibit, curator Rebecca Kelly examines a previously unknown collection of clothing and accessories belonging to three Vanderbilt women of New York and Newport: Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt and her daughters Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Gladys Moore Vanderbilt Széchényi.

The exhibit focuses on the lives of the women in a changing world, as expressed through their choices for shopping and fashion. It also brings to light less obvious stories: American consumerism during the first world war, and the evolution of the industry as women began to enter the workforce and embrace social independence, including the mobility that driving provided.

The exhibit also explores the interlocking trades, and avenues for creativity that supplied American women with the opportunity to be fashionable. Designers, dressers, fabric and lace makers and entrepreneurs contributed to what was, and in many ways still is, an elaborate economic web. Women played a role here, at all walks of life, both as producers and consumers.

Please visit The World in Motion, Fashion and Modernity 1885-1945 in the Alletta Morris Gallery and the Leatherman Program Space at NHS’s Resource Center at 82 Touro Street.


The exhibit was made possible by support from:



The Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust

The Honorable Juliette C. McLennan