DOWNTON ABBEY® COSTUME EXHIBITION TO OPEN AT CHEEKWOOD
Tickets sales begin today for the exhibition opening June 17
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 13, 2017) – Cheekwood is proud to announce that it will host Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times June 17 through Sept. 10. The blockbuster exhibition, showcasing 36 period costumes from Downton Abbey®, opens to the public on the same day as the debut of the newly refurnished Cheek Mansion. Dressing Downton at Cheekwood is presented by First Tennessee Foundation and Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC.
“With the Cheek Mansion undergoing a major restoration to revive its 1930s style, the timing couldn’t be more perfect to host Dressing Downton this year,” said Leslie Jones, vice president, museum affairs and curator of decorative arts. “Visitors will travel back in time as they experience the designs and characteristics of the era, from the costumes to the candlesticks.”
Set in the early twentieth century, Downton Abbey traces the events that uprooted British society on the eve of World War I and ushered in the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age and a new way of life. The costumes were created for the show’s aristocratic Crawley family and their servants who inhabit the fictional English country estate of Downton Abbey. The costumes range from country tweeds and riding outfits; servants’ uniforms and footmen's livery; to lavish evening attire crafted from sumptuous fabrics and decorated with intricate embroidery, lace and beading. Included are the gowns worn when Matthew first comes to Downton; the ostentatious outfits of the flamboyant American, Martha Levinson; military uniforms from World War I; and delicate afternoon dresses worn by the Ladies – Cora, Mary, Edith and Sybil.
At Cheekwood, the exhibition will be showcased in the second floor galleries of the Cheek Mansion, and in several of the newly refurnished rooms, including the Dining Room and Drawing Room.
“The incredibly detailed and accurate research that went into the creation of Downton Abbey highlights and important turn in British and world history,” said Jones. “In watching the series, hints and clues to the oncoming societal shifts are perfectly in-line with the origins of Cheekwood and activities of the Cheek family in the 1920s and 1930s. Bringing the costumes of Dressing Downton to Cheekwood, at the exact moment we reveal the restoration project, will provide visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience filled with remarkable objects all the while laying a context for the interpretation of Cheekwood history.”
To highlight the arrival of Downton, Cheekwood will host special programming throughout the summer, including classic cars on view weekends in July, afternoon teas, special summer camps, and evening hours every Thursday, with programming and speak-easy cocktails for guests.
Dressing Downton is included with Cheekwood admission or membership, but timed entry is required. Visitors can reserve their time beginning today at cheekwood.org/downton.
Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times is produced by Exhibits Development Group in collaboration with NBCUniversal International Television Production and Carnival Films/PBS Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey®, and will tour North America through 2017.
The exhibition's award-winning costumes were produced by the London costume house of Cosprop Ltd. Since 1986, when the Academy Award for Costume Design was awarded to a Cosprop designer, the company has supplied costumes for 29 nominated films. In 2011 and 2012, four of the five films nominated for Best Costume Design included costumes from Cosprop.
Cheekwood is an historical estate in Nashville, Tennessee with beautiful botanical gardens and a museum of art. Recognized as one of the finest examples of an American Country Place Era estate, Cheekwood presents year-round seasonal festivals, world-class art exhibitions, breathtaking gardens, and education programs to over 225,000 visitors every year, including 13,000 household memberships. Its mission is to preserve Cheekwood as an historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Cheekwood is on the National Register of Historic Places and a USA Today Top 10 Garden. Cheekwood is located at 1200 Forrest Park Drive, 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville. Daily hours of operation: Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For further information, call 615-356-8000 or visit cheekwood.org.
ABOUT EXHIBITS DEVELOPMENT GROUP (EDG):
EDG is dedicated to the development, production, marketing and distribution of traveling museum exhibitions and cultural projects. EDG also serves as a partner to other exhibition organizers, museums, foundations and collection owners in the U.S. and abroad, in the care and stewardship of their exhibitions and collections. EDG’s mission is to initiate and promote international cultural and intellectual exchange by bringing high-quality traveling exhibitions of art, science and history to broad and diverse audiences. For more information, please visit www.exhibitsdevelopment.com.
ABOUT NBCUNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION PRODUCTION
NBCUniversal International Television Production’s in-house production labels include: Carnival Films, creators of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama sensation Downton Abbey; Monkey Kingdom, which produces Channel 4’s hit UK reality series, Made in Chelsea; factual entertainment label Chocolate Media, makers of How To Cook Well with Raymond Blanc for BBC2; Lucky Giant, which specializes in comedy and most recently produced Christopher Guest comedy Family Tree, starring Chris O’Dowd for both BBC2 and HBO; and Australian-based Matchbox Pictures, makers of critically-acclaimed drama series The Slap and Real Housewives of Melbourne.
Additionally, NBCU International Television Production operates a joint television production venture with Working Title Television, owns an equity stake in LARK Productions in Canada (Motive), has a first look deal with Hardy Son & Baker and operates a prolific global formats business.
The amazing costumes in this exhibition are custom made or come from a stock of more than 100,000 costumes and accessories made by the renowned British costumer, Cosprop Ltd. Founded in 1965 by John Bright, an award-winning costume designer in his own right, Cosprop specializes in creating costumes for film, television and theater pieces set from the 15th century to the swinging 60s. Cosprop has a staff of forty experts in designing, tailoring, cutting, fitting, millinery, jewelry making and repair, and dyeing and printing. Reference for their work comes from an extensive library and a collection of original garments — thus ensuring that any production undertaken by Cosprop is "correctly dressed".