Northern Society of Costume and Textiles
Woman in Gold
Friends Meeting House, York


Saturday, 6th April, 2019

Friends Meeting House, Friargate, York YO1 9RL


A History Wardrobe Production



What a fantastic day we had!

Lucy Adlington and Meridith Towne gave a mesmerising and enthralling presentation, full of fascinating facts and with great humour.

Their double act worked well with Lucy the author and presenter, and Meridith the researcher and technician each giving their aspect of the story behind the famous Klimt painting and the reconstruction of the depicted dress.

They spoke about the many aspects of gold in history, society, economics and creativity.

The main focus centred on early 20th century Vienna where Gustav Klimpt, the artist lived, and Emily Floge, a costumier and designer had a salon. Her work was a fusion of influences from Egyptian, Etruscan, Byzantine and other exotic stimuli. Klimt painted many women dressed in Floge's dresses, among them Adele, the young bride of a wealthy businessman.

The painting then became the victim of the social upheaval of the Nazi plundering of art works and a subsequent battle between the descendants of Adele and the Austrian art authorities many years after the war. The family won and it is now on display in New York.

We then learnt of the research, design development, investigation and practicality of recreating the dress. The attention to detail was excellent. Actually seeing the dress made one look more closely at the painting, for example the sleeves which have been recreated in in great detail.

This was our most ambitious meeting so far with wide spread publicity which brought in a large very rewarding audience. Everyone was thrilled with the amount of social historical information  as well as costume and art aspects, combined in a very entertaining format.

Many people said how much they enjoyed it and several have joined the Society.

Lynn Beech