Conserving the Taylor Collection

Carrie Burnam Taylor was a modiste and entrepreneur in Bowling Green in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As founder of the Mrs. A. H. Taylor Company, she oversaw the growth of her dressmaking firm from a small-town shop to a nationally known brand. Mrs. Taylor’s collection and life are featured in the current exhibition, Styles &thegistofit.

As part of the exhibition development process, two conservators with more than 40 years of combined experience assessed the costumes. The assessment identified which garments needed preventative conservation work and which had deteriorated beyond repair.

Due to limited funding, only garments that were designated for display in the exhibition were conserved. An example of before and after photos of a circa 1892 dress is shown above.

The Kentucky Museum hopes to finish conservation of two garments – a wedding dress skirt and an evening dress bodice – designated as important pieces for completing the collection’s conservation. The wedding dress bodice and evening dress skirt are currently on display in Styles &thegistofit; completing full outfit conservation ensures their availability for future study and exhibition.

Our Progress


Our goal is to raise $7,500 – including transportation to and work by professional conservators. Gifts of any size towards this goal are welcome and may be made through one-time or installment gifts.

Will you help us conserve these garments?

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