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Costume and Textiles Study Room

Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Costume and Textiles, second floor, Perelman Building

Visits by appointment only. Email to schedule a visit. 10:00 a.m.–noon and 2:00–4:30 p.m., Tuesday–Friday (excluding holidays)
Study Room appointments >>

Appointments in the Study Room are intended to provide information from the first-hand study of objects that is not obtainable in other ways; to ensure that research requests are as specific as possible and that the objects made available will be as useful as possible, those requesting an appointment are encouraged to undertake preliminary research with other primary and secondary sources before completing an appointment application.

In most cases, Study Room appointments are for a maximum of two hours, and the number of objects that can be viewed is limited to about six, depending on size, fragility, and storage location. Appointment availability may be affected by the department’s exhibition schedule and by staff and space limitations. Due to the fragility, rarity, and difficulty of handling certain objects, all requests are subject to the approval of curators and conservators.

The website provides a searchable database and images of some of the objects in the collection. The database Marcel, which provides a complete listing of collection objects (with or without images), can be used at the Museum’s Library and Wachovia Education Resource Center, both located in the Perelman Building.

Since many costume and textiles objects are not represented online, contact with specific requests about further collection holdings that may be of interest.

The Costume and Textiles Collection

Currently numbering more than 30,000 objects, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s costume and textiles collection is one of the largest and oldest in the country. The holdings, remarkable in their depth and breadth, encompass art of great quality from diverse eras and around the globe.

Exhibitions and installations of costume and textiles objects are regularly presented in the Joan Spain Gallery and the Costume and Textiles Study Gallery in the Perelman Building. Because only a small percentage of the department’s large collection is on display, works from the permanent collection are made available for study by appointment in the Costume and Textiles Study Room.