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Fashion and the fight for the wildlife Feathers

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Today wearing fur coats and boa around your neck is considered as opposite to fashionable, but we still remember how was it synonymous to chic . Natural, “wild” materials  served to manifest power and style. And if we go back to the times of the Stone Age, that materials even guaranteed family or clan survival. Feather elements, in turn, symbolized the connection with the spiritual world, signified the status and provided decorative function and warmth.

An exhibition explores the history of the ground-breaking Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, examines the circumstances that inspired early environmentalists—many of them women and New Yorkers—to champion the protection of endangered birds.

Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Migratory Bird Act prohibited the hunting, killing, trading, and shipping of migratory birds. It also regulated the nation’s commercial plume trade, which had decimated many American bird species to the point of near extinction.

To commemorate the centennial of this landmark legislation, Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife delves into the history of the Act by examining the economic and social circumstances that inspired the early environmentalists and activists who lobbied for the precedent-setting legislation. New York was the center of the US feather trade, and the exhibition investigates how the act impacted the city’s feather importers, hat manufacturers, retailers, and fashion consumers.

So, the exhibition explored fashion trands before 1918, beautiful unique accessories, dresses, books, photos, and at the last hall of original watercolor paintings by by John James Audubon,  for the collection The Birds of America.


Author: Daria Mudrova



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