Royal Ontario Museum Opens Patricia Harris Gallery Of Textiles, Costume

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The Royal Ontario Museum is proud to announce the opening of the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume, named in honour of Mrs. Patricia Harris, in appreciation of the ongoing generous support of Renaissance ROM and the Royal Ontario Museum from Mr. and Mrs. William and Patricia Harris.

The Gallery, located on Level 4 of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, is scheduled to open April 5, 2008. With the opening of the Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific on the same date, this marks the completion of the permanent collection galleries of the Lee-Chin Crystal.

The Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume presents highlights from the Royal Ontario Museum’s renowned collection of over 50,000 textile and costume artifacts, in a display of approximately 200 pieces dating from the 1st millennium BC to the 21st century AD. Outstanding examples include Chinese imperial costume, late Antique and early Islamic textiles from Egypt, western fashion from the Baroque period to the present day and early Canadian coverlets. These illustrate the extensive transformations in textile design and technology throughout the past three millennia. Due to conservation considerations, the artifacts are to be changed on a regular basis.

William Thorsell, the Royal Ontario Museum’s Director and CEO, states, “Bill and Pat Harris have been among the ROM’s most generous and dedicated supporters over many years. Given their commitment and knowing full well Pat’s passion and commitment for all things textile-oriented, we are proud to name the Gallery in their honour.”

Patricia Harris affirms, “The spectacular Lee-Chin Crystal surpasses anything I could have imagined. This Gallery is the realization of my husband’s surprise 1999 Christmas gift to me and it is an inspired setting for the Royal Ontario Museum’s celebrated collection of textiles and costume. As a ROM volunteer for 50 years, I look forward to the Gallery becoming alive with excited students, members of the fashion and art communities and the public at large. This is a dream come true and I am thrilled.”

Dr. Alexandra Palmer, Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Curator and Senior Curator, Textiles & Costume, in the ROM’s World Cultures department, says, “It is most exciting to open the new Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume. This dedicated space allows us to exhibit the depth and breadth of the Royal Ontario Museum’s significant collection of textile and fashion arts from around the world and across time. Patricia Harris is an exemplary volunteer, patron and long-time supporter of the Textile department. We are all most fortunate to benefit from and share in Pat and Bill’s passion, enthusiasm and generosity.”

"As inaugural season sponsor of the Lee-Chin Crystal, we are proud to be part of this exciting year for the Royal Ontario Museum," said Gerry McCaughey, President and Chief Executive Officer of CIBC. "We are pleased to play a role in bringing the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles and Costume to the public." --

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