May 15 - July 24, 2015
Mon – Fri, 10 am – 4 pm
Garments and personal items from the UCONN Historical Costume and Textile Collection provide a glimpse into the life of the extraordinary Beatrice Fox Auerbach, one of the most famous women in Connecticut history. An avid world traveler, Beatrice Fox Auerbach (1887 – 1968) was an influential philanthropist and the owner and CEO of Hartford’s most famous store; G. Fox & Company from 1938 to the 1965. Beatrice Fox Auerbach was an innovative pioneer in labor relations. She established the 5-day work week, employee medical and retirement plans, interest free employee loans, and was one of the first to hire blacks in positions with an opportunity to advance. She also provided advancement opportunities for women.
As a land-grant university, the University of Connecticut has a long history of acquiring and preserving garments, accessories and textiles pertinent to the history of the State of Connecticut and New England. Since 1898, when the Home Economics Department was created, many talented professors and students have worked endlessly to amass over 8000 items, 3500 of which are garments. This is the largest study collection of historical garments and textiles in New England, and Beatrice Fox Auerbach has donated nearly 500 items that are relevant to her life and Connecticut’s history. Through her wardrobe and personal accessories, we get a special look into the history of a powerful woman of our time on the cusp of the feminist movement.