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The documentation of 4,100 objects was completed in a year. The selection included objects that make up the backbone of men's and women's costumes, as well as objects that can be classified as accessories. Women's costumes outnumber men's, as the costume collection of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women includes a relatively small number of items of clothing for men.

 

The purpose of the selection is to present the variety and diversity of types and forms of Greek local costumes, through a substantial sample of the costume collection of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women. The collection also demonstrates how ideas, materials and designs spread across the country and are adapted regionally to match local taste.

 

The project also includes the presentation of select objects of contemporary craftsmanship (e.g. an apron from Salamis, the crown jewel of women's urban costume of Attica), as outstanding examples of faithful reproduction. Moreover, the collection entails a considerable number of the so-called historical replicas, which unfold the story of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women. The collection of the dolls of Queen Olga is also included, as they are unique, dated figurines of local Greek costumes.

 

Object documentation was based on bibliographic research rather than on-the-spot survey. In cases where bibliography proved inadequate, the documentation was limited to the physical description of objects, and no attempt was made at determining the physical or social age of the wearer, or even the occasion of their usage.

 

Methods of cutting the fabric, materials and decorative motifs are usually indicative of the geographical area where the pieces of a local costume come from. However, as materials and designs are not always fixed points of reference, the boundaries are not clearly-cut even across neighbouring areas, where variations are so small that objects cannot be associated with a particular area with absolute certainty. As a result, a small number of objects are marked with an asterisk next to their respective greater usage area, which denotes uncertainty in their geographical localization.

 

This is the first time the Lyceum Club of Greek Women has shared with the general public a documented section of its collections. A measure of success for the present work will be the contribution of experts, either by local association or by research focus. This will be a most welcome contribution, as it will fill any gaps in the bibliography. The objective of the Lyceum Club of Greek Women is for this programme to spark off a dialogue on costume between affiliated museums in Athens and the provinces.

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