MTSU, Oaklands create exhibit of billowing bridal ...

MTSU, Oaklands create exhibit of billowing bridal beauty (w/video)

A 1953 wedding gown worn by Bobbye Woodall Manning, right, joins a 1966 empire-waist gown in the “Wedding Dresses through the Decades” exhibit at Oaklands Historic House Mansion beginning Jan. 13. Mrs. Manning is also shown wearing the dress in the photo alongside it. (photo courtesy of Professor Deborah Belcher)

Decades of loveliness and elegance will be on display at Oaklands Historic House Museum in the “Wedding Dresses Through the Decades” exhibit Jan. 13-March 3.

In partnership with MTSU’s Department of Human Sciences, Oaklands will fill Maney Hall with bridal fashions ranging from the brocade and satin of the 1870s to the sensible suits of wartime weddings in the 1940s.

The exhibit will begin with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, for the regular museum admission price of $5 per person.

The dresses will come not only from the museum’s collection, but also from women in Murfreesboro and around the country. One of the contributors is Linda Hall, executive secretary in the MTSU College of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

Hall’s dress was handmade for her by her mother-in-law, Imogene Hall, a watercolor artist in the Murfreesboro area.

“I wanted a style that would be elegant and timeless,” Hall said.

After some alterations, Linda’s daughter, Kristin, wore the same dress when she was wed in July 2012.

“The main difference is that she had the long sleeves removed and replaced with cap sleeves,” Hall said. “They used the leftover lace from the dress to create the sleeves.”

Some dresses in the museum collection are fragile and delicate, according to Oaklands curator Nila Gober. Others have not been on public display since the bride’s wedding day.

MTSU employee Linda Hall is shown on her wedding day with her husband, Alan. Linda Hall’s wedding gown was handmade by her new mother-in-law, artist Imogene Hall, and is part of the “Wedding Dresses through the Decades” exhibit at Oaklands Historic House Mansion. (photo courtesy of Linda Hall)

Kristin Hall joins her husband, Lonnie Wilkerson, on a trek down the aisle after taking their wedding vows in July 2012. Hall’s dress, which is part of the “€œWedding Dresses through the Decades” exhibit, was her mother’s and was handmade by her paternal grandmother. (photo courtesy of Linda Hall)




“Wedding Dresses Through the Decades” is in conjunction with “Language of Love and Courtship” tours that also will take place through March 3. The exhibit and tours are included with the regular $5 admission to the museum.

The exhibit will be open during regular visiting hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Museum tours are available at regular rates and normal museum hours.

Oaklands Historic House Museum, located at 900 N. Maney Ave. in Murfreesboro, is a nationally registered historic landmark that reflects a time of prosperity in the Old South, as well as the hardships suffered during the Civil War.

For more information, contact Oaklands at 615-893-0022 or or the MTSU Department of Human Sciences at 615-898-2884. You also can watch a video about the exhibit below.

— Gina K. Logue (