Chandler Museum Opens Thrift Style, Exploring How Past Ingenuity Can Inspire The Present

Thrift Style explores the reuse of feed sacks to make clothing and other household objects during the Great Depression and World War II. With 41 works from patterns to garments, it serves as an example of past ingenuity that can inform today’s efforts towards sustainability. Thrift Style opens Sept. 6, 2022 at Chandler Museum.

During World War II, the federal government limited fabric use so homemakers repurposed what was available to them. The reuse of feed, flour, and sugar sacks was a cost-saving and resource-saving approach by women to make items to meet their families’ needs. In response, manufacturers promoted the thrifty use of feed sack fabric by publishing how-to brochures and booklets with clothing designs, mending instructions, and other suggestions for restyling clothes.

This exhibition offers a snapshot of domestic life during this time, when recycling was as critical as it is today, and it provides one of the best examples of upcycling in our nation’s history.

Along with the exhibit, Chandler Museum will host “Market at the Museum: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” on Sunday, Oct. 23 from 1-5 p.m. This event will highlight local artists, vendors, and organizations whose work aligns with the exhibit’s themes of creative resourcefulness and reducing waste with upcycling.

Additional early childhood, family, and adult programs will coordinate with this exhibition including:

  • Saturday, Sept. 24: In the Exhibits- Thrift it Up
  • Wednesdays, Oct. 5 and 19: C-Town Suitcase Club- Threads
  • Saturday, Oct. 22: Play Day- Upcycled Games
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1: History Bites- Memories from the Farm: Repurposing Flour Sacks into Fashion
  • Wednesdays, Nov. 9 and 23: Art Tots- Upcycled Art

Find more information on all programs and events at Chandler Museum.

Thrift Style is organized by The Historic Costume and Textile Museum and the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, both at Kansas State University, and ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Thrift Style will be on display at the Chandler Museum Sept. 6 – Nov. 27, 2022. The Chandler Museum is located at 300 S. Chandler Village Drive. It is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m.; closed Monday. Free admission.

Find more information on the exhibitions and programming at Chandler Museum or by calling 480-782-2717.


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