NEW YORK — The first U.S. gallery to offer a permanent exhibition of 250 years of fashion and textile history will open Nov. 15 at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology here.

The Fashion and Textile History Gallery will feature changing selections from the museum’s extensive collections. Every six months, about 100 new objects will be chosen from the 50,000 garments and accessories, and the 30,000 textiles in the museum’s permanent collections.

Fashions and accessories from the 18th century to the present, as well as a wide range of textiles, will be on view. In addition, there will be a selection of fashion illustrations from the Special Collections of the Gladys Marcus Library at FIT.

The gallery will be divided into four rooms. The first will introduce the museum’s collections and facilities, and will feature the specialized work of the museum’s conservation laboratory, consisting of fragile, precious objects. The next three rooms will provide a chronological survey of more than 200 years of stylistic change. The gallery on the lower level will continue to present rotating exhibitions.

“By establishing this permanent gallery, we hope to help visitors understand the important cultural, social and technological changes that fashion demonstrates,” Valerie Steele, museum director, said in a statement. “It will complement the changing thematic exhibitions in the museum’s other main gallery and supplement the many public programs, tours and lectures presently offered.”

Steele noted that the Museum at FIT, founded in 1967, is the only museum in New York City devoted to the art of fashion. The museum is known for its innovative exhibitions and also has one of the world’s most extensive collections of fashion and textiles.

“Every year, thousands of students, designers and scholars come to do research at the museum and to be inspired by our collections,” she said. “Now, with our new gallery, we can share our wealth of resources with the general public.”

Elle magazine is sponsoring The Fashion and Textile History Gallery.

The Museum at FIT is located on the southwest corner of Seventh Avenue at West 27th Street. Exhibition hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

This story first appeared in the October 7, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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