Gallery going emerged as a public pleasure in Canada in the late nineteenth century, with the establishment of its first art museums, in either purpose-built or repurposed spaces. Today, this cultural activity happens everywhere across the country, and the task of dressing for it goes hand-in-hand. What to wear to an art gallery? The exhibition Stepping Out: Clothes for a Gallery Goer
draws from the Queen’s University Collection of Canadian Dress to propose garments that one might have worn, perhaps to an opening, at a children’s event, for a study session or on a Sunday afternoon. Decade by decade, spanning the 1860s to 1970s, these outfits and accessories are paired with contemporaneous works of art.