Dittmar Gallery

dress image

Now Playing at Dittmar

Build Her a Myth

By: Carrie Schumacher

"The dresses I create from the pages of romance novels examine the demands that feminine culture places upon women by utilizing the garment as a social signifier. Women often define themselves through clothing; we use our appearance to project ambitions, attract mates and signal our social status. Fashion magazines become the bibles that guide the creation of self-image, and generation after generation of females have been programmed to buy into this culture of unrealistic beauty. 

Romance novels echo this sentiment, as they represent an impossible alternate reality, one where relationships are all-consuming and eternally passionate. Reality never touches either the fashion or romance realms, but the former is advertised as a way to obtain the latter. 

The dresses reflect this as they are seductively beautiful, but due to the material from which they are created, unable to be worn. Completely without function, it represents how useless the feminine myths we have created are in real life."

Exhibit Dates: October 21st-December 4th

Opening Reception: October 21st, 4-6 PM


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Sunday - Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.


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Dittmar Memorial Gallery, established in 1972, is a student-operated gallery that enlightens and challenges the Northwestern University community with the works of emerging and underrepresented artists from the Chicago area and the Midwest. The staff at Dittmar is dedicated to developing and fostering the Northwestern community’s awareness of the changing attitudes and trends in the art world. We invite artists who work in the contemporary vein, as well as artists who offer an alternative perspective that hinges on the periphery of the art world. In essence, our goal is to provide well-deserved exposure to those outside or on the margins of the mainstream art world.

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