The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.
86/648 Wedding dress, silk taffeta / beads / braid, worn by Janet McDonald, Australia, c. 1887. Click to enlarge.

Wedding dress worn by Janet McDonald

Made
This two piece dress dates from around 1887 and was worn as a wedding dress by an Australian Indigenous women identified as "Mrs Janet McDonald" and donated as a gift to the Museum by her granddaughter, a Mrs James from Cremorne, Sydney, in 1986.

Even today, the government administers marriage laws in Australia and assumes control over peoples eligibility to marry. In the 1900s some states enacted laws regulating who Indigenous Australians could or could not marry.

The dress reflects the …

Summary

Object No.

86/648

Object Statement

Wedding dress, silk taffeta / beads / braid, worn by Janet McDonald, Australia, c. 1887

Physical Description

Wedding gown comprising bodice and skirt in deep purple silk taffeta. The fitted bodice has a standing collar, long fitted sleeves and a centre front opening fastening with sixteen gilt buttons at front (originally eighteen; three buttons are replacements). The full skirt is pleated into the waist and gatheredinto a bustle at the back. The front of the bodice, sleeve cuffs and skirt are trimmed with applied beaded braid.

Production

Made

History

Notes

This dress was worn as a wedding dress by an Australian Indigenous woman identified as Mrs Janet McDonald. It was donated to the Museum by her granddaughter, Mrs James in 1986.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs James, 1986

Acquisition Date

21 May 1986

Cite this Object

Harvard

Wedding dress worn by Janet McDonald 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 9 February 2023, <https://ma.as/67173>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/67173 |title=Wedding dress worn by Janet McDonald |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=9 February 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}