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New clothing exhibit to open June 12 at Cultural Heritage Center

The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre will host its next new exhibit beginning Saturday, June 12.

“South Dakota’s Wardrobe: Selected Items from the Collection” will run for approximately nine months featuring some items never before seen on display. Items ranging from work clothes to formal wear for both men and women will be featured, as will clothes from the 19th into the 21st century.

Among the many items to be displayed is the famous “Pheasant Dress” formerly on display at the old Robinson Museum – home to the South Dakota State Historical Society before it relocated to the present Cultural Heritage Center building. The South Dakota state bird – the pheasant – inspired Mrs. Myrtle Taylor of Aberdeen to create the gold lamé dress for the National Convention of Hairdressers and Cosmetologists held in Chicago in 1948.

About the pheasant dress, Museum Director Jay Smith said, “Suffice to say, the pheasant dress is memorable and unique, but it is just one of the many interesting items that will be displayed. This is an exhibit that we believe men, women, children, and seniors will enjoy seeing, for it demonstrates what has been worn by South Dakota residents through the broad sweep of history.” 

While there is no grand opening planned for the exhibit, museum staff are putting together a programming schedule for the exhibit that will include digital events as well as possible live events at the museum.  

The museum is open for visitors. A check-in station at the front door allows visitors to pick up a face mask and gloves if they wish to wear them while enjoying the galleries. Signage encourages visitors to maintain social distancing, and hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the museum.

There is now free admission to the museum for all South Dakota residents. Out-of-state adult visitors pay an $8 admission fee or $6 for out-of-state seniors 60 and older. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. CDT (8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. MDT) Monday through Saturday, and 1-4:30 p.m. CDT (12-3:30 p.m. MDT) on Sundays and most holidays. Call 605-773-3458 for more information about exhibits, special events, and upcoming activities. Call 605-773-6000 for information on membership in the State Historical Society.

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution since 2013, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing, and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has the Archaeological Research Center in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.

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