SAINT AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
Dressing Downton, Changing Fashion for Changing Times is an exquisite exhibition of 36 costumes and accessories paired to perfection in engaging vignettes, immersed amongst Otto Lightner’s collection of turn of the century fine art and furniture. Many museum pieces in storage and others presently being restored will be on view for the first time as a part of the exhibition. Dressing Downton will be masterfully displayed in the Museum’s Grand Ballroom Gallery.
The series Downton Abbey explores the lives of its aristocratic inhabitants and their servants – together with the latest fashion trends. The exhibition presents a costume history of the period surrounding World War I, a period that changed the social fabric of Great Britain. A fine selection from the series’ wardrobe reflects on the changing times through fashion from 1912 to the mid-1920s.
Downton Abbey has received 59 Emmy® nominations, more than any other non-US show in Emmy® history. Downton Abbey is one of the most honored series on television, having captured 12 Emmys®, three Golden Globes®, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Producers Guild Award, and three BAFTAs, plus a 2015 BAFTA Special Award in recognition of the series’ outstanding global success.
The Lightner Museum’s collection of Victorian Era fine and decorative art is not the only reason it is so well suited to exhibit Dressing Downton. Otto Lightner’s collection is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel built by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler in 1888. Henry Flagler was a partner with John D. Rockefeller in Standard Oil. The Alcazar Hotel was a playground for the wealthy elite vacationing from the north and traveling to St. Augustine via Flagler’s East Coast Railroad. Boasting state of the art amenities, the Alcazar Hotel had a first class spa and recreational facilities including saunas, a gymnasium, tennis courts, bowling alley, archery ranges, a bicycle academy and the world’s largest indoor swimming pool. The Alcazar Hotel was the place to see and be seen at the turn of the century. What better backdrop for Dressing Downton than the Alcazar Hotel’s original Ballroom, which overlooks the Historic Swimming Pool area, now the upscale restaurant, Café Alcazar.
The building is also the home of St. Augustine’s local government and an important community venue for guests of honor, most recently, the King and Queen of Spain who visited in 2015 as part of the City’s 450th anniversary celebration.
The exhibition Dressing Downton has become a phenomenon in its own right, selling out at many of the museums it has been hosted in. This remarkable exhibition pairs history with fashion and popular culture with fine art. The appeal is so broad and far reaching that visitors are traveling across the country just to experience it.
The Dressing Downton phenomenon has been building momentum at every museum it has graced and looks to continue the momentum until it reaches its final stop, the only stop in Florida and the Southeastern United States, the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine.
Exhibition goers are looking for a full experience and the Lightner Museum is eager to provide it. When visiting St. Augustine, one need not end the Gilded Age experience with the Dressing Downton Exhibition. Exciting events, special programs, lectures, and additional exhibitions are planned at the museum leading up to and during Dressing Downton.
Exclusive, behind the scenes tours called Upstairs/Downstairs at the Alcazar will highlight many parallels to the time period and lives of the characters of the popular television series Downton Abbey. Learn what life was like for both guests and staff who visited and worked at the Alcazar Hotel during the Gilded Age in St. Augustine.
For more information on Upstairs/Downstairs at the Alcazar tours and general admission group tours please contact 844-426-4088.
Café Alcazar, located in the Historic Pool area of the museum, will be hosting High Teas every afternoon.
Sunday – Thursday, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The Downton Abbey experience does not end when exiting the Lightner Museum’s doors. Many community organizations and businesses have partnered with the Lightner Museum to continue the experience out into the community. For a complete list of community partners click here.
Exhibition produced by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London. Downton™ and Downton Abbey®. ©2016 Carnival Film & Television Limited. A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production. Carnival logo ©2005 Carnival Film & Television Limited. Masterpiece is a trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
Michael and Teresa Radzinski
Tiberio Charitable Trust