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Carol Hamoy: Welcome to America
Dress Detail Dress
Dress Detail Dress Detail
Dress Dress Detail


Learn about our other concurrent exhibit: A View from a Cage

Dress Detail

Carol Hamoy
Welcome to America

Created from wedding gowns, dresses, waists, skirts, various undergarments and adorned with stories told to me by women émigrés (and their descendants), Welcome to America documents the long arduous journey made by many courageous women. Each garment carries the name, date of arrival, place of origin and a short essay capturing an essence or moment in the life acknowledged: much like a photograph. There are over 150 “dresses” telling about 250 “stories” of women from all over the world. These garments celebrate the courage it took for women to leave their homelands and come to America.

All the garments are white: tinted and stained to acquire an antique patina. Some have been pieced together from a patchwork of table and bed linens, anti-macassars, bureau scarves, scraps of unbleached muslin and painter’s cloth. Yet, despite the sameness of color, individuality is present and cohesiveness apparent. The narratives (dating from the nineteenth century through 1992) bear similarity to experiences shared by all: despite economic status, ethnicity or even gender. Everyone whether driven by the need to survive or by spirit of adventure can relate tot eh “moment” in life displayed in these brief essays. Welcome to America was created to honor, acknowledge, respect and thank the brave souls who took their hearts in their hands and made the difficult voyage to America.

Installation Photo
Bird Dreams 5
Installation Photo

Learn about our other concurrent exhibit: A View from a Cage