From the museum’s website, 7 October 2015
This exhibition of drawings from the permanent collection explores how artists have used studies of drapery and costume to do much more than represent fabric. Cloth—folded, hanging, wrapped, and fluttering—was full of expressive potential, and drapery studies helped convey such emotions as anger, piety, and religious fervor. In drawings of soldiers, peasants, nobles, and foreigners, clothing served as a primary indicator of social standing and class. In designs made for the theater, costume could embellish or even mask identity. With their focus on the relationship between the body and cloth, these drawn studies evoke moods, shape character, and tell stories.