WARDROBE WEDNESDAY: For our special events, people get the chance to portray historical figures not usually encountered at our museum, which makes for an exciting wardrobe challenge! Even in a time with less sartorial variation than we have today, clothing was very much an expression of who one was as a person, conveying class, personality, age, and in some cases, religious affiliation. Though we might not necessarily know how to interpret someone’s clothing directly, even small details have a subconscious effect on how someone is perceived, whether they’re a modern day person on the street, or an 18th century radical.
The 246th Anniversary and Annual Reenactment of the Boston Tea Party was one such event where everyone got to wear something new-to-them: on the left is Mr. Fisher, a loyalist, wearing a suit that you will have seen on John Hancock if you’ve ever attended one of our “Huzzah! Tavern Nights” performances!
On the other end of the political scale of 1770s Boston, is the hardware merchant, leader of the North End gang, and notable Son of Liberty, William Molineux, on the right.
Hence, he got the chance to wear the orange coat previously featured in a Wardrobe post - it seemed an appropriately intense color for such an intense personality. We had fun adding a pair of black leather gloves at the last minute, which he wore for the event but which don’t make an appearance here. They added to the imposing demeanor already created by the performance rather well, considering what a small detail gloves seem to be!