Jenny Magee, Judy Newsome and Jean McDonald admire their mother and grandmother’s wedding dress from the 1920s.
Jenny Magee, Judy Newsome and Jean McDonald admire their mother and grandmother’s wedding dress from the 1920s.

Heirloom wedding dress becomes art

LONG before the perfect wedding dress could be just picked up from a store, Ruth Connell celebrated her wedding in a beautiful handmade dress in 1929.

That dress has been handed down through the generations and even made an appearance in the 1960s Hair musical. Now it is hanging in the Girls, Brides and Young Wives exhibition at the Warwick Art Gallery.

Mrs Connell’s daughters, Jean McDonald and Judy Newsome, and her granddaughter Jenny Magee, were excited to see the 81-year-old wedding dress on display.

“It was a lovely frock. I don’t know how it’s lasted so long. It hasn’t been properly looked after and it’s been used so many times,” Mrs Newsome said.

Mrs McDonald said she thought it was wonderful to preserve history for the younger generations.

Rose City residents and visitors alike came to see Girls, Brides and Young Wives and June Fiford’s exhibition Treasures for a Grandmother – Hilda’s Doiley which opened on Saturday.

Warwick Art Gallery director Karina Devine said she wondered how the women from the past would feel about knowing their normal everyday life was to be elevated to being viewed as art in an exhibition in 2010.



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