|ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History / exhibitions|
++41 71 222 17 44
fax: ++41 71 223 42 39
mo - sa: 10-12, 14-17
first wed. every month: 10-17
new opening hours
from May first onwards:
daily 10 am until 5 pm
The Museum in display windows -
22 August until 30 December 2007
|The St.Gallen Textile
Museum exhibits textile window displays to outline the
cultural history of display windows as they developed
from 1900 to the present day.
Displays windows are meant to make people buy things. They show off the seductive qualities of the products displayed in the window. Being the result of a culture, they reflect the spirit of their times.
Up to the 19th century, goods were sold in workshops, on markets or at trade fairs. The industrial revolution gave rise to specialised shops with goods displayed in their windows. After the second half of the 19th century, it was the world exhibitions that provided important impulses for product ranges to be displayed. At the 1896 National Exhibition in Geneva, the St.Gallen embroidery firm Ed. Sturzenegger literally put its products on a stage.
About 1910, display windows became larger, thus becoming more attractive. Dust and sunlight spoil the goods on display in a brief period of time, which means that textile displays have to be changed frequently. From the 1920s, window displays were intended to lure customers into the shops to buy fashion goods and accessories. Passers-by saw themselves mirrored in the window panes as the future owners of seductive fabrics and textile treasures.
|It was of necessity that the
shop windows of the 1940s displayed a measure of
austerity. Underwear and clothes were presented in sober
and utilitarian terms. After the Second World War, entire
display window complexes and colourful neon lights
revived the streetscapes. Dreams appeared to be close to
fulfilment. Scarves, clothes or shoes were arranged
around a central prop. In the 1960s, the display window
became the museum of the street. Window-dressers wanted
to cultivate people's taste and increase profits.
Passers-by were still delighted by the fantastic fabrics
on display even after opening hours. From 1970 onwards,
the borderline between sales space and display window
become blurred. In order to provide customers with the
feeling of an event, window displays were increasingly
integrated into the functional business area. Elements
from history, art or nature helped to create an
attraction: Poseidon advertised perfectly fitting shirts.
At the end of the 20th century, display windows were no longer limited to town centres and shopping malls. Rather, they were also used by cultural institutions such as museums and theatres, by airports and private enterprises, to establish a more immediate contact with the general public.
Ursula Karbacher, lic. phil. I
|home content||Last revised 16 August 2007|