The publication Dressing with Purpose has been awarded the 2022 Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prize by the Women’s Section of the American Folklore Society. The Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prize recognizes “superior work on women’s traditional, vernacular, or local culture and/or feminist theory and folklore.” The publication is in connection with the exhibit Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia at the Museum of International Folk Art in Sante Fe, New Mexico. The exhibit includes pieces on loan from Vesterheim and the book includes an essay from Vesterheim Chief Curator Laurann Gilbertson.

The prize committee commented:

“The committee awards the Professional Prize to Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia, edited by Carrie Hertz, a collection of perceptive and wide-ranging essays on three interrelated dress traditions: Swedish folkdräkt, Norwegian bunad, and Sámi gákti over 200 years. In this lavishly illustrated survey of makers, collectors, wearers and occasions the authors confront a set of paradoxes regarding national costume: offering a powerful sense of identity on the one hand, costume provides the means for various kinds of exclusions on the other; constantly changing as all fashion must, it simultaneously generates structures of control and the policing of people’s sartorial choices. Indeed, as the editor and contributing author points out, contemporary costume in Scandinavia ultimately derives from sumptuary laws of the pre-nationalist era. Throughout the chapters, but particularly in those that engage with ethnic diversity (immigrant incorporation, indigenous resistance), the authors work against older scholarly paradigms to bring new insights into the study of national costume, focusing on current uses outside the museum context, including everyday forms of curation and creative transformation. Dedicated to Barbro Klein, the book not only features women as creators, curators, and wearers of national costume, but also foregrounds female scholars and women’s scholarship. It is an excellent book, and the committee is pleased to award it the EKM professional prize.”

Congratulations on a beautiful publication!

You can order a copy from Vesterheim Museum Store here.

Book cover - Dressing with Purpose