Ancient Greeks Curator Talks

Join Grace Lai, Curator Applied Arts and Design, as she revisits key moments in fashion history that saw the return of classical dress from the Italian Renaissance to present day Tāmaki Makaurau.

Grace Lai, Curator Applied Arts and Design
Ancient Greeks Curator Talk

The Rise and Folds of Greek Drapery

Grace Lai, Curator Applied Arts and Design

TUE 13 SEP, 6PM
AUDITORIUM, LEVEL 2
PAY WHAT YOU CAN, BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL

From one piece of cloth, draped or wrapped artfully across the body, the Ancient Greeks were able to cement centuries of influence on dress and fashion in the Western world. Although the covering of bodies using folded cloth is not unique to Ancient Greece, their emphasis on form, simplicity and proportions in observance of classicism has been revered and revived by the fashionable crowd and designers throughout history. Join Applied Arts and Design Curator, Grace Lai, as she revisits key moments in fashion history that saw the return of classical dress from the Italian Renaissance to present day Tāmaki Makaurau.  

About Grace Lai

Guided by a curiosity for forgotten stories held by objects that are often overlooked, Grace Lai is an art historian and curator who engages with material culture as a decoder of the immaterial, to question areas relevant not only to Museums and their collections but contemporary society. This philosophy was developed during her time as an Alphawood Scholar at SOAS University of London and continues to serve her practice.   

Currently, Grace is the Curator of Applied Arts and Design at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum where she leads the exhibition, development and research of a nationally significant archive of craft from Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad. Driven to elevate forgotten histories, her collection centered work focuses on strengthening the representation of marginalised stories through both collection development and research. In 2019, Grace delivered the exhibition Carried Away: Bags Unpacked which took a deep dive into a single object as a lens to unpack wider social-cultural issues; including colonialism, economy, gender politics and whakapapa.

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Miss Crabb, “Witches” dress in “kowhai” yellow, silk, Tāmaki Makaurau. Tāmaki Paenga Hira 2019.18.4 , CC BY.