1st Student's Major


1st Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Students' Professional Biography

Erica Kroening, originally from central Wisconsin, graduated summa cum laude from Minnesota State University, Mankato in Spring 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. She also double-minored in Studio Art and Nonprofit Leadership. During her time at MSU, Erica was awarded the Effie Conkling Scholarship and served as a Student Representative for the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities Advisory Board. Erica was a member of the Art History Round Table and served first as the Secretary and then as the President. She was also a member of the local AIGA chapter and MSU’s Student Art League. Through SAL, Erica organized the annual silent art auction fundraiser, Bella Notte, for the 2012 year. Erica also volunteered at several art galleries in the area: The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, The Twin Rivers Center for the Arts in Mankato, and was an intern at The 410 Project in Mankato. Through several art history classes that explore design and museum issues, such as History and Theory of Design, Realism to Postmodernism, and the Museum Studies course, she became interested in researching fashion and methods of object display in museums. It was from these classes that the research idea for this paper developed. This paper was awarded research and travel grants through the URC and Art Department at MSU and was presented at three undergraduate research conferences: the National Conference of Undergraduate Research at Weber State University in Ogden, UT, the Undergraduate Research Symposium at MSU, and the MN Conference of Undergraduate Scholarly and Creative Activity at MSU. Erica is currently interning at Altered Esthetics, a gallery in the Northeast Arts District in Minneapolis, and at the Walker Art Center. She will eventually work for a Masters in Art History.

Mentor's Name

Curt Germundson

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department


Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities


Historically, high-end fashion has been reduced to ideas of materialism and functionality in the eyes of the average person. What has commonly been overlooked on the runways of New York, Paris, and Milan was the idea of fashion as an object of art. Some designers, artists, and art historians have always given fashion the warranted classification as art, but this concept is not yet accepted by the regular museum visitor. This paper focuses on three high-end fashion exhibitions that show when a designer’s inspiration and vision is successfully translated into a museum setting, it encourages the visitor to see the interrelationship between fashion and art. These are the exhibitions I visited for my research: “Scaasi: American Couturier” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, “Roberto Capucci: Art into Fashion” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, and “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. These exhibitions deal with designer-artists who transcend the conventional line between fashion and art. Exhibiting high-end fashion is a relatively contemporary phenomenon, and there are challenges involved with translating the designer’s pieces. After thorough research, I have concluded that displaying these high-end fashion pieces in the confines of a museum is difficult, for they rely so heavily on movement, contours of the body, and the designer’s inspiration from the workroom to the runway. It is a challenge that when overcome by remaining true to the context of the designer’s vision, from the initial design to the runway show, encourages the museum visitor to expand his/her definition of art to include fashion.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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