This month's Magic History Tour is the Kent State University Museum, located on the Kent State campus about an hour's drive via I-480 East. The information used in the article was sourced from "A Fine Endeavor: 25 Years of Fashionable Collecting," and the "Fringe Elements" exhibit brochure. Both are available at the Kent State Museum. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday to the public, and free parking is available to museum visitors.
On the Kent State University campus, at the bottom of a steep hill, sits Rockwell Hall. Built in the late 1920s as the first university library, Rockwell Hall was later converted into administrative use for the executive offices. Today the quintessential collegiate building hosts a "jewel in the crown" of the university: the Kent State University Museum.
The Kent State University Museum began life as a collection of 4,000 dresses, over 1,000 antique furnishings, and 5,000 books belonging to two men – business partners Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman, whose line of women's ready-to-wear was highly popular throughout the 1960s and '70s. Both men were very fond of antiques and avidly collected for their homes. The resulting assortment of first-rate objects was eventually gifted to Kent State, as Jerry thought it should be accessible to students, and Dr. Brage Golding, president of the university, proposed creating a museum and adding a curriculum in fashion design and merchandising should they choose to locate the collection there. They did, and the Kent State University Museum officially opened in 1985.