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Dress Historian To Speak At Kent State University Museum About Katharine Hepburn On April 28

On April 28, after the screening of the Tracy-Hepburn sports comedy "Pat and Mike," dress historian Patricia Campbell Warner will join KSU Museum Director Jean Druesedow to discuss Hepburn’s influence on women, fashion, sports and popular culture.

 
 
Katharine Hepburn & Gussie Moran in "Pat and Mike"
Katharine Hepburn & Gussie Moran in "Pat and Mike"
PRLog - Apr. 15, 2011 - CLEVELAND -- On Thursday, April 28, noted dress historian Patricia Campbell Warner will join Kent State University Museum Director Jean Druesedow in a lively discussion on Katharine Hepburn’s influence on women, fashion, sports and popular culture.  Their conversation will take place immediately after the 6 pm screening of the Tracy-Hepburn romantic sports comedy "Pat and Mike" (USA, 1952, dir George Cukor).

The program and film showing, which is supported by Kent State University's College of Arts & Sciences and KSU's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, will take place in Murphy Auditorium, located on the museum’s second floor.  

Dr. Warner holds the title of Professor Emerita, History of Dress, University of Massachusetts Amherst and is a Fellow of the Costume Society of America.  Over her career, she has published widely on various aspects of the history of dress: nationally recognized as a leading authority on women’s clothing for sports, her influential book "When the Girls Came Out to Play: The Birth of American Sportswear" (University of Massachusetts Press, 2006) has been praised for its historical application of popular culture, women’s studies, and the social significance of fashion.

"Pat and Mike" is being shown as part of the museum’s “Movie Date With Kate” Film Series and in conjunction with the museum’s original exhibition “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen,” running until September 4.  In the movie, Hepburn plays Patricia “Pat” Pemberton, a gifted amateur golfer and tennis player, who decides to turn pro and is then managed by Tracy’s Mike Conovan, a Runyanesque promoter.   Romance ensues and the plot ends up “love, set and match.”

"Pat and Mike" is definitely a “hole in one,” as well, being one of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn’s most popular comedies.  It is also one of the first major Hollywood movies that presents women as bona fide professional athletes, and it presents rare cameos by women sports legends Babe Zaharias, Betty Hicks, Helen Dettweiler, Gussie Moran, and Alice Marble.  Its witty script by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin was nominated for an Academy Award, and the movie is regularly included in lists enumerating “best sports comedies.”

The movie was also Hepburn’s personal favorite, probably because it reflected so much of her personal style, unique personality, considerable athletic abilities, and sporty taste.  

“Kate was lissome and athletic, self-confident and independent, a product of her upper-class, East-Coast upbringing,” notes Dr. Warner.  “She had adopted sports clothes as her own long before most women had the courage to do so.  Costume designers bowed to her own personal style.  No question: she embodied American Style, and the world followed her lead.”
   
For more information about the museum and its exhibits, call 330.672.3450 or go to http://www.kent.edu/museum.   The museum is located in Rockwell Hall, 515 Hilltop Drive (corner of E. Main and S. Lincoln Streets), Kent, OH.  The film screening and post-film program are free with admission to the museum.

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Tags:sportswear, katharine hepburn, ksu museum, kent state, Movies, film, Fashion, feminism, sports, popular culture, women s issues
Last Updated:Apr 16, 2011
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