Kent State University Museum & Kent State Women’s Studies Program Collaborate on Katharine Hepburn

Kent State Fashion Museum’s much anticipated exhibition on Katharine Hepburn (Oct 2, 2010 - Sept 4, 2011) will be complemented by special courses designed by KSU's Women’s Studies on the film legend's career, iconic status, life, and influence.
Katharine Hepburn in a publicity shot from The Philadelphia Story
Katharine Hepburn in a publicity shot from The Philadelphia Story
July 1, 2010 - PRLog -- In coordination with Kent State University Museum’s forthcoming “Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen,” Kent State University’s Women’s Studies Program will offer three courses on the life and work of the world-famed film star over the next year.

Kent State’s Women Studies Program (WMST) offers undergraduates an interdisciplinary minor, engages in relevant scholarly inquiry and timely discussion on women-centered issues and subjects through WMST colloquiums, special topics courses, and the offerings of departments with whom it collaborates.

The fashion museum’s highly anticipated exhibition on Hepburn opens October 2, 2010 and runs until September 4, 2011.  It features costumes and other items, many never put on display, from Miss Hepburn’s personal collection of performance clothes given to the museum by her estate in 2008.   To support the exhibition, the museum’s consultative agency H/L Communications has been helping create collaborations, special events and various programs centered on Miss Hepburn.

“One of the first meetings scheduled was with Suzanne Holt, director of Women’s Studies,” said Jean Druesedow, director of the Kent State University Museum.  “We’re delighted to have WMST as an interdisciplinary partner, and we’re certain Katharine Hepburn would feel the same.”

For this summer semester (thru July 16, 2010), WMST is exploring Katharine Hepburn’s considerable comedic gifts in “Women and Comedy” – a ranging course which explores the interaction of humor, gender, culture, art & entertainment, power, and personality.  Its focus is the peculiar genius of female writers, actors and comedians.  The 5-week course will spend one week on Katharine Hepburn and Bringing Up Baby (1938), perhaps Hollywood’s greatest classic “screwball” comedy.

For fall semester (beginning August 30), WMST will offer a course on “Hollywood’s Iconic Women.”  The course will employ a historical approach, moving from the Silent Era to present time: it looks closely at Hollywood’s approach to portraying women and to specific artists whose names, faces, presence and work achieved staying power.

“Despite Hollywood’s insistence on female stereotypes, there is an impressive list of enduring icons – wonderfully complicated, fully dimensional women,” said Dr. Holt.  “For generations of women, Katharine Hepburn heads that list.”

The course will spend two weeks on Hepburn, analyzing numerous film clips ranging from her first Academy Award winning performance in Morning Glory (1934) to her Oscar-turn as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion In Winter (1968).  Students will critique one or more of Hepburn’s films in conjunction with a museum film series on Hepburn planned for Thursday nights.

The third WMST offering, scheduled for spring semester 2011 (starting Jan 10, 2011), will be devoted entirely to Miss Hepburn and will take advantage of the museum exhibition’s winter/spring programming schedule. The Hepburn course will examine the screen legend not only as a great actress but also as a distinct American personality, a feminist, and a cultural influence.  At the same time, the museum will present complementary programs on Hepburn’s life, politics, artistry and impact on women, fashion and film.

“We expect WMST’s courses and the museum’s programming will be very popular,” said Dr. Holt.  “After all, Katharine Hepburn is the number one screen legend in the world.”

For more information about WMST and how to register for WMST courses, call 330.672.8042 or email  

For more about the Kent State University Museum, call 330.672.3450 or visit or the Kent State University Museum page on Facebook.


Closely linked to the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State University, the fully-accredited museum contains important collections of fashion and decorative arts; provides students with first-hand experience with historic and contemporary fashions, as well as costumes representing many of the world's cultures; and serves both the University and the community through exhibitions and public programs, and, by appointment, research in the collections.  The Kent State University Museum is honored to have been designated the recipient of this important collection worn on both stage and screen by one of America’s most brilliant actresses.  2010-11 marks the Kent State University’s Museum’s 25th anniversary.  


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