Millia Davenport

Publication Award

The Millia Davenport Publication Award recognizes excellence in scholarship in the study of costume and promotes research and publication on dress. The award is given to a published book or exhibition catalogue that makes a significant contribution to the study of costume, reflects original thought and exceptional creativity, and draws on appropriate research methods and techniques.

The author of the winning book receives a certificate and a $750 honorarium, funded by the CSA Endowment.  The author is invited to speak at the CSA National Symposium the following year and receives a $600 travel stipend and day-of-presentation registration fee, also funded by the CSA Endowment, to help defray travel and symposium expenses.

The Millia Davenport Publication Award, first given in 1991, is named to honor Millia Davenport (1896-1992), noted costume scholar and theatre designer. Her work The Book of Costume (1948), a pioneering comprehensive reference work on the history of costume, brought international recognition to this woman, whose theatre design career included collaborating with Robert Edmond Jones and Donald Oenslager at the Provincetown Playhouse, Eve Le Galliene at the Civic Repertory Theatre, and James Reynolds and Maxwell Anderson on Broadway.

To be eligible a book must be:

  • a published book or exhibition catalogue by single author, multiple authors, or an edited book with contributors
  • on a subject pertaining to any aspect of costume (history, theatre, fashion, design, etc.) but reflecting the goals and philosophy of the Costume Society of America
  • a scholarly work, with proper citations of sources and, as needed, bibliographic information, indices, glossary, and appendices
  • published during 15 months prior to the October 16, 2017 deadline (books published a year earlier may be considered if they did not become available until late in the year or if nominations closed earlier than usual)
  • published in English for practical reasons
  • by an author who is a citizen of the Americas or has been a member of the Costume Society of America for at least five consecutive years directly prior to the nomination; in the case of a multi-authored work, a majority of authors must be citizens of the Americas or members of CSA for at least five consecutive years directly prior to the nomination; in the case of edited books, a majority of both editors and contributors must be citizens of the Americas or members of CSA for at least five consecutive years directly prior to the nomination
  • the author or authors who are citizens of the Americas do not have to be members of CSA

Short-listed books will be evaluated on:

  • significance of the subject
  • quality of scholarship
  • appropriateness of research methods and techniques
  • quality of writing
  • originality
  • creativity of treatment
  • organization and documentation
  • appropriateness of illustrations
  • quality of illustrations
Nominated books are examined by the chair to confirm their eligibility. Publishers of eligible books short listed for the award are then asked to send copies to the seven committee members who serve as jurors. Authors and/or publishers are notified that their book has or has not received the award by mid-January. The award-winning book and the short list are announced at the CSA National Symposium. The author of the award-winning book receives a certificate, the honorarium, and an invitation to speak at the CSA National Symposium the following year.

2017 Milla Davenport Award Committee Members

Christina Johnson, FIDM Museum, Chair
Kristina Haugland, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Sara Hume, Kent State University Museum
Rebecca Jumper Matheson, Fashion Institute of Technology
Aimee E. Newell, Ph.D.
Marlise Schoeny, Ohio State Historic Costume & Textiles Collection
Phyllis Specht, CSA Past President
Kristen E. Stewart,  The Valentine

Nomination Procedure

  • Nominations may be made by anyone and should include the complete title of the book, names of the author or authors, name and location of publisher, and (if possible) confirmation that the author is or the majority of authors are citizens of the Americas.
  • Christina Johnson

    FIDM Museum
    919 S Grand Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90015


Application deadline

is October 15, 2018

Past Recipients

Jane Bradbury and Edward Maeder
American Style and Spirit: The Fashions and Lives of the Roddis Family, 1850-1995

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell
Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette

Susan Greene
Wearable Prints 1760 – 1860: History, Materials, and Mechanics

Valerie Steele, editor
A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk

Christina Bates
A Cultural History of the Nurse’s Uniform

Kathy Peiss
Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style

Susan Hiner
Accessories to Modernity: Fashion and the Feminine in Nineteenth-Century France
View CSA video interview with Susan Hiner 

Alexandra Palmer
Dior: A New Look, A New Enterprise (1947-57)

Pravina Shukla
The Grace of Four Moons: Dress, Adornment, and the Art of the Body in Modern India

Jacqueline Field, Marjorie Senechal and Madelyn Shaw
American Silk 1830-1930: Entrepreneurs and Artifacts

Marla R. Miller
The Needle’s Eye: Women and Work in the Age of Revolution

David and Barbara Fraser
Mantles of Merit: Chin Textiles from Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh

Honorable Mention: Melissa Leventon
Artwear: Fashion and Anti-Fashion

Irene Guenther
Nazi Chic? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich

Sharon Sadako Takedo in collaboration with Monica Berthe and Other Contributors
Miracles and Mischief: Noh and Kyõgen Theatre in Japan

Linda Baumgarten
What Clothes Reveal, The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America

Valerie Steele
The Corset – A Cultural History

Nancy Rexford
Women’s Shoes in America: 1795 – 1930

Dr. Elizabeth Wayland Barber
The Mummies of Ürümchi

Betty Kirke
Madeleine Vionnet 

Dr. Beverly Lemire
Dress, Culture and Commerce: The English Clothing Trade Before the Factory, 1660-1800

Betty Kobayashi Issenman
Sinews of Survival: The Living Legacy of Inuit Clothing

Judy Frater
Threads of Identity: Embroidery and Adornment of the Nomadic Rabaris

Joan Severa
Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion 1840-1900

Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years

Liza C. Dalby
Kimono: Fashioning Culture

Dale Carolyn Gluckman and Sharon Sadako Tekeda
When Art Became Fashion: Kosode in Edo-Period Japan

Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Prehistoric Textiles

Kate C. Duncan
Northern Athapaskan Art: A Beadwork Tradition