Award Spotlight

Small Museum Collection Care Grant
2016 Awardee:
The Ted Lewis Museum


CSA’s annual Small Museum Collection Care Grant assists the costume and textiles collection of a small museum that has a very limited budget and staff. First awarded in 2003, and now funded by the CSA Endowment, these grants may be used for appropriate supplies or display items, the services of a consultant or specialist, or other projects that relate directly to the institution’s costume collection and foster the care or use of the collection.

The winner of the 2016 award is the Ted Lewis Museum, whose mission is to further the life and music of influential jazz musician Ted Lewis.  Founded in 1977, the museum holds and exhibits Ted Lewis’ archives, memorabilia and music library in the only remaining edifice that stood within the original circle of Circleville, Ohio.  The museum engaged Obie Textile Conservation to treat a dance costume from their collection.  The ensemble is one of four in the collection that had belonged to Nancy Bell, a tap dancer with the Ted Lewis revue in the 1940s. Creases and stains were removed from the three-piece garment, which was then mounted on a prepared mannequin.  The museum also made storage upgrades, hanging shirts and tuxedos and repacking dance costumes, hats, and other accessories.


Joseph Rubin, curator at the museum, says, “We are so grateful at the museum for the Costume Society of America’s support, as it allowed us to properly store and display these one of a kind costumes in our collection.”

Applications for the 2017 Small Museum Collection Care Grant are due December 15, 2016.  Click here to learn more!


Image 1: The dressed mannequin before treatment (left) and after (right), in her new exhibition space
Image 2: Improved hanging storage with padded hangers (including a spare for tuxedo currently on display), clamp hangers for pants, and tissue paper isolation for objects on the shelf