Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage & Screen

Recognized as one of the greatest actresses of all time, Katharine Hepburn received 12 Best Actress nominations from the Motion Picture Academy—taking the award home four times. In addition to her stellar career on stage and screen, Hepburn became known for her distinct style, wearing trousers at a time when it still raised eyebrows. Her personal preference for relaxed, casual, but chic clothing led to a 1985 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. 

This exhibition, drawn from the collection of the Kent State University Museum, includes a range of costumes and fashions that were instrumental in shaping some of the most memorable characters Hepburn portrayed over her long career. Featured in the exhibition are costumes from: the stage productions of The Philadelphia Story (1939), Without Love (1942) and Coco (1969); classic films, including Adam’s Rib (1949), Stage Door (1937) and Long Day’s Journey into Night (1962); and television movies such as Love Among the Ruins (1975). More than a dozen different designers are represented, including Hepburn favorites, Walter Plunkett (1902–1982) and Valentina (1899–1989), who were particularly skilled at producing elegant designs for her long-limbed, athletic figure. Some of the other designers represented include Howard Greer (1896–1974), Edith Head (1897–1981), Norman Hartnell (1901–1979), Irene (1901–1962), Ray Diffin (1922–2012), and Jane Greenwood (b. 1934). Additionally, Hepburn’s “signature look,” an ensemble of tailored beige trousers and linen jackets, will be featured, along with vintage posters, playbills, photos, and related artifacts illustrating Hepburn’s remarkable career. 

Spotlighting over five decades of the star’s career, Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage & Screen provides a rich and entertaining look not only at the clothes that helped create indelible characters, but also at the importance of fashion in crafting the image of one of the most memorable performers of the 20th century.

Lent by the Kent State University Museum.

The Pittsburgh presentation of Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage & Screen is made possible by UPMC Health Plan. 
Program Information

Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage & Screen

Dates: October 19, 2019 - January 12, 2020
Location: The Frick Art Museum
Admission:
Members: Free
Adults: $15
Seniors/Students/Military: $13
Youth 6–16: $8
Youth 5 and under: Free

Purchase Tickets

Member Preview Day

Costume Sponsorship

Exhibitions landing page: Katharine Hepburn as "Tracy Lord" in The Philadelphia Story, stage production, 1939. Vandamm Studio © The New York Publicy Library.

Above: Howard Greer (American, 1896–1974), costume for Hepburn as "Stella Sturge" in The Lake, stage production, 1934. KSUM 2010.12.53. Gift of the Estate of Katharine Hepburn.

Music for Exhibitions: Sounds of the Stage & Screen
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Film Series: <em>Adam's Rib</em>
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Enjoy this classic romantic comedy featuring Katharine Hepburn as a Philadelphia socialite.
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Film Series: <em>The Philadelphia Story</em>
The Frick Art Museum
12/06/2019 7:00 PM
Film Series: The Philadelphia Story
Enjoy this classic romantic comedy featuring Katharine Hepburn as a Philadelphia socialite.
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Holiday Greens Workshop: <em>Glitzy Greens</em>
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Film Series: <em>Guess Who's Coming to Dinner</em>
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When Joanna Drayton, a free-thinking white woman, and black doctor John Prentice become engaged, the...
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Film Series: <em>Guess Who's Coming to Dinner</em>
The Frick Art Museum
01/10/2020 7:00 PM
Film Series: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
When Joanna Drayton, a free-thinking white woman, and black doctor John Prentice become engaged, the...
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