Chandler Museum opens Thrift Style, exploring how past ingenuity can inspire the present

Aug. 26, 2022
National Cotton Council, A Bag of Tricks for Home Sewing

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Thrift Style explores the reuse of feed sacks to make clothing and other household objects during the Great Depression and World War II. With 41 works from patterns to garments, it serves as an example of past ingenuity that can inform today’s efforts towards sustainability. Thrift Style opens Sept. 6, 2022 at Chandler Museum.

During World War II, the federal government limited fabric use so homemakers repurposed what was available to them. The reuse of feed, flour, and sugar sacks was a cost-saving and resource-saving approach by women to make items to meet their families’ needs. In response, manufacturers promoted the thrifty use of feed sack fabric by publishing how-to brochures and booklets with clothing designs, mending instructions, and other suggestions for restyling clothes.

This exhibition offers a snapshot of domestic life during this time, when recycling was as critical as it is today, and it provides one of the best examples of upcycling in our nation’s history.

Along with the exhibit, Chandler Museum will host “Market at the Museum: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” on Sunday, Oct. 23 from 1-5 p.m. This event will highlight local artists, vendors, and organizations whose work aligns with the exhibit’s themes of creative resourcefulness and reducing waste with upcycling.

Additional early childhood, family, and adult programs will coordinate with this exhibition including:

  • Saturday, Sept. 24: In the Exhibits- Thrift it Up
  • Wednesdays, Oct. 5 and 19: C-Town Suitcase Club- Threads
  • Saturday, Oct. 22: Play Day- Upcycled Games
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1: History Bites- Memories from the Farm: Repurposing Flour Sacks into Fashion
  • Wednesdays, Nov. 9 and 23: Art Tots- Upcycled Art

Find more information on all programs and events at Chandler Museum.

Thrift Style is organized by The Historic Costume and Textile Museum and the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, both at Kansas State University, and ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Thrift Style will be on display at the Chandler Museum Sept. 6 - Nov. 27, 2022. The Chandler Museum is located at 300 S. Chandler Village Drive. It is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m.; closed Monday. Free admission.

Find more information on the exhibitions and programming at Chandler Museum or by calling 480-782-2717.

About ExhibitsUSA

This exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than twenty-five exhibitions on tour to over 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. These exhibitions create access to an array of arts and humanities experiences, nurture the understanding of diverse cultures and art forms, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities. For more information, email More Art or visit ExhibitsUSA.

About Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. Find additional information at M-AAA.    

Chandler Museum is an innovative learning environment where the community comes together to share our stories, store our cultural heritage, and experience Chandler as a people and place. The vision of the Museum is to be the community’s principal resource to explore its people’s history, culture, and place in a rapidly changing world of today – within and without the walls of a building. More information at Chandler Museum.

Image Credit
National Cotton Council, A Bag of Tricks for Home Sewing, 1945; paper and ink, 8 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches; Courtesy of Kansas State University Historic Costume and Textile Museum.

Media contact:          
Jillian Nakornthap

Chandler Museum