Worcester Art Museum Examines the Baseball Jersey's Iconic Connection to Fashion

The baseball jersey has not only become an emblem of America’s favorite pastime, but has also permeated the arena of pop culture, specifically within fashion. The 170-year-old sports uniform has inspired many style trends over the past few decades, and Massachusetts’ Worcester Art Museum (WAM) explores its widespread influence in its current exhibition titled The Iconic Jersey: Baseball x Fashion.

According to WAM, this is the first museum exhibition focusing specifically on the design evolution of baseball jerseys and their impact on national culture. The exhibition features 37 garments, including historic and contemporary jerseys as well as runway looks like Jesse Tannehill’s 1908 Boston Red Sox Uniform Shirt. The exhibit also features two bespoke, up-cycled  jersey chairs created by Los Angeles designer Darren Romanelli to showcase the complete phenomenon of the baseball jersey, demonstrating how its reach is not limited to the baseball diamond.

“The long history of the baseball jersey taps into a profound set of human desires, to belong and to be proud in proclaiming that affiliation whether as a player or a fan,” said Matthais Wascheck, the Jean and Myles McDonough Director of WAM, in a statement. “But the jersey has not been a static item. Over the years it has changed and evolved, has sought to pick up on fashion trends or to reject them, and both designers and fans have, in turn, brought their own influences to bear. Now, for the first time, we can explore this history in a systematic way.”

Organized by Erin Corrales-Diaz, WAM’s curator of American art, the exhibition focuses on the baseball jersey’s relationship with aesthetics, athletics and expression. Dissecting these themes, the collection is organized into three major sections, including: “The Modern Jersey,” which traces the evolution of aesthetic choices such as fabrics, typography, colors and patterns; “Experimental Design,” which examines sartorial decisions that have expanded the traditional jersey shape; and “Off the Field,” which explores the jersey as an illustration of fandom and its emergence in both luxury design and streetwear.

The exhibition is now open and runs through September 12.

In other art news, Lance de Los Reyes is to hold his first solo exhibition at the Ross-Sutton Gallery in NYC.
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