Clothes and Heritage: Chinese American Clothes from the Virginia Lee Mead CollectionAbout the Collection
The Lee family wore these objects of clothing between 1881 and 1945 which Lee’s youngest daughter, Virginia Lee Mead, donated to NMAH. The family imported many articles of clothing from China that were worn on special occasions; otherwise, the children and businessman Lee dressed in Western-style attire for daily wear. The mother of the family continued to wear traditional Chinese dress most of her life. Their clothing reflects diverse Chinese and American cultural traditions.
The Lee family, c. 1920. The donor, Virginia Lee, was not yet born.
"Clothes and Heritage: Chinese American Clothes from the Virginia Lee Mead Collection - About the Collection" showing 1 items.
- Description (Brief)
- In America, Mrs. Lee wore this tunic-length satin blouse with side buttons made from 1890 Hong Kong coins. The generously cut blouse or sam, often reaching the calf, was worn over trousers.
- Mrs. Lee wore traditional Chinese clothes when she occasionally accompanied her children to the local movie houses. According to her daughter Grace, since she did not understand English she made up her own storyline to accompany the films’ images.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1905
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center