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.
- The donor, Virginia Lee, posed in a similar cheong sam for a US World War II poster and for the "Miss China" contest in New York. Also known as a qu pao, the Chinese traditional loose dress shape was modified by Western designers in the 1920's to be more close-fitting to accentuate a woman's figure. The altered dress form became broadly popular in the United States as evening wear in the late 1950's and 1960's.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1930
- Mead, Virginia Lee
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center