Peabody Essex Museum names its first curator of fashion and textiles

By Robert Steiner Globe Correspondent 

Fashionistas, rejoice: The Peabody Essex Museum has appointed its first Nancy B. Putnam Curator of Fashion and Textiles, and her name is Petra Slinkard.

Well versed in both fashion and fine art, Slinkard will create exhibits and installations that look at fashion’s role and influence around the globe and expand PEM’s already impressive collection of clothes and textiles.


Slinkard previously worked at the Chicago History Museum, where she oversaw the collection of costumes and textiles, as well as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where she helped expand the fashion collection and exhibits.

Though fashion has been part of the fabric of the PEM for a while — the museum’s currently spotlighting the personal style of artist Georgia O’Keeffe — Slinkard is expected to bring a fresh perspective and intensity.

“PEM’s approach to fashion is committed to teasing out its connections to creativity and culture as wellsprings of humanity,” PEM Deputy Director Lynda Roscoe Hartigan said in a statement. “Hiring our first fashion curator has been my personal dream and I know that Petra’s wide-ranging expertise will take our fashion initiative in a fresh and dynamic direction.”