September’s First Friday with Courting Style

Serena-header

Drawn from the collections of the Museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the exhibition Courting Style: Women’s Tennis Fashion presents a sweeping overview of women’s tennis fashion, documented by some of the most memorable garments in tennis history—worn by the most iconic competitors and created by the most influential designers. 

Over the last century and a half, women’s tennis fashion has evolved along with the sport itself, and in tandem with the changing image of women both on and off the court. The touring exhibition reflects this evolution, epitomized by two contrasting outfits: the formal and constrictive Edwardian dress and the playful outfit worn by Serena Williams well over one hundred years later. In the intervening decades, tennis transformed from a garden-party game to the professional sport we know today; and women’s tennis clothing shifted from demure to liberated, from conforming to commanding.

As part of M-AAA’s program ExhibitsUSA, Courting Style has already traveled to venues such as the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and the Marco Island Historical Society in Florida. It is currently here at our headquarters for a mid-tour refurbishment.

For September’s First at Mid-America Arts Alliance, a selection from Courting Style—including Serena Williams’ dress—will be on view in M-AAA’s front gallery windows. It comes at a time when Serena Williams is stepping away from competitive tennis and playing in what may be her final US Open in New York. 

To book this exhibition for your venue or to learn more, visit https://eusa.org/exhibition/courting-style/

 

Image credits: Dress of the style worn by Serena Williams at the 2018 US Open, 2018; polyester, spandex, metal, 32 5/16 x 15 3/4 inches (diameter); Courtesy of the Museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame