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Kent State University Museum - Northeast Ohio Fashion Museum


Kent State University Museum, Kent Ohio

Kent State University Museum

(Courtesy of Kent State University) Oscar de la Renta Exhibit at the Kent State Museum, Kent Ohio

The Oscar de la Renta Exhibit at the Kent State Museum

(© A. Bissonnette/courtesy of the Kent State Museum)

The Kent State University Museum was founded in 1983 by fashion entrepreneurs Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman and opened in 1985. Today, the museum houses one of the finest and largest collections of apparel and textiles in the United States.


The Kent State Museum opened in 1985, with a core collection of fashion objects donated by Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman. The museum is housed in the university's former Beaux-Arts library building, constructed in 1927. Subsequent donations, notably by Calvin Klein and glass collectors Jabe Tarter and Paul Miller, have augmented the original collection.

The Permanent Collection:

The Museum's permanent collection features over 20,000 objects. Among them are the important fashion collection, which includes costumes and textiles from the 18th century to the present and featured works by Channel, Balmain, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Courreges, Valentino, Halston, and Miyake, among others. The fashion collection includes a large selection of 18th and 19th century Chinese costumes, Central European apparel, and a number of outfits that once belongs to Marlene Dietrich.

In addition to fashion, the Museum houses a small collection of American paintings and decorative arts and the Tarter/Miller collection of 20th century American art glass.

Temporary Exhibits:

In addition to the permanent collection, the Museum hosts a regular schedule of important temporary exhibits. Recent exhibitions have included "Oscar de la Renta:American Elegance," "Fashion on the American Frontier," and "Scaasi: An American Icon."

The Kent State University Museum Library:

The Museum library houses an extensive collection of books and periodicals on fashion and the decorative arts. The library is non-circulating and access is available by appointment only. Contact Judy Jerkich at jjerkich@kent.edu for permission.

Visiting the Kent State University Museum:

The Kent State University Museum is located in Kent Ohio, southeast of Cleveland at the corner of E. Main St.(route 59) and S. Lincoln St. Free parking is available for museum visitors. The museum is wheelchair accessible and a wheelchair is available for use in the museum at no charge.

Hours :

The Kent State University Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, except for major holidays. Hours are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday: 10am - 445pm; Thursday: 10am - 845pm; and Sunday: Noon - 445pm.


Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, and $3 for student and children 7-18 years old. KSU students, staff and faculty are free as are children under seven years old. Admission on Sundays is free to everyone.

Contact Information:

The Kent State University Museum
Rockwell Hall
Kent, OH 44242
330 672-3450

Hotels Near the Kent State University Museum
The closest accommodations to Kent State University are the new Holiday Inn Express (check rates), located less than one mile from the museum. In addition, there is a Hampton Inn (check rates) two miles from the museum.

(last updated 10-2-12)

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