This dress belonged to Magdalena Elselena Wensell from Trondheim, who died from illness in 1786, only three years old. Her parents had her portrait painted, probably after her death. The portrait and the dress, both in the museum’s collection, help us understand topics like childhood and child mortality, as well as the history of art and fashion in this period.
The dress, along with other artefacts from the Wensell family, will be displayed in the upcoming major exhibition “TIMESCAPE – 1600-1914” which is due to open later this year.
The silk dress, which is not only old, but very faded and fragile after many years on display in the old “City Collection” at the museum, can no longer be exhibited. It was therefore important to create a copy - a costly project which has been made possible by the generous support of Friends of Norsk Folkemuseum.
As shown in the picture series above, the work is now well under way