Behind Closed Doors: At Home Wear & Underwear Exhibit

Daily tourists to the historic home enjoy the museum’s collection of antique furnishings and decorative arts. The mansion will come to life as it is filled with period clothing that would have been worn in private. These personal textiles are part of an exhibition on loan from PNJW Collections. The “Behind Closed Doors: At-Home Wear & Underwear” exhibit in Oaklands Mansion will take place from June 4 through August 5, 2017.

This exhibit features original examples of Civil War era women’s, men’s and children’s underclothing as well as women’s wrappers and men’s dressing gowns. Women’s wrappers and men’s dressing gowns or Banyans, as they were sometimes called, were very commonly worn inside the home. At-home accessories such as women’s day and night caps, men’s smoking caps and house slippers will also be on display. Period underclothing on display will include all the various layers worn by women, men and children. A special addition to the collection is a pair of dress under-sleeves worn by Minnie Sherman, the daughter of General William T. Sherman.

“The clothing and textiles are now very fragile and delicate and this is a unique opportunity to see so many period items of clothing that are period to the mansion,” said Mary Beth Nevills, Educational Director of Oaklands. “We look forward to sharing these personal items with our community and visitors.”

The exhibit provides a rare opportunity to experience a much more intimate view of the lifestyle of the families during the Civil War. The exhibit will be open during regular visiting hours, Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sundays 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission to the exhibit and house tour is $15.00 for adults, $10.00 for seniors, $6.00 for students & children and ages five and under are free. For more information, contact Mary Beth Nevills at Oaklands (615) 893-0022 or email

BehindClosedDoors sign crop