Fashionable Art

The Frances Neady Collection of Original Fashion Illustrations

The Frances Neady collection of Original Fashion Illustrations was established in 1984 to honor its namesake, an inspirational teacher of fashion illustration. The collection encompasses over a century of fashion art. Its earliest example, a watercolor by Pierre Brissaud for Gazette du Bon Ton, is dated 1913; its most recent donation is by contemporary artist Ruben Toledo. Among other stars represented in the collection are Eric (Carl Erickson), René Bouché, Dorothy Hood, George Stavrinos, and Antonio (Lopez).

To mark the collection’s 30th anniversary, Neady collection founder, Rosemary Torre, in collaboration with noted illustrator Bil Donovan, selected the thirty works to display in an exhibit entitled "Fashionable Art: The Frances Neady collection of Original Fashion Illustrations." The exhibit was on display in FIT's Gladys Marcus Library from October 21, 2014 to January 23, 2015.

Donations to the collection come from artists, collectors, and industry professionals. The donated works fulfill criteria established by the Neady Collection Advisory Board, which acknowledges artists who exhibit high standards of draftsmanship and esthetic quality, demonstrate an individual approach, possess technical virtuosity, have worked for high-end magazines, stores or corporations, and have earned the admiration of their peers.

The Frances Neady collection’s mission is to encourage and facilitate research by students and industry professionals in the art of fashion illustration. The collection presents a graphic record of the art’s evolution since the 1910s. In addition, it provides a vivid cultural and visual reflection of its time.

Rosemary Torre
Founder, Frances Neady Collection