DACO Opens ‘Creating the Illusion’ Exhibition May 19

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Opening on May 19, the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio will showcase some of the most impressive and culturally relevant costumes from films of the past 30 years in their new exhibition “Creating the Illusion,” curated by Paramount Films archivist and former Ohio University Lancaster student Randall Thropp.

The exhibition features everything from one of Morticia Adam’s most elegant get-ups to dresses that Beyoncé famously had to sip on a hideous cayenne and lemon juice concoction to fit into for 2006’s Dreamgirls.

Some of the costumes in the exhibition are from Coming to America, the Eddie Murphy cult classic that was released in 1988. Coming to America features a dazzling array of costumes, and on the same day of the exhibition opening, the Drexel Theater in Columbus (2254 East Main Street, Columbus) will feature a 30th anniversary screening of the film at 7 p.m. which will also feature words by Randall Thropp and Jay Jorgensen, the co-author of the 2015 book Creating the Illusion, which documents a history of Hollywood fashion designers.

“We (the Drexel) are a non for profit, and we have in our mission not to just show finest independent films but to educate and do community service,” said Judy Fisher, the chair of Friends of the Drexel, who explained that facilitating showings of culturally relevant films like Coming to America is just a part of what the theater does.

WOUB’s Emily Votaw spoke with Randall Thropp about his Ohio University connections, the curation of the exhibition, and the importance of Coming to America, 30 years after it’s release.

Creating the Illusion: Costumes & Characters from the Paramount Pictures Archive opens at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio (145 East Main Street, Lancaster) on Saturday, May 19 and be on display through August 12.