This week in Kickstartable, we have a project called “The Loves of Aaron Burr: Portraits in Corsetry and Binding.” How can you not click through with a title like that?
Tell us about your Kickstarter project.
This project is truly a labor of love for me! As an artist and couturier, corsets are my specialty. I have been making custom couture for private clientele for years in my garment district studio, The House of Execution. But about a decade ago my husband, Kurt Thometz, and I moved to Harlem Heights, across the street from The Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan’s oldest residence, now a museum. A local history nut, I had to know more about the house’s history, and I fell in love with its most famous occupant, Eliza Jumel. Researching her colorful life, I stumbled upon a handful of other equally fascinating women, and it seemed only fitting for me to reintroduce them to the world through corsets. So this exhibition of corset sculpture is very dear to me and it is truly exciting that I was asked to exhibit these women’s “portraits” in the very house that inspired me in the first place!
The corsets are nearing completion, but we do need help with the final touches, including: funds for the photography and printing of a color catalog so these ladies can live on past the exhibition; funds for the professional installation of the show in the Mansion; and last, the development of a virtual timeline so I can present the women’s lives in the context of history. Very exciting!
Is this your first Kickstarter project?
This is indeed my first Kickstarter project! I was introduced to Kickstarter after donating to Richard Barber’s incredible documentary, “The Whole Gritty City,” about marching bands in New Orleans. The stories of the women I feature in my exhibition are so rich, they deserve to be reintroduced to the public. Kickstarter is a wonderful opportunity not only to raise funds but to share your material with a greater audience.
What have been the biggest challenges so far?
The most challenging part was editing down what we wanted to share! Because my team and I are so passionate about the material, it was very difficult to present it to the world in under 3 minutes! In the end, we hope the video is a good teaser and that it will entice people not only to donate to the exhibition, but also to take the time to learn more about these oft-forgotten women from US history!
The response has been fabulous. We are steadily gaining on our goal, but most surprising is how interested people have been in the material. Corsets and American history are not everyone’s cup of tea, yet people have been intrigued!
What’s the biggest selling point of your project?
The biggest selling point is that you get to visit these eight women in the period rooms of the Morris-Jumel Mansion. I could not have asked for a more perfect setting, as besides Madam Jumel, most of the other women featured in the exhibition actually set foot in the very house where you will be meeting them! The site specific element of the project is so exciting. I hope people will make a day out of it and spend some time living and breathing history.
The Loves of Aaron Burr:Portraits in Corsetry and Binding is able to be funded through April 17th.
Disclaimer: Please do not take this review or my personal endorsement of this project as investment advice. I am a lady blogger on the Internet, not an investment adviser, nor am I an angel investor myself.