Libraries and Hours Ask a Librarian

Sidney Cox Library of Music and Dance

Open until 5pm - Full Hours /

Iconic Ensembles: Performers and Their Costumes – exhibit on display through April 3, 2023

This exhibit will focus on the glittering, fantastical, and often audacious costumes that have defined the image of performers from 18th-century operatic superstar Farinelli to 20th-century and contemporary popular music icons including Cindy Lauper, Queen, and Rihanna. The exhibit features materials from the Music Library’s Special Collections, including historical programs and photographs, album covers, anniversary edition recordings, music videos, book illustrations, museum exhibition catalogues, and designs for famous operatic characters such as Papageno and Brünnhilde. Display cases are on the 2nd floor of Lincoln Hall near the reference desk and 3rd floor near the Kahn Seminar Room.


“Iconic Ensembles” is the second of three “Fashioning Music” exhibits affiliated with Threads of History: Textiles at Cornell, a series of exhibits organized by Cornell University Library in honor of the acquisition of the library and archives of the former American Textile History Museum, whose mission had been to “tell America’s stories through textiles.” Highlighting materials from the former American Textile History Museum, existing items from Cornell’s collections, and original artwork, Threads of History honors the storytelling, history, and artistry of textiles and those who labor to create them.