Bokrijk aims to be a museum that tells stories about people, rather than a visual time machine or a simple look at a tranquil past. The way our colleagues dress on the site offers a visual contribution to that story. During development of Tim Van Steenbergen's Bokrijk Collection, we paid a lot of attention to the different groups of colleagues active in Bokrijk.
They include caretakers and playground supervisors, checkout and shop counter staff, men and women hosts in the Open-Air Museum (both in the rural and in the urban museum section), artisans, guides and workshop educators. Each group has its own recognizable style, such as a practical pair of trousers, a trendy parka with a digital print, a sweater with a silk-screened logo. In this way, we have created a completely new image, the Bokrijk-identity, in which new and historical elements blend seamlessly.
Frieda Sorber, curator of the Antwerp Fashion Museum (Modemuseum Antwerpen, "MoMu"), took a close look at the male and female Living History actors and saw, most noticeably, possible improvements for the women's clothing. Using study material and Frieda Sorber's knowledge, we refined the detail of the female attire, especially for the farmers' wives. We also took their social position into account. They now wear jackets tailored to reflect that position. On the other hand, in 1913, the schoolmistress was a woman of the world, she wore a more fashionable coat and that is reflected in the current style.
You can find an overview of Tim Van Steenbergen's Bokrijk Collection by using this link.