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Marybelle S. Bigelow Collection, 1953-2001Add to your cart. | Special Collections & University Archives

Title: Marybelle S. Bigelow Collection, 1953-2001Add to your cart.
ID: MS-0298
Extent: 24.2 Linear Feet
expand icon Historical Note

Marybelle Schmidt Bigelow, born in La Mesa, California on July 18, 1923 was a distinguished professor of fashion and costume history, an accomplished artist and a prolific writer and creator.  Bigelow received both her BA and MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and went on to teach there for more than six years.  She was awarded the esteemed Prix de Paris for fashion design and illustration, and worked briefly for Vogue Magazine in New York as a staff designer.  In 1956, Bigelow was invited to join the staff of San Diego State University (SDSU), where she taught fashion illustration, costume history, and graphic communication courses in the art department for more than twenty years. During her tenure at SDSU, Bigelow was active on a variety of committees and was recognized as an Outstanding Educator in 1970, 1971 and 1972.

In 1967, Bigelow completed Alphabets and Design, which was later adopted as a text for graphics and communications classes by the University of Minnesota. She then went on to write and illustrate her seminal text on the history of fashion and costume, Fashion in History: Apparel in the Western World. The second edition was completed and published in 1979 and is still in publication.  Although she retired in 1980, Bigelow continued to remain very active in academic life at SDSU, and was editor of the retirement newsletter for more than 12 years.

In addition to her career as an art professor, Bigelow was an active artist and creator, exhibiting in numerous galleries and museums, including the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art and the San Diego Fine Arts Gallery.  She wrote numerous versions of her autobiography, Vichyssoise and 33 Commencements, authored her own personal newsletter and wrote and illustrated a number of short stories and children's books.  She died in 2003 at the age of 79.

Author: Holland Kessinger
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expand icon Administrative Information
Acquired: 1973. 1982, 2003
Restrictions: This collection is open for research.
Rights: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Acquisition Note: Bruce Gibson
Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Marybelle Bigelow Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.
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