Photo provided by the Figge Art Museum

When our local art museum, the Figge Art Museum, contacted us to see if we had any leads on a late women’s 1800s bicycle for their upcoming exhibit–our response was, “Yes! In Mike’s house!” Mike has had an amazing women’s bicycle tucked away in his private collection for years and we’re thrilled to announce that it’s now on loan as part of an incredible exhibit, Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960.

The Model-A Lindsay Roadster

Photo of the Model-A Lindsay Roadster Women’s Bicycle at the Figge Art Museum

This Model-A Lindsay Roadster was produced by the Lindsay Brothers out of Milwaukee, WI. What makes this particular bike so special is that it has wooden rims, wooden fenders, a wooden chain guard, and a wicker child’s seat that attaches to the front fork and handlebars. Bicycles from this era really helped revolutionize women’s visibility and how they dressed. We’re honored to be able to share a little bit of that history with you and the Figge Art Museum.

The removable wicker child’s seat allowed the rider to bring their child with them at a time when women didn’t have as much mobility.

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the other pieces from this amazing collection!

Details from the motorcycle and hunting exhibits.
Western wear exhibit.
Details from snowshoeing and flower picking exhibit.

Where To See The Exhibit

Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 is now on display through May 7th at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa. Click here to learn more and schedule your trip to see this one-of-a-kind exhibit.

More Information

Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 highlights ensembles worn by women active in the sporting world from the turn of the nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Examining the competing priorities of style, function, and propriety, Sporting Fashion reconstructs a material history of women in sport through the garments and accessories that enabled them to compete and excel. The exhibition features sixty-four fully accessorized ensembles and a selection of sport-related accessories and ephemera drawn from the collections of the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Exhibiting 19th-century bathing and bicycling garments alongside 20th-century apparel for boxing and aviation, the exhibition displays the modernity, individuality, and mobility of the “new woman” and demonstrates the continued fight for equality.

Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 is organized into eight themes. Each explores how clothing met the needs of new pursuits for women: Stepping OutdoorsFurther Afield, Taking the ReinsMaking WavesSubzero StyleWheels and WingsHaving a Ball, and A Team Effort. The exhibition includes ensembles for activities ranging from yachting to calisthenics, and from motorcycling to promenading.  To complement the artifacts on view, a timeline of key events and biographies of sixteen important sportswomen further situates sporting fashion in the broader context of women’s social history.

Sporting Fashion is curated by Kevin L. Jones, FIDM Museum Curator, and Christina M. Johnson, FIDM Museum Associate Curator.

The illustrated 344-page catalogue with a foreword by Serena Williams is one of the very few authoritative publications on the development and evolution of women’s athletic attire. 

Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles.

Support for the national tour is provided by the AFA’s Gold Medal Circle: Elizabeth Belfer, Stephanie Borynack Clark, Ashleigh Fernandez, Lee White Galvis, Stephanie R. La Nasa, Merrill Mahan, Clare E. McKeon, Jennifer New, Angela Timashev, and Victoria Ershova Triplett.


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