Person / Persona

If, as Mark Twain wrote, clothes make the man, then costumes give us permission to bring wholly new and original identities to life: to alter our behavior and to “try on” other personalities and lifestyles.

‘Person/persona’ is a series of diptychs exploring the transformative power of costume-wearing and the creation of alter egos.  To represent the subject as a whole, each person appears in two environmental portraits:  one in costume, the other in street clothes.

Some of the personae are the individual’s original creations; some are familiar historical figures; some exist only on paper; and some only on stage. I found each subject by attending historical reenactments and performances, talking to friends, and internet searches.

Each person was invited to write a paragraph or two about the chain of events that led to their particular choice of persona and about the impact it has had in their lives. Some people have shared inspiring stories of overcoming very personal struggles, and most feel that costumes have been the bridge to a changed, more fulfilled and happier life.

   All images © by individual artists    All rights reserved


Edith G. Clifford

Patricia Garrity

Suzanne Hanson

Wilson L. Hunt, Jr.

Martha Lazarus

Linda Rogers

Andrea Rosenthal

Gail Samuelson

Dianne J. Schaefer


Karen Davis

Course Assistant

Meg Birnbaum