I like the saying “Go Big or Go Home.” To me it means if you’re going to do something then do it with all you’ve got–throw yourself into it. I like that attitude. The skirt, jacket, and cape above scream that attitude and they scream it with buttons. Even better!
Mrs. Nettie Vertrovsky of Crete went big with buttons. A collector for over 50 years, Vertrovsky amassed over 3,000 of the little gems from all over the world; no two alike. A newspaper article printed shortly before she donated the button encrusted outfit to the Society in 1952, says that a friend gave her a quart jar filled with buttons and Vetrovsky, who had a discerning eye, only kept twenty-two and returned the rest because she already had examples of them.
The article, and our files, fail to say why the button collector decided to display her treasures on articles of handmade clothing. It does seem like an appropriate exhibit method for this type of collection although I don’t envy her niece who wore the outfit (see the picture below) as the skirt alone weighs a few pounds.
Deb Arenz, Associate Director for Collections