March 22, 2023
Discover the life works of fashion designer Helen Brockman at the University Archives
In honor of Women's History 365, K-State Libraries is celebrating and sharing the work of fashion designer Helen Brockman, whose materials and designs have been newly processed in the Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections and Archives.
Brockman, born in 1902, was a designer who is widely known for her work in constructing patterns that, to this day, better flatter a variety of body shapes and sizes. Prior to the start of Brockman's work circa the 1920s, many clothing patterns were based on a thin and straight-lined silhouette, which was common at the time. Brockman saw the need for expanded options, which would make fashionable clothing more accessible to women of all sizes and shapes.
Brockman became a faculty member at Kansas State University. While she was a faculty member, she worked with the KSU Foundation to purchase a home to be used as a university guest house. She continued to support the community and campus by hosting visiting faculty in her home. Following her passing at 105 years old, her family donated her many materials, which include drawings, patterns and more, to the university. The collection is a testament to her influence on the art of design throughout her long life.
All students, staff and faculty are encouraged to explore how the university's archives and collections can help enhance research and learning. Those interested in learning more about how to view and use archival material, including those of Brockman, are welcome to contact the Morse Department of Special Collections.
If you are interested in donating interesting or unique K-State-related items to the university, please contact the department's staff.