Mollie “Madame” Hancock was a Rockingham County native and legend. She owned one of the first sewing machines in the county and she used it to propel herself into a first-class business woman and a high fashion designer for clients in Rockingham County and across the United States.
What began as a conversation about family history between County Historian Bob Carter and MARC Volunteer Barbara Golding grew to become the newest exhibit in the museum. More than 65 people participated in the MARC’s March 20th opening of “Madame Hancock, Modiste: The Rockingham County Years.” The opening coincided with Women’s History Month and was part of the MARC Dinner & History Series.
In addition to Madame Hancock’s artistry, this exhibit reaped the benefits of several of our area artists like Elizabeth Boles, who painted the outdoors scene; Mary Alice Collins, who painted the background details; and Richard Newcomer, who conserved the sewing cabinet in the exhibit. Karastan added their artistry, furnishing the floor covering.
Mollie’s relatives and their friends provided financial support for the MARC exhibit, as well as help to collect relevant artifacts. Barbara Golding expressed amazement at how well the collection came together as they “started with nothing and ended up with more than the exhibit could hold.” The audience on opening night declared the exhibit a great success.
We invite you to visit the MARC and see this gorgeous new exhibit and get to know the woman who inspired it.
Madame Hancock, Modiste: The Rockingham County Years
(Opened April 2014)
Visit the exhibit at the MARC to see her beautiful creations and learn more about this extraordinary woman.