World premiere of Dressing the Abbey comes to Rochester, Minnesota

A unique collaboration between multiple groups in Rochester is bringing a one-of-a-kind experience to downtown Rochester, Minnesota.

Exhibits Development Group’s world premiere of the Dressing the Abbey exhibition at the Chateau Theatre features 35 costumes from the acclaimed PBS television series Downton Abbey.

“This is a great example of how our community partners can work together to create new and unique opportunities in Rochester,” said Patrick Seeb, Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency director of economic development and placemaking. “The world premiere of Dressing the Abbey is enhancing the arts and culture experience in the Heart of the City.”

The Dressing the Abbey exhibit at the Kahler Grand Hotel

The experience begins at Chateau, where seven costumes are on display. Visitors can then head to the Kahler Grand Hotel to view 26 more costumes in the hotel’s Elizabethan Grand Ballroom. Two additional costumes are on display at the History Center of Olmsted County (general admission to the history center is required).

The Dressing the Abbey exhibit at the History Center of Olmsted County

“This was a perfect opportunity to pair the historic beauty and charm of the Elizabethan Ballroom and the Kahler Grand’s history in Rochester with this exhibit featuring such a wildly popular show,” said Matt Elliott, Kahler Hospitality Group marketing manager. “The costumes on exhibit hail from the same era that saw the construction of the Grand and ties in so perfectly to the history of the Kahler and Mayo families and the events that really put Rochester on the map. It’s quite the experience to see these costumes displayed in a ballroom that takes you right back to the 1920s itself.”

“Exhibits Development Group and their friendly staff went out of their way to help make sure the History Center received two dresses that were unique and eye catching,” said Kevin Whaley, History Center of Olmsted County collections manager. “These two dresses form the centerpiece of our exhibit and are complemented by period furniture and dresses from our collection—items displayed for the first time in years.”

As part of the Downton Abbey experience, the Kahler Grand Hotel is offering English High Tea on Sundays at 3 p.m. through the exhibition’s run. Tickets for high tea can be purchased here.

The Dressing the Abbey exhibit is sponsored by Mayo Clinic with generous support from benefactors John T. Mathews and Lillian G. Mathews.

Dressing the Abbey is the second exhibition at the Chateau Theatre since Exhibits Development Group became the building’s manager and operator of the theatre in 2019. The first exhibition, the Minnesota debut of The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition, is on display at Chateau through March 1, 2020.