SMU Exhibit Explores Life of Icon Carrie Marcus Neiman

Many people know of Stanley Marcus and his genius for retailing, but many of the women who helped establish the Neiman Marcus reputation for excellence are much less familiar.

An exhibit at SMU’s DeGolyer Library offers a closer look at those women, including Carrie Marcus Neiman.

The remarkable woman with her brother, Herbert Marcus, Sr., and her husband, Al Neiman, founded the iconic luxury department store Neiman Marcus in 1907.

“An Eye for Elegance: Carrie Marcus Neiman and the Women Who Shaped Neiman Marcus” coincides with a new biography, A Girl Named Carrie, by Jerrie Marcus Smith.

From her girlhood in Louisville, Kentucky, to her move to Dallas, her marriage (and divorce), and her commitment to the success of “The Store,” Carrie Marcus Neiman emerges from the shadows of history.

She was indispensable in shaping the Neiman Marcus “look.” Her innate good taste in fashion and demand for the finest in fabrics and details helped create a nationally known store that rivaled those in New York and abroad.

The exhibit, which draws on family archives and the Stanley Marcus Papers at SMU, also directs attention to other talented women from the earliest days of Neiman Marcus: buyer Moira Cullen, first fashion promotions director Kay Kerr, interior designer Eleanor Le Maire, and food director Helen Corbitt.

This exhibition was made possible, in part, by support from Neiman Marcus, the Eugene McDermott Foundation, Friends of SMU Libraries, SMU Women’s Studies, and professor Bonnie Wheeler.

If you go:

What: “An Eye for Elegance: Carrie Marcus Neiman and the Women Who Shaped Neiman Marcus” presented by SMU’s DeGolyer Library

When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays through Jan. 28

Where: The Hillcrest Foundation Exhibit Hall in the Fondren Library building, 6404 Robert S. Hyer Lane


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