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Date of Work

Late 1940's






72" (wingspan)


Douglas E. Erickson Chinese Clothing Collection


Stored: 234_S8B CF Box 1


UND Art Collections Repository

Additional Information

Men's blue cotton gown with ball and loop fasteners along left side up to neck and inner breast pocket.

Identified as #8 on paper insert:

8. Late 1940’s blue cotton gown was typical everyday men’s wear.

Paper insert reads:


Douglas Erickson devoted his life to the ministry of others, either as a Lutheran pastor, a missionary to China, Malaysia, or Taiwan, or as a counselor to international students at the University of North Dakota.

Douglas Eugene Erickson was born November 30th, 1921 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the son of Adolph E. Erickson, owner of AE Erickson, Meats and Groceries, and Emma Ekstam Erickson.

Erickson graduated summa cum laude from UND in 1943 where he was a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa. Her received a Master of Divinity from Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary, Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1945 and was ordained a Lutheran pastor. He enrolled in Chinese Language and Rural Studies at Yale and Cornell Universities before beginning his ministry as pastor and teacher at Shantung Lutheran Mission in China in 1946. After the Communist takeover in 1949, he left for Hong Kong in 1950.

It was there that he met his wife, Joan Parkin, a missionary from England. They married in 1952 in Wath-on-Dearne, Yorkshire, England. Two sons, Paul and Philip, were born in Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia (formerly Malaya) in 1954 and 1956 where Erickson continued his pastoral work in new villages and urban areas, working in Mandarin, Hakka, and English from 1953 until 1957.

A third son, Mark, was born in 1958 in Milwaukee while Erickson was pastor of the inner city Incarnation Lutheran Church until 1961. Along with his family, he returned to the Far East as director of the Lutheran Student Center and teacher at Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, Republic of China and remained until 1966. Daughters, Margit and Ruth Ann, were born in 1962 and 1964 in Taiwan.

Erickson returned to his alma mater and earned degrees in Counseling and Guidance, an M.A. in 1967 and an Ed.D in 1970. He combined two ministries in 1969 when he accepted the position of International Student Advisor and Director of UND’s International Centre, in addition to a call from Bethany Lutheran Church, East Grand Forks. He remained at the International Centre until 1985 and as Bethany Lutheran in 1987, when he officially retired. He continued his ministry on a volunteer basis with Hospice at Altru Hospital, and as a Senior Health Insurance Counselor (SHIC). Douglas E. Erickson died January 15, 2001.



The Chester Fritz Library acquired the Douglas E. Erickson Chinese Clothing Collection in August 1996 and April 1997. Most of these beautiful articles of clothing date to pre-World War II years.

(From right to left in the case)

1. A matron’s jacket of deep blue silk trimmed with a pale gray silk is decorated with shaded blue flowers and butterflies outlined in gold metallic thread. The love of nature is commonly depicted in Chinese art and elements of nature take on symbolic meaning. Butterflies symbolize joy and happy marriage; the peony, good fortune; and the chrysanthemum, pleasure and good cheer.

2. Embroidered butterflies, flowers, the peach symbolizing long life, and bats symbolizing happiness, all in shades of blue and white, decorate a child’s red silk gown. The endless knot, the symbol of longevity, is one design element adorning the gown’s border.

3. Made for Erickson in 1947 in Peking, this padded blue silk gown was winter wear. Normally a white shirt was worn underneath. A black silk jacket called a magwa, embellished with the endless knot symbol of longevity, was worn over the gown for dress occasions. A blue cotton slipcover was worn over all to protect the ensemble when outdoors.

4. Red wool of a matron’s jacket trimmed with silk is the background for beautifully stitched multi-colored peonies and butterflies outlined in gold metallic thread. The endless knot decorates the jacket’s border.

5. A blue silk gown decorated with a five-clawed dragon and cloud design is imitative of an Imperial Ceremonial robe and was worn by an actor in a Chinese opera. The dragon symbol represents the renewal of life. The high official’s hat is called a maudz.

6. A silk jacket would usually complete the bridal ensemble of this red silk bridal skirt and intricately and symbolically embroidered double layered bridal collar. Brides customarily were driven in wedding chariots from their home to the groom’s home for the wedding feast.

7. Everyday child’s cotton jacket and back split pants, worn by both boys and girls, date to the late 1940’s. At Chinese New Year, children received a new outfit, typically blue, but stitched also in maroon or patterned cloth.

8. Late 1940’s blue cotton gown was typical everyday men’s wear.




Condition Notes

some discoloration and wear


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