Japanese Arms and Armor from the Collection of Etsuko and John Morris
Jan
25
to Jan 6

Japanese Arms and Armor from the Collection of Etsuko and John Morris

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From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Presenting a wide array of samurai armor, blades, and accoutrements dating from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, this exhibition celebrates the promised gift of thirty-seven objects from the collection of Etsuko and John Morris, as well as other important gifts made by Mr. and Mrs. Morris to The Met's Department of Arms and Armor over the past seventeen years.

The collection was originally assembled in the early twentieth century by Dr. Frederick Malling Pedersen (1869–1947) of New York. It later passed by descent to Mr. and Mrs. Morris, who have seen to its care and restoration. Key works include a rare complete armor (gusoku) by Bamen Tomotsugu (active eighteenth century); a blade attributed to Fusamune of Sōshū (active late fifteenth–early sixteenth century) with mounting; and a helmet (kawari-kabuto) in the shape of a wave (seventeenth century, restored 2015). The gift of choice objects from the collection represents a significant addition to the Museum's holdings of Japanese arms and armor, which are the most comprehensive of their kind outside of Japan.

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Fans of the Eighteenth Century
Mar
31
to Apr 28

Fans of the Eighteenth Century

From the De Young Museum

Fans have served as accessories of fashion and utility since antiquity but reached their peak production and use in eighteenth-century Europe. Made from and embellished by precious materials such as ivory, mother-of-pearl, and silver and gold leaf, eighteenth-century fans also featured designs that reflected the spirit of their times. Fans addressed current events as well as themes of broad interest, including biblical and mythological tales and romanticized domestic and pastoral vignettes. Fans of the Eighteenth Century explores this quintessential period of fan production through a selection of examples from the permanent collection.

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Majesty and Mystery: Saving a Napoleonic Court Gown
Aug
21
to Dec 22

Majesty and Mystery: Saving a Napoleonic Court Gown

From the FIDM Museum

After a distinguished military career and surprising coup d’état, Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was crowned Emperor of France in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, on December 2, 1804. Beside him at the coronation was his wife Marie-Joseph-Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie de Beauharnais (1763-1814), whom he called "Joséphine." Emperor Napoléon’s reign lasted until 1815; together, he and Empress Josephine ushered in a remarkable new era of artistic expression. A strict dress code was mandated at royal court functions and the Empress was the ultimate arbiter of style. For formal occasions, ladies wore fashionable high-waist gowns and trains made from yards of French-produced silk satin, lace, velvet, and net with precious metal embroidery motifs that symbolized the rulers: bees, roses, and tulips, as seen in the florals here. The astonishingly rare Napoleonic court ensemble at the focus of this exhibition was worn by a high-ranking member of the imperial circle – possibly even the Empress herself.

The FIDM Museum is currently fundraising to acquire this court gown and train through Operation 1804, which also supports provenance research, full conservation, and a documentary detailing these processes. By donating denominations between $18.04 and $1,804.00 – or even $18,040.00! – you will help us preserve this majestic piece of history and solve the exciting mystery of who wore it.

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Ornamental Traditions: Jewelry from Bukhara
Sep
1
to May 13

Ornamental Traditions: Jewelry from Bukhara

From the Art Institute Chicago

Located in present-day Uzbekistan, the Emirate of Bukhara (1785–1920) was an important center of Islamic religion and scholarship and a major oasis on the famous Silk Road that traversed Central Asia from ancient times. As such, it was highly diverse—home to the majority Uzbek and Tajik populations in addition to communities of Arabs, Jews, and Turkmens who played a role in the emirate’s vibrant trade. Over time, Bukhara developed its own iconic style of jewelry characterized by intricate blue enamelwork that mirrored the area’s blue-glazed, tiled architecture. Russia’s colonization of the region in 1866 brought with it more advanced enameling techniques, allowing for increasingly complex designs.

In almost every context, the jewelry of Bukhara embodied great meaning and was rarely considered mere decoration. Incredibly large, ornate suits of jewelry were thought to protect the wearer from evil spirits, particularly during important events like weddings, and were the strongest assertion of a person’s power and wealth. Throughout Uzbekistan, such objects were designed to be worn as sets rather than exist as singular pieces.

Some of the most magnificent examples of Uzbek jewelry come from the court of the last emir of Bukhara, Mohammed Alim Khan (1880–1944), where men and women dressed in embroidered silks, fine silver, and enameled jewels. Their jewelry served various functions, often simultaneously: indicating political status and wealth, signifying religious and spiritual practice, and marking important rites of passage or ethnic identity.

Ornamental Traditions: Jewelry from Bukhara brings together nearly 50 jeweled objects from the Central Asian region of Bukhara—promised gifts from the private collection of Barbara Levy Kipper and her late husband, David—and rare ikat and embroidered textiles from the Art Institute’s permanent collection. The jewelry and decorative objects presented in this exhibition offer an exceptional experience of a rich and vibrant artistic heritage rarely seen outside the former Soviet Union.

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Music and Movement: Rhythm in Textile Design
Sep
1
to Jan 6

Music and Movement: Rhythm in Textile Design

From the Art Institute Chicago

A tapestry that depicts a violin fractured by vibrations as it produces a sonata, a printed fabric that illustrates the bright experimentations of jazz, a gift-wrapping cloth that portrays graceful and elegantly attired dancers moving in a procession—each of these works offers a small window onto the various ways visual artists engage with, interpret, and express rhythms. Understood here as a repeated pattern of sound or movement or a harmonious sequence, rhythm invites cross-disciplinary artistic ventures, and Music and Movement: Rhythm in Textile Design explores how textiles can suggest a multisensory aesthetic. 

Featuring a selection of 17th- through 20th-century works made in countries including Brazil, Finland, France, Japan, and the United States, the exhibition highlights the global nature of the Art Institute’s collection and invites visitors to consider how rhythm informs textile design. Channeling the hurried pace of modern life, Sonia Delaunay’s Jazz is composed of forms suggestive of musical notes and notations. Rendered in black, white, red, and gray, pointed angular forms abut smooth short curves, and the undulations punctuated by strong diagonals convey syncopated sensations indebted to music and dance popular in the 1920s. In contrast to the sharp visual rhythm of Delaunay’s design, the furoshiki, or gift-wrapping cloth, featured in the exhibition conveys a gentler sense of motion, presenting dancers in a receding, curved line emphasized by the fluidity of the performers’ limbs and costumes. These two dramatically different works, along with others in the exhibition, exemplify the various and complex ways in which textile designers and producers have communicated sound and movement through their work, using rhythm to connect artists and art forms.

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Rebel Women: Defining Victorianism
Sep
1
to Jan 6

Rebel Women: Defining Victorianism

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From the Museum of the City of New York

We may think of the Victorian era as a period of constraints on women’s lives, a time when middle-class ideas about femininity defined women by their roles as guardians of virtue and relegated them to the private, domestic sphere. But 19th-century New York City was full of women who defied those expectations—women of different classes, races, and ideologies who challenged the social expectations that attached to them because of their gender.

Some of the things that these women did would not be considered boat-rocking today: a woman could be a rebel simply by speaking in public, by working outside the home, or by disregarding middle-class morality or decorum. Rebel Women explores the lives of activists like Elizabeth Jennings Graham, an African-American New Yorker who refused to get off a segregated trolley in 1854; professionals like Hetty Green, a wealthy businesswoman and broker branded "the witch of Wall Street"; and working women like Helen Jewett, New York's most prominent courtesan—all of whom challenged the Victorian ideal.

Featuring photographs, garments, paintings, and prints from the Museum’s collections, the exhibition brings to light the compelling and often untold stories of the city’s independent, unconventional, and path-breaking women who had an indelible impact on New York’s society, culture, and economy by the turn of the 20th century.

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Color Decoded: The Textiles of Richard Landis
Sep
1
to Jan 13

Color Decoded: The Textiles of Richard Landis

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From the Cooper-Hewitt

Richard Landis (American, born 1931) is a master weaver who pursued a nearly lifelong investigation of pattern and color. His double-cloth textiles are complex systems of closely related full-tones and half-tones of color, organized into abstract geometries of endless variation. In Landis’s weavings, small, medium, and large rectangles and squares repeat in ever-changing order, and every possible color combination is played out both horizontally and vertically. What appears to be a random arrangement of colored squares is a balanced and controlled expression of a well-modulated palette.

A fine-art student prior to serving in the Korean War, Landis became captivated by the woven obis and kimonos on display in the shops of Kyoto while on leave in Japan. After the war ended, Landis returned to Arizona where he took his first and only weaving class. Landis chose a blue warp—the vertical element threaded into the loom—instead of the customary white for beginning weavers—and, as he wove different colors of threads (known as the weft) into his textile, became fascinated with weaving’s potential for blending and creating new colors. For the next four decades, weaving became Landis’s sole preoccupation; producing increasingly complex geometric compositions for a  systematic exploration of color relationships.

Color Decoded: The Textiles of Richard Landis celebrates the recent acquisition of six of Landis’s most important works for Cooper Hewitt’s collection, installed together with three process drawings and 13 more of Landis’s textiles, and all produced between 1967 and 1995. The drawings demonstrate how Landis would calculate and visualize every permutation possible within a defined set of colors. While the actual weaving could be completed in days, it sometimes took Landis a month or more to work out the full range of tones and hues on paper, design the geometric pattern, and prepare the loom to weave the cloth.  Using his preferred weave structure—double-cloth—Landis would simultaneously weave two parallel planes of fabric,  a technique that allowed for the creation of the multicolored complex patterning of his textiles. The remarkable intricacy, dynamism, and luminosity found in works such as Campo di Fiori (1976), Untitled (1982), and Nines (1995) show a designer working at the height of his creative powers.

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Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color
Sep
7
to Jan 5

Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color

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From MFIT:

Pink is popularly associated with little girls, ballerinas, Barbie dolls, and all things feminine. Yet the symbolism and significance of pink have varied greatly across time and space. The stereotype of pink-for-girls versus blue-for-boys may be ubiquitous today, but it only gained traction in the mid-twentieth century. In the eighteenth century, when Madame de Pompadour helped make pink fashionable at the French court, it was perfectly appropriate for a man to wear a pink suit, just as a woman might wear a pink dress. In cultures such as India, men never stopped wearing pink.

Yet anyone studying pink comes up against “the color’s inherent ambivalence.” One of “the most divisive of colors,” pink provokes strong feelings of both “attraction and repulsion.”  “Please sisters, back away from the pink,” wrote one journalist, responding to the pink pussy hats worn at the Women’s March. Some people think pink is pretty, sweet, and romantic, while others associate it with childish frivolity or flamboyant vulgarity. In recent years, however, pink increasingly has been interpreted as cool, androgynous, and political. “Why would anyone pick blue over pink?” mused the rapper Kanye West. “Pink is obviously a better color.” In the words of i-D magazine, pink is “punk, pretty, and powerful.”

Curated by Dr. Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color will explore the changing significance of the color pink over the past three centuries. 

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Contemporary Muslim Fashions
Sep
22
to Jan 6

Contemporary Muslim Fashions

From the De Young Museum

Contemporary Muslim Fashions is the first major museum exhibition to explore the complex, diverse nature of Muslim dress codes worldwide. The exhibition examines how Muslim women—those who cover their heads and those who do not—have become arbiters of style within and beyond their communities, and in so doing have drawn mass media attention to contemporary Muslim life.

Spotlighting places, garments, and styles from around the world, this exhibition considers how Muslims define themselves—and are defined—by their dress, and how these sartorial choices can reflect the multifaceted nature of their identities. The exhibition traverses different religious interpretations and cultures, including high-end fashions, such as those by Malaysia-based Blancheur; street wear, such as modest designs from London-based Sarah Elenany; sportswear, such as the burkini; and commissioned garments from both emerging and established designers. Including social media as primary material, Muslim voices and personal narratives are framed by runway footage, news clips, and documentary and fashion photography.

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Armenia!
Sep
22
to Jan 13

Armenia!

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From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is the first major exhibition to explore the remarkable artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people in a global context over fourteen centuries—from the fourth century, when the Armenians converted to Christianity in their homeland at the base of Mount Ararat, to the seventeenth century, when Armenian control of global trade routes first brought books printed in Armenian into the region. 

Through some 140 objects—including opulent gilded reliquaries, richly illuminated manuscripts, rare textiles, cross stones (khachkars), precious liturgical furnishings, church models, and printed books—the exhibition demonstrates how Armenians developed a unique Christian identity that linked their widespread communities over the years. 

Representing the cultural heritage of Armenia, most of the works come from major Armenian collections: the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin; the Matenadaran (Ancient Manuscripts); the National History Museum in the Republic of Armenia; the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in Lebanon; the Brotherhood of St. James in Jerusalem; the Mekhitarist Congregation of San Lazzaro degli Armeni in Venice; the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon; the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern) in New York; the Armenian Museum of America in Boston; and the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum in Michigan.

Almost all of these works are on view in the United States for the first time; some have not travelled abroad for centuries.

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Anni Albers
Oct
1
to Jan 27

Anni Albers

From the Tate Modern

As a female student at the radical Bauhaus art school, Albers was discouraged from taking up certain classes. She enrolled in the weaving workshop and made textiles her key form of expression. She inspired and was inspired by her artist contemporaries, among them her teacher, Paul Klee, and her husband, Josef Albers.

This beautiful exhibition illuminates the artist’s creative process and her engagement with art, architecture and design. You can discover why Albers has been a profound influence on artists around the world via more than 350 objects from exquisite small-scale ‘pictorial weavings’ to large wall-hangings and the textiles she designed for mass production, as well as her later prints and drawings.

At the heart of the exhibition is an exploration of Albers’s seminal publication On Weaving 1965 and the wide source material she gathered together to create the book.

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Repair and Design Futures
Oct
5
to Jun 30

Repair and Design Futures

From the RISD Museum

A humble act first born of necessity, repair is an expression of resistance to the unmaking of our world and the environment. Repair and Design Futures is a multidisciplinary exhibition and programming series that investigates mending as material intervention, metaphor, and as a call to action. In this context, repair is framed as a useful exercise applied to beloved textiles and as a global, socially engaged practice within contemporary art and design culture, addressing environmental and sociopolitical ruptures. Objects range from Japanese boro garments and Indian Kutch quilts to a hunter’s ensemble from Mali, a Naskapi caribou coat, Swiss worker’s trousers, and fashionable and utilitarian American clothing. Close examination of darns, patches, and stabilized areas of these emotive, often everyday objects acts as a springboard to considering and discussing the ways in which mending can serve as a visual and emotional aid to socially engaged design thinking.

Repair and Design Futures is made possible by a generous grant from the Coby Foundation and programming support from the RISD Museum Associates. The RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and the RISD Museum Board of Governors.

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Cecil Beaton: Thirty from the 30s | Fashion, Film and Fantasy
Oct
12
to Jan 20

Cecil Beaton: Thirty from the 30s | Fashion, Film and Fantasy

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From the Fashion & Textile Museum

Celebrated as one of Britain’s most influential portrait photographers, Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) was among the greatest visual chroniclers of the Twentieth Century. This distinguished photographer spent many years as a major contributor to Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Life, The Sketch and Tatler, photographing the most notable names in fashion, film, the arts and society.

Although Beaton’s career spanned some 50 years and embraced painting, interior design, costume and more, some of his best-known works are his fashion photographs of the 1930s. Cecil Beaton: Thirty from the 30s will present some of Beaton’s most influential and recognisable portraits, featuring subjects including Salvador Dali, Elsa Schiaparelli, Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn. Another key piece will be a rare 1935 colour photograph of model Mary Taylor and a selection of images created at Beaton’s notorious and fantastical house parties, held at his glamorous home at Ashcombe.

This display coincides with the 50th anniversary of Cecil Beaton’s ground-breaking retrospective, organised by Sir Roy Strong, at the National Portrait Gallery in 1968.

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Night and Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs
Oct
12
to Jan 20

Night and Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs

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From the Fashion and Textile Museum

Following the success of 2017’s 1920s Jazz Age: Fashion and Photographs, we are thoroughly excited to announce our Winter 2018 exhibition: Night and Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs!

As a decade of design, the Thirties saw off the excess of the Jazz Age and ushered in the utilitarianism of World War II. As the flapper grew up, so too did her fashions. The new silhouettes of the 1930s played with the hard edged chic seen in the Art Deco and Moderne styles, the unexpected as seen in the surrealists and the sensuality of silver screen sirens.

The exhibition will explore the day and evening styles of the decade, complemented by photographs of the stars who championed them. With fashion as the lens, Night and Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs will traverse the great period of social change that was the 1930s.

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Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now
Oct
16
to Mar 3

Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now

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From the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Experience the drama and glamour of some of the most creative feminine fashions ever designed, from romantic ball gowns to audacious contemporary ensembles, and everything in between. See how designers have used color and pattern, shape and volume, draping, metallics, and embellishments to continually reinvent the art form. The pieces in the exhibition—daywear, bridal wear, and more—showcase the Museum’s outstanding costume collection. Many are on view for the first time.

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Capturing the Catwalk: Runway Photography from the Michael Arnaud Archive
Oct
27
to Aug 31

Capturing the Catwalk: Runway Photography from the Michael Arnaud Archive

From the FIDM Museum

Capturing the Catwalk is the first exhibition to explore the pioneering photography of Michel Arnaud, whose work for Harper’s Bazaar and British Vogue spans the 1970s–1990s. Featuring garments and accessories from brands such as Christian Dior, Chanel, and Gianni Versace alongside selections from the unparalleled photographic archive donated by Arnaud, Capturing the Catwalk highlights the synergy of fashion journalists and trendsetters, couture and ready-to-wear clientele, and runway spectacle in the age of supermodels.

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William Morris: Designing an Earthly Paradise
Oct
29
to Jan 13

William Morris: Designing an Earthly Paradise

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From the Cleveland Museum of Art

William Morris devoted his life to creating beautiful and useful objects using the highest-quality materials under fair labor conditions. His richly varied patterns have been reproduced without interruption since his death in 1896, testifying to their timeless appeal. The Cleveland Museum of Art’s collection includes woven and block-printed textiles spanning each stage of Morris’s vibrant career; they are joined in this exhibition by a generous loan from the Cranbrook Art Museum of an embroidery by William Morris’s daughter, May.


Also showcased are magnificent volumes from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s nearly complete collection of books printed by Kelmscott Press. Morris’s meticulously designed books were his final labor of love; indeed, they exhibit the same delight in organic forms and time-tested craftsmanship visible in his textiles. The voices of May Morris, Kate Faulkner, Walter Crane, and Edward Burne-Jones also feature among the projects that Morris so passionately brought to fruition. With Morris & Co. wallpaper and carpet reproductions, the exhibition Designing an Earthly Paradise brings to life Morris’s striking, revolutionary designs. 

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Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic
Nov
1
to Jan 31

Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic

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From the Museum of Popular Culture

From The Wizard of Oz and The Princess Bride to Harry PotterFantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic invites audiences on a fantastical journey to unearth the inspiration behind this genre’s most magnificent creations.

Pet a dragon designed by Seattle Opera and explore hands-on installations that include world building and mapmaking. See the Wicked Witch of the West’s hat from The Wizard of Oz, weaponry from The Lord of the Rings, the battle headdress and staff used by the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia, and other iconic costumes and props from TV and the silver screen.

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Jewelry: The Body Transformed
Nov
12
to Feb 24

Jewelry: The Body Transformed

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From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

What is jewelry? Why do we wear it? What meanings does it carry? Traversing time and space, this exhibition explores how jewelry acts upon and activates the body it adorns. This global conversation about one of the most personal and universal of art forms brings together some 230 objects drawn almost exclusively from The Met collection. A dazzling array of headdresses and ear ornaments, brooches and belts, necklaces and rings will be shown along with sculptures, paintings, prints, and photographs that will enrich and amplify the many stories of transformation that jewelry tells.

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Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries
Nov
18
to Jan 21

Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries

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From the Cleveland Museum of Art

On view for the first time in North America, the recently restored Valois Tapestries, a unique set of 16th-century hangings, are unveiled in this exhibition. These fascinating and enigmatic tapestries were commissioned by Catherine de’ Medici, the indomitable queen mother of France, to celebrate the royal Valois dynasty against a backdrop of great political strife and social upheaval. Soon after their creation in Brussels, the eight room-sized hangings accompanied Catherine’s granddaughter, Christina of Lorraine, when the young princess traveled to the Medici court in Florence as the bride of Ferdinand I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. 

Woven with wool, silk, and precious metal-wrapped threads, the tapestries are rich in both their materials and intricate subject matter. Life-size, full-length portraits of the French king, princes, and princesses, situated prominently in the foreground, lock eyes with the viewer and present detailed scenes of court pageants and festivities. Juxtaposing the tapestries with paintings, drawings, and exquisite art objects of the period, Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries introduces the colorful and sometimes infamous characters associated with the hangings, and it explores the tapestries’ role as an artistic and political statement involving two of the most powerful European dynasties of the Renaissance—the Valois and the Medici—and their respective power bases in Paris and Florence. Among the most admired, ambitious, and costly artistic endeavors of their time, the Valois Tapestries embody the pageantry, splendor, and political intrigue of Renaissance Europe.

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Georgia O'Keefe: Living Modern
Nov
23
to Mar 3

Georgia O'Keefe: Living Modern

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From the Cleveland Museum of Art

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern offers a unique look into the fascinating connections between the paintings, personal style, and public persona of one of America’s most iconic artists. Throughout her 70-year career, O’Keeffe defied convention and forged a fiercely independent identity that was integral to her art. Showcasing several of her paintings alongside her garments—many shown here for the first time—and photographic portraits of her as a subject, the exhibition reveals O’Keeffe’s determination to be strikingly modern not only in her art but in her life.  

The exhibition is organized in sections that run the gamut from her early years—when she crafted a signature style of clothing that dispensed with ornamentation—to her blossoming career in New York during the 1920s and 1930s—when a black-and-white palette dominated much of her art and dress—and to her mature years in New Mexico, where her art and clothing changed in response to the surrounding colors of the American Southwest. The final section explores the significant role photography played in establishing O’Keeffe’s celebrity, when younger generations of artists visited her, solidifying her status as a pioneer of modernism and as a contemporary style icon.

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Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses
Nov
30
to Dec 31

Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses

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From the Museum of Popular Culture

The exhibition features instruments like Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster, Krist Novoselić’s Hiwatt DR103 bass amplifier head, and Dave Grohl’s Tama Rockstar-Pro drum kit. In addition, a diverse set of objects like the Cobain-created Fecal Matter shirt and the casting call flier for the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video will be on display.

Visitors eager to dig even further can view video kiosks with even more information. Steve Fisk’s ambient soundtrack can be heard as fans move through the exhibition.

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Sara Berman's Closet
Dec
4
to Mar 10

Sara Berman's Closet

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From the Skirball Cultural Center

Take a look inside Sara Berman’s Closet—an installation by artists Maira Kalman (b. 1949) and Alex Kalman (b. 1985) based on the life of Maira’s mother and Alex’s grandmother, Sara Berman (1920–2004). 

At the age of sixty, Berman relocated to New York from Tel Aviv after ending a thirty-eight-year marriage. One morning, in another self-expressive burst of independence, Berman decided to wear only white. With militaristic precision and loving care, Berman kept her minimal belongings in perfect order, starching, ironing, folding, and stacking her clothes—even her socks—within a humble closet in her small studio apartment in Greenwich Village. Berman’s closet and its monochromatic contents became emblematic of her liberation: she had left behind her upper‐middle-class life and its possessions to have a room and a style of her own. 

When Berman died, in 2004, her family saved the contents of her closet. Ten years later, Maira and Alex recreated the closet in an alleyway in lower Manhattan for Mmuseumm. In 2016, Sara Berman’s Closet was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the Skirball, the installation will be complemented by twelve new paintings by Maira that depict pivotal scenes from her mother’s life—from childhood to marriage to finding freedom in New York. Don’t miss the LA engagement of this intimate exploration of identity, feminism, family, and memory. 

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Women Empowered: Fashions from the Frontline
Dec
6
to Mar 31

Women Empowered: Fashions from the Frontline

From Cornell University

From activists to politicians, artists, designers, athletes, scientists, organizers, mothers, and everyday unsung heroes, Women Empowered is curated according to the physical and public spaces where women’s bodies have carried messages of empowerment.

“Fashion has far too often been misunderstood and misrepresented as superficial. The garments and accessories in this exhibition show the very opposite: fashion is a highly visible and forceful medium that commands attention and communicates possibilities,” says Denise Green, assistant professor of Fiber Science and Apparel Design and Director of the Cornell Costume & Textile Collection. “Feminism and fashion have the potential to go hand in hand, and the pieces in this exhibition prove just that.”

An opening reception will take place from 5-7 pm on Thursday, December 6, 2018, in the College of Human Ecology Commons.

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Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido
Dec
7
to May 27

Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido

From the Norton Simon Museum

Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido presents a selection of artworks that explore the fates of two heroines from classical mythology whose stories have inspired poets, artists and musicians over the centuries: Helen of Troy and Dido of Carthage. Five tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries, along with a rare set of cartoons, illustrate the currency of these female-centric narratives in early modern Europe, the power of tapestry to visualize such stories and the inventiveness and skill employed to produce these splendid objects, made for the wealthiest and most distinguished patrons.

Homer’s epic poem of the Trojan War, the Iliad, written in the eighth century BCE, is the source for the dramatic story of Helen of Troy. Medieval poets updated the ancient tale and often added commentary to connect European nobles to their heroic Trojan counterparts. In the visual arts, these contemporized versions of the Iliad challenged artists to depict the conflict of battle, and the large-scale, multipaneled character of tapestry provided a magnificent vehicle for their ambitions. It is all the more notable then that Helen, an icon of beauty whose abduction from Sparta and her king provoked the Trojan War, figures so prominently in four of the tapestries exhibited. They chronicle Helen’s fate, from her arrival in Troy and marriage to Paris to her return to Sparta and her reconciliation with her first husband, Menelaus. Her leading role in these panels may be a stage for exploring the then-topical power of female beauty. Rich with detail, these luxurious silk and wool tableaux introduce us to contemporary court attire and to medieval stagecraft, as seen in the jewel-encrusted architectural framework that calls attention to the principal subjects.

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Fashion in Multiple Chinas: Chinese Styles in the Transglobal Landscape
Dec
13
5:00 PM17:00

Fashion in Multiple Chinas: Chinese Styles in the Transglobal Landscape

From The Fabric of Cultures Project, CUNY The Graduate Center

We are happy to invite you to a panel discussion on Fashion in Multiple Chinas: Chinese Styles in the Transglobal Landscape with Professor Simona Segre Reinach, University of Bologna and Professor Hazel Clark, Parsons School of Design, The New School.

Moderated by Professor Eugenia Paulicelli, Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY.

5:00-6:30; THE GRADUATE CENTER Comparative Literature Lounge (Room 4116)

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Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution / Terence Conran – Mary Quant
Feb
8
to Jun 2

Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution / Terence Conran – Mary Quant

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From the Fashion & Textile Museum

Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution will present the fashion, design and art of the Chelsea Set; a group of radical young architects, designers, photographers and artists who were redefining the concept of youth and challenging the established order in 1950s London. At the forefront of this group of young revolutionaries were Mary Quant and Terence Conran.

Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution will span the period from 1952 – 1977 and will present fashion, textiles, furniture, lighting, homewares, ceramics and ephemera in an exhibition that explores not only the style but the socioeconomic importance of this transformative period of time. Key pieces include rare and early examples of designs by Conran and Quant, plus the avant-garde artists, designers and intellectuals who worked alongside them, such as designers Bernard and Laura Ashley, sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi and artist and photographer Nigel Henderson.

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Jeffrey Gibson
Feb
13
to Jun 9

Jeffrey Gibson

From The New Museum

Jeffrey Gibson’s materials and production methods are hybrid and diverse; he often combines digital prints, found textiles, embroidery, hand-sewn fringe, and beadwork in vibrant assemblage-based paintings, sculptures, and garments. During his residency, Gibson will explore the material histories and futures of several traditional Indigenous craft techniques, including Southeastern river cane basket weaving, Algonquian birch bark biting, and porcupine quillwork, as practiced by many tribes across this land long before European settlers arrived. The artist notes that Indigenous crafts and designs have “historically been used to signify identity, tell stories, describe place, and mark cultural specificity,” explaining, “I engage materials and techniques as strategies to describe a contemporary narrative that addresses the past in order to place oneself in the present and to begin new potential trajectories for the future.” Employing techniques learned over the course of the residency, Gibson will produce a new series of garments that will be activated through performances and staged photo shoots in the Fifth Floor Gallery.

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Moroni: The Riches of Renaissance Portraiture
Feb
21
to Jun 2

Moroni: The Riches of Renaissance Portraiture

From The Frick Collection

Moroni: The Riches of Renaissance Portraiture will be the first major exhibition in the United States to focus on the portraiture of Giovanni Battista Moroni (1520/24–1579/80). A painter of portraits and religious subjects, Moroni is celebrated as an essential figure in the northern Italian tradition of naturalistic painting that includes Leonardo da Vinci, the Carracci, and Caravaggio. This exhibition, to be shown exclusively at The Frick Collection, brings to light the innovation of the artist, whose role in a larger history of European portraiture has yet to be fully explored. His famous Tailor (National Gallery, London), for example, anticipates by decades the “narrative” portraits of Rembrandt, and his Pace Rivola Spini (Accademia Carrara, Bergamo), arguably the first independent full-length portrait of a standing woman produced in Italy, prefigures the many women that Van Dyck would paint in this format in the following century. 

The Frick will present about twenty of the artist’s most arresting portraits together with a selection of complementary objects — jewelry, textiles, armor, and other luxury items — that evoke the material world of the artist and his sitters and reveal his inventiveness in translating it into paint. Assembled from international private and public collections such as the National Gallery (London), the Accademia Carrara (Bergamo), and the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), the paintings and objects will bring to life a Renaissance society at the crossroads of the Venetian Republic and Spanish-ruled Milan.

Building on recent exhibitions in London (2014) and Bergamo (2004), and on a small but significant Moroni exhibition in Fort Worth (2000), Moroni: The Riches of Renaissance Portraiture is the most extensive scholarly assessment of Moroni’s portraits held outside of Italy to date. The fully illustrated catalogue will be the most substantial text on the artist’s portraits in English. The exhibition is organized by the Frick’s Associate Curator Aimee Ng with Simone Facchinetti (Curator, Museo Adriano Bernareggi, Bergamo) and Arturo Galansino (Director, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence) and will be accompanied by rich educational programming.

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Thierry Mugler: Couturissime
Mar
2
to Sep 8

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime

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From the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The exhibition trace the path of an exceptional creator who revolutionized fashion with morphological and futuristic cuts, and glamorous, sculptural and elegant silhouettes; strict lines and super-heroine shoulders; and a corseted waist dressing a sublime, sensual and powerful woman in constant metamorphosis. The exhibition offers a dive into his singular imagination, to encounter by turns his perfectionism, Hollywood-style prestige, dreams, exotic creatures, eroticism, and science fiction. It will explain his audacious choices, such as using innovative materials in high fashion such as metal, fake fur, vinyl and latex.

Thierry Mugler has staged some of the most spectacular fashion shows of his time. He created the costumes for the staging of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by the Comédie Française and the Festival d’Avignon, and the Zumanity show by the Cirque du Soleil. He has dressed a galaxy of stars, such as Diana Ross, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Liza Minnelli and, in Quebec, Diane Dufresne and Céline Dion. He has also created costumes for Mylène Farmer and Beyoncé for their tours and videos.

As a photographer and film-maker, he created the emblematic 1990s clip Too Funky by British singer George Michael, as well as short films starring actresses Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche. Over the course of his career, Thierry Mugler has had many collaborations with filmmakers, architects such as Andrée Putman for his boutiques, and renowned photographers and artists, such as Helmut Newton, Dominique Issermann, Guy Bourdin, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, David Lachapelle and Pierre & Gilles.

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Camp: Notes on Fashion
May
9
to Sep 8

Camp: Notes on Fashion

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From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Costume Institute's spring 2019 exhibition will explore the origins of the camp aesthetic, and how it has evolved from a place of marginality to become an important influence on mainstream culture. Susan Sontag's 1964 essay Notes on "Camp" provides the framework for the exhibition, which will examine how fashion designers have used their métier as a vehicle to engage with camp in a myriad of compelling, humorous, and sometimes incongruous ways.

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Virgil Abloh: "Figures of Speech"
Jun
10
to Sep 22

Virgil Abloh: "Figures of Speech"

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From the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Virgil Abloh: "Figures of Speech" is the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of multihyphenate artist Virgil Abloh (American, b. 1980), best known for Off-White, the first luxury fashion brand designed and owned by an African American. Abloh’s work celebrates the ethos of street fashion, which appropriates—and occasionally corrupts—high culture, serving it up as something fresh and new. Justifying this time-honored method of subversion and intentional disruption, he has said: “Duchamp is my lawyer.”

Abloh got his start working for Kanye West’s creative team, having connected with the then-emerging rapper in 2002 while pursuing a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Adopting West's deeply collaborative process for his own creative ventures, Abloh has since connected visual artists, musicians, graphic designers, fashion designers, and architects to craft an all-encompassing artistic universe.

The exhibition offers an in-depth look at the Chicago-based artist’s ever-expanding discipline, which encompasses fashion, architecture, music, and design. His signature fashion is presented in mannequin displays alongside video documentation of his most iconic shows. The exhibition also features the artist’s work in other mediums, including furniture design, graphic design work, architectural interventions, and collaborative projects with other designers and artists such as Peter Saville and Tom Sachs. At the core of Abloh’s work is a deep interest in empowering young people, and this will be central to the exhibition, with a full program of youth-oriented programming and cross-disciplinary offerings that mirror the artist’s wide range of interests.

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Black Lives Matter: Fashion, Liberation, and the Fight for Freedom
Nov
28
to Dec 11

Black Lives Matter: Fashion, Liberation, and the Fight for Freedom

From the Ames Public Library

Explore the history of the Black Lives Matter movement and its relationship to politics, activism and fashion through an exhibit created by Iowa State University students. 

Using historic and cultural methodologies, the exhibition highlights the different ways clothing, fashion, appearance, and styles have been an example of resistance, rebellion, and negotiations of Black politics historically and today.

Reception: Tuesday, December 4th 6pm

Presentation: Tuesday, December 4th 7pm

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