Ivy Style, The Museum at FIT, September 14, 2012 to January 5, 2013. Organized by Patricia Mears, deputy director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and consultants Richard Press, former president of J. Press, and G. Bruce Boyer, leading menswear writer and editor. Ivy Style, an exhibition that celebrates one of the most enduring clothing styles of the 20th century. From its origins on the prestigious college campuses of America in the late 1910s to the many reinterpretations seen in contemporary fashion, the “Ivy League Look” or “Ivy Style” has come to be viewed as a classic form of dressing. However, in its heyday, Ivy style was once a cutting-edge look worn by young men of means. Far more than a classic or static way of dressing, Ivy style spread far beyond the rarified walls of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to influence the evolution of men’s clothing for decades. Focusing almost exclusively on menswear dating from the early 20th century through today, more than 60 ensembles, both historic and contemporary, will be intermingled to illustrate the creation and subsequent reinterpretation of Ivy style. The ensembles in Ivy Style will be arranged thematically in an environment that evokes an Ivy League university campus. Period material will include suits, letter sweaters, university reunion and class jackets, athletic wear, and textiles from the permanent collection of The Museum at FIT and private lenders. Objects by the following firms will be represented: Brooks Brothers, J. Press, Chipp, Gant, The Andover Shop, Bass, Arrow, Ralph Lauren, Jeffrey Banks, J. McLaughlin, Tommy Hilfiger, Thom Browne, Michael Bastian, and others. Many unique Ivy League objects, such as period photographs and sports ephemera, will be on loan from the Cary Collection, a New York City repository of rare books, fine art, and vintage memorabilia.
Jack Lenor Larsen: 40 Years, New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), September 19 – December 5, 2012 at the NYSID Gallery, 161 East 69th Street, NYC. A retrospective of the extensive 40-year career of Jack Lenor Larsen, one of the foremost designers and producers of high-end textiles in the U.S. Larsen founded the firm that bears his name in 1952 and went on to become a dominant resource for signature fabrics. The “Larsen Look,” which began with Larsen’s own award-winning hand-woven fabrics of natural yarns in random repeats, has evolved to become synonymous with 20th century design at its pinnacle. He is known for drawing inspiration from textile traditions throughout the world, using traditional and modern weaving methods. In addition to his illustrious career as a textile designer, Larsen is also the founder of LongHouse Reserve, a public garden and art collection in East Hampton, NY. The exhibition will include Larsen’s commissions from famous architects plus fabrics from his solo-exhibit at the Palais du Louvre. In keeping with LongHouse’s mission to bring together art and nature, the fabrics will be hung on bamboo frames (the bamboo is grown at LongHouse).
Circus and the City: New York, 1793-2010, the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture (BGC), September 21, 2012, to February 3, 2013. An exhibition that uses New York City as a lens through which to explore the extraordinary development and spectacular pageantry of the American circus. Through a wide variety of ephemera, images, and artifacts, the exhibition documents the history of the circus in the city, from the seminal equestrian displays of the late eighteenth century through the iconic late nineteenth-century American railroad circus to the Big Apple Circus of today. From humble beginnings, the circus grew into the most popular form of entertainment in the United States. By the turn of the twentieth century, New York City was its most important market and the place where cutting-edge circus performances and exhibitions were introduced to the nation. Curated by Matthew Wittmann, a curatorial fellow at the BGC, the exhibition features more than two hundred objects and images selected from both local and national collections, including the New-York Historical Society, the International Center of Photography, the Somers Historical Society, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the New York State Museum, the Circus World Museum, the Barnum Museum, the Library of Congress, the Witte Museum, and the Shelburne Museum.
Foiled: Tinsel Painting in America, American Folk Art Museum, Lincoln Square, September 12, 2012, – January 13, 2013. An unusual and underappreciated form of painting, popular in America from the 1850s through the 1890s, will be explored and will feature approximately 150 works: reverse paintings made on glass using transparent pigments and metal foil, which was then an exotic and rare material. The exhibition is organized in honor of a single donation to the Museum of the largest privately held collection of these extraordinary works. Portraying such subjects as Abraham Lincoln, birds, flora and fauna, baskets of fruit and flowers, young women in contemplative scenes, and more, these fragile, jewel-like paintings—which also incorporated early photographs—touched upon many aspects of American life, innovation, and culture. A companion exhibition will also be on view; titled Ooh Shiny!, it will highlight three centuries of artworks, ranging from needleworks by 18th-century schoolgirls to sculptures by such contemporary icons as Howard Finster, that are embellished with materials including spangles, mica flakes, glass, marble dust, sequins, glitter, and aluminum.
Jack Lenor Larsen: Master of Textile Design,Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 6 – 8pm . A discussion on the career and contributions of innovative craftsman and designer Jack Lenor Larsen. Panelists include Hugh Hardy, Principal of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture; Lou Gropp, former editor of House Beautiful; and textile designer Sherri Donghia. Moderated by Judith Gura, Design History Instructor at NYSID.
LOOT 2012, Museum of Arts and Design, Tuesday, September 11, 2012 – 4:30 pm to Saturday, September 15, 2012 – 6:00 pm. LOOT: MAD About Jewelry is MAD’s annual exhibition and sale of one-of-a-kind contemporary jewelry. http://madaboutjewelry.tumblr.com/