November is a deliciously eventful month with a lot of exciting exhibitions and happenings. This is just as well because as soon as mid-December rolls around, the art world takes a nap until February. Take a peak at what’s in store and plan accordingly!
Extra! Extra! One week left…
Fashion & Politics (closes November 7)
This timely exhibition is taking place in the F.I.T museum’s “250 Years of Gallery” which takes a subject and follows its evolution over 250 years, in this case it is how war and politics has changed the course of fashion history and how it has influenced it. I applaud the exhibition’s young curators (F.I.T students Melissa Mara and Jennifer Farley) who organized the exhibition as it is very well done. Some of the standout pieces include Vivienne Tam’s Mao dress (1995), Castelbajac’s “I Have A Dream Today” (Spring 2009) shirt celebrating our current President and pieces from Claire McCardell and Yves Saint Laurent. If you are unable to get to the museum before it closes, click here to visit the online version of the exhibition.
American Beauty: Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion (opens Nov 6- April 10, 2010) at the Museum at F.I.T. According to their website, this will be “the first exhibition to explore how the ‘philosophy of beauty’ is allied to the craft of dressmaking. Each of the 75 looks on display was chosen to exemplify the relationship between technical ingenuity and artistic excellence. Curator Patricia Mears has focused on approximately 25 American fashion designers, ranging from the obscure, such as Jessie Franklin Turner, whose work dates from the late 1910s, to rising stars of the present day.”
This is a very poignant time for exhibitions dedicated to American fashion, especially at a time when we closely watch what our First Lady wears, as she is such a strong supported of American designers. In fact, while our President has not even been in office for a full year yet, there are already numerous publications dedicated to his wife’s wardrobe. Michelle Obama has certainly become the ambassador of American fashion and when the first Lady believes in our talented young designers, everyone else pays attention too. The Met’s Costume Institute will also pay tribute to American fashion in their spring 2010 exhibition ( on view May 5-August 15, 2010.) titled, American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity. This will also be the first Costume Institute exhibition based on the renowned Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, which the Costume Institute acquired last year.
Gerda Wegener: La Vie Parisienne (October 29-November 25, 2009) at Leonard Fox Rare Books (790 Madison Avenue, Suite 505 or see http://www.foxrarebooks.com for more info) Wegener was a Danish illustrator whose work filled the pages of important fashion and political journals during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Wegener captured the flavor of the Art Deco period with her wonderful illustrations, filled with fashionably dressed women situated in tastefully designed interiors. Studying her work should be a must for fashion and design historians who are interested in that time period.
Jacques- Émile Ruhlmann and Victor Skrebneski (November 5,2009-January 5, 2010) at the Freidman Vallois Gallery on Madison Avenue will celebrate their 10th Anniversary with a marvelous exhibition dedicated to the two great masters of 20th c. decorative arts. The gallery, which is co-owned by Barry Friedman and the Paris dealers Robert and Cheska Vallois specializes in high-end Art Deco furniture. This exhibition will surely not disappoint Art Deco enthusiasts.
Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity (opening Nov 8-Jan 25, 2010), at the MoMA. This long awaited exhibition has received so much press that there is nothing left to say. However it is hard to image that the museum has not dedicated an exhibition to this progressive art school since 1938. Visit the MoMA website to learn more about all of the fabulous events and lectures that are planned around this exhibit. I am looking forward the most to the Bauhaus Lab, or a series of workshops, that will be set up and led by artists, educators and art historians. Click on the Bauhaus Lab link for more.
Glenda Bailey in conversation with Valerie Steele. Thursday, November 19, 6-8 pm at F.I.T. Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, first floor. First Anna Wintour at the 92nd Street Y and now Glenda Bailey at F.I.T. the award winning editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, SINCE 2001, sits down for a conversation about her career in fashion publishing.
Karim Rashid and Gaetano Pesce: Dialogues with Design Legends—This event is happening tonight!! (November 3, 2009) Taking place at the 92nd Street Y, this is the second in the two part series of interviews with great design innovators (see my blog on Ron Arad). An account on the state of design from two innovators who revolutionized the design world. The work of Pesce, one of the leaders of Italian Postmodernism, made it possible for talents like Rashid bring to the masses cutting edge design.
Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago, edited by Judith A. Barter, Yale University Press, $45, November. This book accompanies the exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago (November 11-January 31).
Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity, text by Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman, $75, Museum of Modern Art New York, November. This is the catalogue of the upcoming exhibition at the MoMA NY.
Star Pieces: The Enduring Beauty of Spectacular Furniture, by David Linley, Charles Cator and Helen Chislett, The Monacelli Press, $65, November. The authors of this book are specialists in the field of decorative arts, in particular furniture. The book covers the history of furniture from the ancient world to the 20th century and teaches us to appreciate furniture of all different time periods and what we should look for when purchasing antique furniture and how such pieces can enrich our interiors.
A Focus on 21st Century Jewelry: A Daylong Symposium, Thursday, November 12, 2009 at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. This symposium is held in conjunction with the exhibition, From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith (May 14, 2008-March 18, 2010). Speakers will include Janet Zapata, Deanna Farnetti Cera, Patricia Kiley Faber and a walk-through of the exhibition with its curator, Dr. Barry Harwood. The exhibition on Art Smith is simply divine and showcases some Smith’s most well-known jewelry and also includes magazines of the period which shows the very fashionable models wearing the pieces. My favorite part of the exhibition is the last section which also highlights the achievements of other incredibly talented studio jewelers of that time such as Margaret de Patta, Ed Weiner, Francisco Rebajes, and so many others. Stay tuned for a review of that exhibition on this blog.
Modernism is coming! This year Modernism and Art20 are joining forces to bring us one very big antiques show. The show, which will take place at the Park Avenue Armory at 68th Street from November 13-November 16, will include dealers specializing in furniture lighting, glass, jewelry, metalware, paintings (1900 to contemporary), photography and sculpture. This promises to be a good show, not as fancy as the show that took place at the Armory last month (see It’s Showtime at the Armory!) but nonetheless full of beautiful and interesting things. Some of my favorite dealers like Katy Kane, Leonard Fox, Drucker Antiques, Didier Antiques, Mark MacDonald, Nexxt20, and Donzella will all have booths. Stay tune for a review on this blog when the show opens.