In addition to our interior design projects, we also enjoy working on event designs for special clients. A favorite annual event has become the Visionary Women luncheon presented by The Mint Museum, Queens University of Charlotte and Wells Fargo Private Bank. The purpose of the luncheon is to bring together the visionary women who have shaped the City of Charlotte as well as to honor the Charlotte BuisnessWoman of the Year and Charlotte’s Woman of the Year while providing an inspiring program of forward thinking women breaking boundaries today. Click here to see other special events we have worked on in our portfolio including a a Patrons’ Party honoring Charlotte Moss and Decorative Arts Symposiums featuring Miles Redd and Mary McDonald.
Charlotte has always had a deep affinity for Oscar de la Renta. Not only do his designs resonate with the Southern lifestyle filled with special occasions, but they are also appealing with their exquisite craftsmanship and detailing, palette of delightful colors, and lovely patterns ranging from florals to exotic motifs.
A gorgeous vision and commitment to detail made lots of dreams come true at The Mint Museum’s Coveted Couture Gala last night. We were delighted to be part of the host committee for the annual fundraising event permanently devoted to celebrating the Mint’s collection, conservation, study, and exhibition of fashions both historic and contemporary. It was truly the prettiest party the Queen City has ever seen and I had to share these images which do not do the beautiful setting justice…The profusion of peonies, orchids, roses, tulips and hydrangeas in vibrant spring colors was absolutely breathtaking!
The magical evening was chaired by charming hosts Jay Everette and Brian Speas and beautifully executed by the Mint’s incredible staff, along with brilliant event planner David Klingel, fantastic floral design by The Watered Garden, and catering by La Tea Da’s. The gala chairs’ detailed vision for the event was evident in every single detail from the first glimpse of the invitation sporting a colorful creation from Valentino’s 2007 Fall/Winter Collection to parting gifts of champagne and chocolate. Special thanks to all of the sponsors who made the evening a success!
Antigone I, 1958, by Ethel Schwabacher. © Estate of Ethel Schwabacher
In celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Mint Museum, the museum is presenting works of extraordinary women from around the world. The women artists being celebrated have broken boundaries with their creativity and innovation. These rebellious risk takers are finally being recognized with a blockbuster exhibition. When the curators at the Mint first mentioned the possibility of this exhibition years ago, we were in the process of searching for acquisitions for the Mint Museum Auxiliary which was started by a group of trailblazing women in the 1950s, the same time period in which Abstract Expressionism started. We were elated to acquire Grace Hartigan’s Scotland that year, and now the circle is complete with this group of Hardigan’s peers (and more of her own paintings) coming to the Mint Museum this week.
Scotland, 1960, by Grace Hartigan, Gift of the Mint Museum Auxiliary
Women of Abstract Expressionism is the first major museum exhibition to focus on the groundbreaking women artists affiliated with the Abstract Expressionist movement during its seminal years, between 1945 and 1960. Organized by the Denver Art Museum , this important project brings together approximately 50 major works of art by twelve of the key women involved with the movement on both the East and West Coasts. The large-scale, colorful, and energy-filled canvases in the show, lent by major museums, private collectors, and artist estates, are certain to thrill and inspire museum visitors. Women of Abstract Expressionism includes canvases by such well-known artists as Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, and Grace Hartigan, as well as works by their colleagues Perle Fine, Jay DeFeo, Sonia Getchoff, Deborah Remington, Ethel Schwabacher, Mary Abbott, and Judith Godwin, whose work is currently gaining renewed appreciation. The exhibition focuses on the expressive freedom of direct gesture and innovative artistic process that was at the core of the movement, while exploring each artist’s highly personal response to particular memories and experiences. The Mint Museum is one of just two additional venues for this not-to-be-missed show, which makes a significant contribution to art historical scholarship and constitutes a rare opportunity for visitors to see so many key works of modern art together in one place.
This exhibition is presented to the community by Wells Fargo Private Bank. Additional generous support provided by Duke Energy, Electrolux, the Mint Museum Auxiliary, and Davidson College.
Attention shifts from “the paint-splattered man” to the trailblazing female AbEx artists in a new show at the Denver Art Museum.
In the 1950s, artist Sonia Gechtoff had a breakthrough moment at an exhibition that included paintings by Clyfford Still. Encountering Still’s Abstract Expressionist technique flipped a switch inside her. “I was so excited that it took me awhile to get it straightened out in my head,” recalls the 89-year-old New Yorker, who up until that point had been a realist painter. “There was so much freedom and openness. It was thrilling that you could discover something personal directly on the canvas, without adhering to a recognizable subject.” Gechtoff adopted the gestural style, and over the past six decades, her work has been exhibited internationally and acquired by major collections.
Sonia Gechtoff felt welcomed by galleries in San Francisco, where she began her career in the early 1950s, but she says the New York art scene seemed closed off to women. Gechtoff is among the 12 oft-overlooked artists currently getting their due in the Denver Art Museum’s “Women of Abstract Expressionism” (photo courtesy of Sonia Gechtoff).
Yet she and other women of the AbEx movement aren’t household names like their male counterparts Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, although many of them were equally involved in the art world of the time. The Denver Art Museum’s exhibition “Women of Abstract Expressionism,” on view until September 25, seeks to bring these female artists out of the shadows once and for all.
“Historically, this movement has always been about the paint-splattered man,” declares Gwen Chanzit, DAM’s curator of modern art. “In museums and textbooks, the story has been limited, and so many big, first-rate paintings have been left out.” A number of AbEx women earned critical acclaim when they were active and had their work featured in high-profile exhibitions, such as the famed 1951 Ninth Street Show. They experimented vigorously, developed their own styles and produced significant bodies of work. But the recognition they received still paled beside that accorded their male peers. Sexism is one reason these women were overlooked, but family and household responsibilities also led to inconsistent careers, and societal pressure even drove some to destroy their canvases.
Hudson River Day Line, 1955, by Joan Mitchell. © Estate of Joan Mitchell
The exhibition focuses on 12 key women artists, displaying multiple works by each. In addition to Gechtoff, they include Mary Abbott, Jay DeFeo, Perle Fine, Helen Frankenthaler,Judith Godwin, Grace Hartigan, Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Deborah Remington and Ethel Schwabacher. Only a handful of them — notably, Frankenthaler and Mitchell — are widely known.
Abstract Expressionist painting was characterized by direct, exuberant gestures — strikingly rich, textural brushstrokes that took advantage of every inch of the canvases, which were generally large. The movement, which was influenced by the fluidity of European Surrealism, gave birth to a uniquely American art form that was influential around the world.
“Unlike, say, a Cubist painting, you cannot teach someone how to make a painting like this,” Chanzit says. “These paintings are deeply personal responses to things that moved these individuals — an event, a place, literature, poetry and the like.”
Mary Abbott, shown here ca. 1950, continues to work every day in her Hamptons studio at age 95. Photo courtesy McCormick Gallery, Chicago
All Green, 1954, by Mary Abbott. © Mary Abbott
Bullfight, 1959, by Elaine de Kooning, © Elaine de Kooning Trust
The Seasons, 1957, by Lee Krasner. Photo by Sheldon C. Collins. © 2015 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
De Kooning’s Bullfight (1959) grew out of her experience of that violent Spanish tradition, while Krasner’s The Seasons (1957) is clearly a celebration of the botanical world. Although the women adhered to the same artistic principles, each one’s style was distinct.
The Beginning, 1960, by Sonia Getchoff,© Sonia Getchoff
Epic, 1959, by Judith Godwin, Photo by Lee Stalsworth,© Judith Godwin
Gechtoff’s The Beginning (1960), which was inspired by angels depicted in an Italian fresco, includes many colors applied with a profusion of smallish brushstrokes, while in Godwin’s Martha Graham — Lamentation (1956), the brushstrokes evoke the bold choreography of Graham, her friend, to whom the work is a tribute.
Within a movement that, as Chanzit observes in the exhibition catalogue, was defined by the “heroic machismospirit,” the women’s approach was perhaps more personal than that of their male counterparts. Many of the women were painting in response to nature, she writes, in contrast to Pollock, who famously declared, “I am nature.” Strikingly few of the paintings in the exhibition are untitled, suggesting the artists’ openness and willingness to provide viewers with hints to their subjects and their thinking. Frankenthaler was once asked why she titled her works, and she responded, “Because a title has to have a meaning,” Chanzit notes.
Frankenthaler, seen in her New York studio in 1951, is one of the few well-known female Abstract Expressionists. Photo by Cora Kelley Ward, © 2016 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
While Abstract Expressionism valued freedom, this did not imply a liberated view of gender roles and equality. “As women, we were basically told to go home,” recalls Godwin, who is in her mid-80s and still painting in New York. She studied with the influential German painter Hans Hofmann(as did Frankenthaler) and showed in major galleries in New York. “I stuck around and so did other women,” she says.
Gechtoff began her career in the early ’50s in San Francisco, where the Beat movement encouraged openness and experimentation. She recalls being welcomed into the art galleries on Fillmore Street, including the respected Six Gallery. A few years later, she moved to Manhattan and was shocked to find that the New York art scene “seemed truly closed off to women.” She remembers male artists looking her up and down at parties. “The hostility bothered me so much that I removed myself from the community more than I should have, and I regret that,” she says.
For Krasner, who was married to Pollock, and de Kooning, who was married to Willem de Kooning, their husbands’ fame gave them a certain status in the artistic community, but it also had drawbacks. Krasner, whose work has gained wider appreciation in recent years, lived in her husband’s shadow. “In some cases, the women pushed the men out in front of them,” Chanzit says, “because that’s just how it was back then.”
Although some AbEx artists have garnered more esteem than others, the movement itself has been hailed as a triumph of American painting, and it has been studied continuously since its heyday. For Gechtoff, the AbEx approach is as compelling now as it was when she first viewed Still’s paintings. “It’s an adventure,” she muses, “that’s never ending.”
In addition to the Evening Under the Palms party that I detailed in my last post, there are many more Palm Beach-inspired events to experience during the Room to Bloom Celebration. All proceeds from the events enable the Mint Museum to enhance its educational programs and acquire new works of art for the permanent collection. Celerie Kemble, noted interior designer, author, and Palm Beach native, is the keynote speaker at the Decorative Arts Symposium. If you are unable to attend the Symposium, there are two other ways to meet this talented and celebrated designer. Celerie will be doing a book signing at Room to Bloom sponsor Circa Interiors and Antiques on Wednesday, April 25th from 2:00-3:30.
Celerie’s latest book is a must have for any design library. Please see below for the publisher’s book review:
“Black and white décor is at once dramatic and understated, modern and classic, apparent in the work of iconic designers such as Dorothy Draper and Madeleine Castaing but just as present in design today. And the inspiration is all around us—from nature (a zebra’s stripes, tree trunks rising from drifts of snow) to old Hollywood movies and fashion to black-and-white photography and patterns we encounter in our everyday lives (crossword puzzles and the pages of our favorite novels).
In Black and White (and a Bit in Between), acclaimed interior designer Celerie Kemble trades in her signature vivid palette for this iconic aesthetic, highlighting the black and white work of design stars and peers, including Bunny Williams, Thomas O’Brien, Mary McDonald, Victoria Hagan, Mark Hampton, Delphine Krakoff, Brad Ford, Philip Gorrivan, Carrier and Co., and Miles Redd, and welcoming you into more than 100 spaces in every imaginable aesthetic. Woven throughout are her witty observations and expert advice on choosing the best paints and finishes, adding patterns and accessories, building an entire room scheme based on inspiration found in nature, collecting black and white objects, and even choosing the perfect accent colors. With more than 350 gorgeous color photographs, this is a vividly photographed celebration of a timeless scheme, infused with inspirational tips, glimpses into showstopping homes, and proof that a limited palette is anything but.”
The last opportunity to meet Celerie Kemble will be at The CommenceMINT Party on Wednesday, April 25 from 6:30-9:00pm. Wells Fargo Private Bank is the Presenting Sponsor for the evening which will be held in the beautiful home and gardens of Kelly and Rick Hopkins. Other sponsors include Allen Tate, Cummins Atlantic, Hubert Whitlock Builders, The Morgan Landscape Group, and The Triad Foundation.
|Courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer|
|Lovely Ladies in Lilly, circa 1964
Photo by Slim Aarons
The Lilly label happened somewhat accidentally and everyone fell in love with the shift dress that was comfortable, fun and flirty, just like Lilly herself. When her classmate Jackie Kennedy appeared in Life magazine wearing one of Lilly’s creations, the brand become more popular than ever.
In the book Essentially Lilly, she is described as “loved by all, not for whom she is, but how she lives-with gusto, generosity and a never-ending sense of fun.”
In honor of this delightful spirit , the Mint Museum Auxiliary is continuing the Room to Bloom tradition by celebrating all things Palm Beach. The festivities begin on Wednesday, April 25th and continue through Friday, May 18th. All proceeds from the fundraiser enable the Mint Museum to enhance its educational programs and acquire new works of art for the permanent collection.
One of the highlights of this year’s Room to Bloom Celebration is Evening Under the Palms. The committee has teamed up with Presenting Sponsors Belk,Inc and Lilly Pulitzer to create a magical Palm-Beach inspired event. See the invitation below for more details of the evening…
|Please join us!
For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Guests are encouraged to dress
LILLY OR LOUDER!
Photo by Slim Aarons/ Getty Images
|Photo by Slim Aarons/ Getty Images|
|Vogue Magazine Ad
| The evening includes cocktails, dinner, and dancing to the sounds of Hot Sauce
Painting by a Lilly artist
|The Lilly Jeep|
|Lilly Pulitzer has donated their new
Mariposa Fabric for the Decor
|Lilly artists will be on hand to create a painting
to be donated to the Mint Museum
|Guests will receive a complimentary raffle ticket to win
this Lilly Pulitzer beach cruiser
In quintessential Lilly style, the brand has now expanded to include everything from tabletop and stationary to designer fabrics, high end furniture and upholstery. It is easy to understand why the Lilly brand is so attractive. She elevated the art of living well and made it accessible to everyone. The way Lilly described her clothes applies to all of her products; “These clothes make people happy. You feel happy wearing a bright color. It makes you smile. And who does not want to smile a little bit more these days?”
|Photo from Lee Jofa|
I would have loved to have lived in Palm Beach during the 1960s and attended some of Lilly’s legendary parties. They were known for their eclectic guests, lively music, fabulous food (prepared by the hostess herself!), and dancing everywhere-in the kitchen, by the pool, on the beach, on the cocktail table, wherever the party ended up.
I cannot wait to grab my vintage Lilly shift, put my husband in some patchwork Lilly pants and dance the night away at Evening Under the Palms all for a wonderful charity….I think Lilly would definitely approve!
This is the LAST weekend to see the work of legendary textile designer Sheila Hicks at The Mint Museum Uptown at the Levine Center for the Arts. Sheila Hicks: 50 Years is the first museum retrospective devoted to this iconic artist. The exhibit includes 100 works that range from her earliest works in the the late 1950s to her most recent creation- a site specific installation in the Morrison Atrium at the Mint Museum.
In a 2004 interview from the Archives of American Art, Sheila Hicks said “Textiles have been relegated to a secondary role in our society, to a material that was either functional or decorative. I wanted to give it another status and show what an artist can do with these incredible materials.” Her work takes elements from painting, sculpture, weaving, design and drawing and elevates the threads into transcendental and sublime creations. Ms. Hicks has united the domains of art and craft and helped redefine the field of contemporary art making.
Photo by Massimo Vignelli Associates
According to the Mint’s biography of Sheila Hicks, she was “born in Hastings, Nebraska. She received her BFA and MFA degrees from Yale and studied painting with master teacher and theorist Josef Albers. She describes her practice of “linear thinking” and “composing texture” reflects the Bauhaus tradition of finding the expressive voices of different materials and dynamic interactions of color.”
|Indian dyes used to color the threads
Photo from Wikipedia
The work of Sheila Hicks is incredibly labor intensive. She has a large team of assistants that she oversees from the intial design concept to the final installation. Because of this, she is regarded as a teacher and mentor to many generations of artists and designers. The assistants help dye the yarns, wrap them around various found objects from newspapers to PVC pipes.
|La Fenetre II, 2009
Cotton, bamboo, linen and silk
10 3/4” by 10 1/4”
|Thread wrapped around found objects
such as newspapers, socks, and discarded clothing
|The Principal Wife, 1968
Linen, rayon, acrylic yarns
100” by 80” by 8”
|May I Have This Dance?, 2002-2003
Commissioned by Target Corporation for
thier Minneapolis Headquarters
|Sheila Hicks with her Work in Progress
at the Mint Museum
This is the 4th variation of this particular work of Sheila Hicks. She has the amazing ability to deconstruct her own works and reuse the elements to create another masterpiece that marries the artwork to the architecture. Target selected the Mint Museum over several other nationally acclaimed museums as the recipient of this monumental work of art. It is placed at the heart of the museum and viewers can interact with it on every level, see it from many vantage points, and enjoy this generous gift made to our very own Mint Museum. Fortunately, this work of art will stay with us even though we sadly say goodbye to the exhibition of the talented Ms. Hicks.
|Catalogue available at the Mint Museum Shops|
|Photo by Jeff Cravotta|
|The Debonair Mr. de la Renta
Photo courtesy of Oscar de la Renta, Ltd.
Courtesy of Jeff Palmer
“Creativity comes from having a dream and keeping your eyes open”…This quote from Mr. de la Renta opens the book alongside one of his famous dress sketches and summarizes his aesthetic. For more than six decades, Oscar has been creating works of art that make women feel absolutely beautiful. As Barbara Black says in her book Oscar, “The good manners, the charm, that fantastic Latin quality he focuses on you , make you feel you’ve suddenly turned into a combination of Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly.”
|Photo by Jeff Cravotta|
The Mint Museum’s Fashionable Dress Collection was created by the Auxiliary in 1972. The Collection includes nearly 10,000 pieces and covers three centuries of fashion history. The funds generated by the Auxiliary have touched every area of the Mint Museum’s permanent collection.
|Photo courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar|
|Dress donated by Jay Everette
in honor of The Mint Auxiliary
My lovely dates
Photo courtesy of the bartender!
|The Duke Energy Building
illuminated in honor of the event