Posts Tagged: The Mint Museum

VISIONARY WOMEN LUNCHEON INSPIRED BY OSCAR DE LA RENTA

“Be the designer of your own destiny.” -Oscar de la Renta

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

THE GLAMOUR AND ROMANCE OF OSCAR DE LA RENTA EXTENDED THROUGH AUGUST 19

“What I try to do in my designs is make a woman dream.” -Oscar de la Renta

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.

COVETED COUTURE AT THE MINT MUSEUM

“Things never happen on accident. They happen because: You have a vision. You have a commitment. You have a dream.” -Oscar de la Renta

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!

WOMEN OF ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM AT THE MINT MUSEUM

“A work of art is the trace of a magnificent struggle.” -Grace Hartigan

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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.

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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.

FINALLY, RECOGNITION FOR THE WOMEN OF ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM
by Liz Logan August 8, 2016 for 1st Dibs Introspection

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Mary Abbott, shown here ca. 1950, continues to work every day in her Hamptons studio at age 95. Photo courtesy McCormick Gallery, Chicago

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All Green, 1954, by Mary Abbott. © Mary Abbott

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Bullfight, 1959, by Elaine de Kooning, © Elaine de Kooning Trust

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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.

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The Beginning, 1960, by Sonia Getchoff,© Sonia Getchoff

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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.

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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.”

THE MINT MUSEUM COMMEMORATES 80 YEARS OF ART AND INSPIRATION WITH THE YEAR OF THE WOMAN

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INSPIRATIONAL ICON: AERIN LAUDER

“Beauty is whatever gives joy.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay

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My favorite day of the year is always the Mint Museum Auxiliary’s Room to Bloom Symposium. The list of speakers that have graced Charlotte is quite impressive….Bunny Williams, Mario Buatta, Miles Redd, Celerie Kemble, Patrick Frey and Mary McDonald just to name a few. This year, Aerin Lauder was the guest of honor and the conversation was moderated by Pamela Fiori, who had been the keynote speaker at the Auxiliary’s Fall EnrichMINT Forum.

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Pamela introduced Aerin as “a creative force of intellect and influence.” Symposium guests felt as if they were eavesdropping on a wonderful conversation between dear friends covering topics from growing up in the infamous Lauder family and beauty tips to daily inspiration, philanthropy, and being a working mother.

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The overarching theme of the conversation was “To thine own self be true.” Every detail of Aerin’s company and her brand reflects her elegant, yet sleek taste. She explained that she inherited much of her taste from her grandmother Estee. Estee would always wear a sleek silhouette and one great accessory, advised to care for the only face you have, and taught the importance of editing, balance and authenticity.

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As a child, a dollhouse was Aerin’s favorite toy.  Home is where her passion lies and she strives to create rooms with a twist on tradition.  She has worked with some of the world’s most talented designers such as Daniel Romualdez and Jacques Grange.

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Aerin draws inspiration from her friends, family, nature, travel and the arts.  A walk in her garden can evoke the idea for a new scent.  A trip to the Met can inspire the color palette for a new collection. Among her favorite artists are Gustav Klimdt, Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko, and Yves Klein.

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Aerin’s brand is tightly edited and curated. Everything she creates is designed to make life easier and more beautiful. For example, there is a weekday and weekend palette for the face and only a few shades of lip color. This is intended to provide a sense of relief without having to worry about too many choices. Each item, however, is perfectly designed and packaged becoming jewelry for the home. Floral patterns are carefully selected to evoke the spirit of what lies within each box. The sleek modern gold packaging for all of the makeup is another glamorous touch.

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Aerin has created a few havens where her brand lives together cohesively. Her website shows how all of the objects coexist.  Once a month, she launches a new theme that becomes part of the experience. Her new shop in Southhampton also shows the simple elegance of her lifestyle.

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Aerin’s office from which she oversees her empire possesses the same sophisticated air.  In addition to her beauty, fragrance, accessory, furniture, and lighting lines, she is also passionate about the First Book project which provides books to children in need. To date, First Book has distributed more than 125 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. To commemorate her visit to Charlotte, Room to Bloom sponsor Wells Fargo made a donation to First Book in her honor.main_variation_2700214000091_view_1_598x500Aerin-Lauder-office-green-sofa-brass-etagere-AD

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20 ODD QUESTION WITH AERIN LAUDER/ CAROLINE TELL/ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The biggest beauty myth is that everyone looks better without makeup. That’s not true. Makeup is important.

My fashion philosophy is quite traditional and understated. I never wear too much jewelry. I never wear a ton of pattern. Sometimes I’ll go big but it never feels right. At one CFDA Awards, I wore a fantastic short, neon dress and unexpected shoes. It looked great, but I just didn’t feel like me.

My New Year’s resolution is to not drink as much Diet Coke. It’s so bad for you and I’ve been drinking it since college.

Aging is beautiful. I love laugh lines. It means you’ve had a good life. The most beautiful women—Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Hutton, Ali MacGraw—all embraced the aging process. Do I believe in plastic surgery? Yes, if something is wrong and you can modify it. For certain people, it’s right.

My favorite scent is anything floral. Tuberose and gardenia are my favorite flowers.

I’m really bad about breakfast. I have a coffee in the morning and the remnants of my children’s breakfast. At lunch, I love salad or sushi but I’m not a fish person. I’ve never craved grilled salmon. I like hamburgers, I like chicken. I’ve never liked pasta.

My holiday party style is simple and feminine—a great pair of pants and a silk top with a piece of statement jewelry or a fun evening bag by Fendi.

I never take off my Cartier Tank watch. I got it about 17 years ago for Christmas and I’ve always loved it. It’s as beautiful as it was when I first got it. It’s timeless, and looks good with everything from a dress to a bathing suit.

The five favorite pieces in my closet are black Repetto ballet slippers, DL 1961 jeans, a Stella McCartney blazer in navy or black, Hermès cashmere scarves and probably a Stella McCartney white silk shirt.

The biggest beauty lesson my grandmother taught me is that you only have one face, so take care of it. She taught me that everything starts with a good skin care routine. She also taught me that while something might be fun to look at in a magazine, it doesn’t mean you have to wear it.

My beauty routine is very effortless. Sometimes I get up and don’t brush my hair. I put on foundation, a little bit of bronzer and a bit of eyeliner. I have a very light hand. I think my grandmother wore more makeup and more color. She also had blonde hair and green eyes, so turquoise eye shadow looked amazing on her.

My definition of paradise is to take a bath at the end of a long day with Jo Malone’s Red Roses Bath Oil. I love the way it looks, I love the way it smells.

I don’t do facials that often, but I do get a mani/pedi once a week. I stay neutral with colors—Essie shades with names you’re embarrassed to say like Starter Wife and Fed Up. I always try a color on my toes but the next day I don’t like it.

I could wear Stella McCartney from head to toe. From the underwear to the clothes, everything she does is perfect. I also love the Row. They define my sensibility: beautiful and luxurious, but simple.

The woman who embodies the Aerin lifestyle is [Vogue contributing editor] Lauren Santo Domingo. She has this modern femininity and many different aspects to her life. She’s a mother but still loves beauty, fashion and trends.

Women should never skimp on skin care and makeup. You really do see a difference with good quality products. Hair care is also really important. The new Ojon Rare Blend hair oil is amazing. I think you can skimp on body lotion with a drugstore brand like Lubriderm.

My favorite gifts to give are books, for children and adults. I recently bought Kelly Klein’s new book “Pools: Reflections.” It will make a great Christmas gift this year. To receive, I love getting jewelry.

There is something great about women embracing their sensibility, and being who they are. I love Jane Birkin with her effortless style and perfectly messy hair. It’s so iconic.

New York hasn’t changed as much as people think. It’s still the city that doesn’t sleep. There is still the energy, passion and diversity. I love Central Park all year round—the lower loop for a fast walk or run, the duck pond for the kids, the Boathouse for lunch. And the Children’s Zoo is magical.

Kindness is impossible to fake. You can tell when someone is being authentic or not.

To read more about Aerin’s beautiful world, buy her book by clicking here.

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For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter. Thanks for reading and please come back again!

PALM BEACH PANACHE

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

 

FOR THE LOVE OF LILLY

 

Courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer
“If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble,” said Lilly Pulitzer, legendary dress designer, rebellious socialite, entrepreneur, trendsetter, rule breaker and hostess extraordinaire.
The famous story begins, “It all started with a juice stand.  When 21 year old Lilly eloped with Peter Pulitzer, they escaped the hustle and bustle of New York City for the sun and sand of Palm Beach. In the shadow of her husband’s family’s citrus groves, Lilly opened a juice stand.  To disguise the juice stains on her clothing, she had a sleeveless dress made from colorfully-printed cotton.”
Lilly was a true pioneer.  She had a very privileged, yet restricted upbringing and wanted to experience life to the fullest. While her other friends were getting married and being introduced to society, Lilly worked for the Frontier Nurses Service in Kentucky, and as nurse’s aide at the Veterans’ Hospital in the Bronx. After she eloped as a very young age, she chose the unconventional path of becoming an entrepreneur which was highly uncommon for women during the 1950s. Lilly always lived by the adage to “Treat a duke like a dustman and and a dustman like a duke.”
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 vesutton90@gmail.com.
Guests are encouraged to dress
LILLY OR LOUDER!
Photo by Slim Aarons/ Getty Images
Photo by Slim Aarons/ Getty Images
Vogue Magazine Ad
circa 1971
 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
House Beautiful

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

For more information on Lilly fabrics featured by Lee Jofa, please see my friend and fellow designer Holly Phillips’ wonderful blog  Musings of a Design Aficionado (The English Room).

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!

LAST CALL: SHEILA HICKS

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.

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Wool, Wool twisted with Acrylic
102 3/8” by 102 3/8”
Photo by Bastiaan van den Berg

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.

Sheila Hicks
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

 

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

Photo by Jeff Cravotta
The Mint Museum Auxiliary and Wells Fargo Private Bank for the successful launch of the publication Oscar de la Renta: Fashion and Design at the Mint Museum at last night’s inaugural Fall EnrichMINT Forum: A Passion for Fashion. This evening was culmination of countless hours of dedicated volunteers who organized the 2011 Room to Bloom Celebration and last night’s incredible event.  Jack Alexander, the producer of the Oscar de la Renta Runway Experience, entertained guests with his candid and hilarious remarks about what it takes to pull off an extraordinary event as he did in Charlotte last spring.  100% of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly back to the Mint Museum. Books are available at the Mint Museum Gift Shop.
The Debonair Mr. de la Renta
Photo courtesy of Oscar de la Renta, Ltd.

 

Kathleen V. Jameson, Ph.D, President and CEO of the Mint Museum introduces the publication with“Fashion, like art, reflects life and the world around us.  It is a universal art form that offers compelling insight into our shared passion for beauty, adornment, and identity.  And fashion, of course, draws people together.”
 
This was certainly the case last April where the 2011 Room to Bloom Celebration featured all things Oscar. It included a once in a lifetime fashion show with the legendary designer himself, an exhibition of locally owned Oscar gowns, and a Decorative Arts Symposium with Interior Design Icon Miles Redd, Creative Director for Oscar de la Renta Home. The limited edition book chronicles all of the events and festivities from last spring with behind the scene details, fabulous fashion shots and wonderful editorial history on Oscar, the Mint Museum and the Auxiliary. Because of the efforts of all of the incredibly talented women chairing these events and the generosity of the sponsors and guests, the Auxiliary raised a record breaking $400,000.
 

 

Miles Redd

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

 

This celadon silk faille gown with pink carnation embroidery with pink silk faille ruched bolero came from the Spring 2011 Collection. This was intended to be a gift from the Mint Museum Auxiliary to the Mint’s Costume Collection in honor of the 2011 Room to Bloom Celebration and the 40th Anniversary of the Historic Costume and Fashionable Dress Collection. Mr. de la Renta generously donated this iconic dress to the Collection after his visit to the Queen City.
 
 
 
Dress donated by Jay Everette
in honor of The Mint Auxiliary
This red silk gown with colorful ruffle detail was from one of his collections of the 1990s. This dress is part of the Mint Museum’s Costume Collection purchased by Jay Everette in honor of the Mint Museum Auxiliary.
 
 
My lovely dates
Photo courtesy of the bartender!
Many thanks to Duke Energy for lighting the night in honor of the Fall EnrichMINT Forum: A Passion for Fashion. This will become an annual fundraising event for the Auxiliary focusing on Art Education. Stay tuned for next year!
 
 
The Duke Energy Building
illuminated in honor of the event