Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ODD BITS: FREE admission for all of August 2015 at WAM

The Worcester Art Museum in central Massachusetts is a 
beautiful and stately venue in an often-maligned city.
The venue will be presenting many special exhibitions this summer, 
including Art Since the Mid-20th Century. A few samples:

O Paradiso, Beatriz Milhazes, 1997

You-know-what by you-know-who, 1965

Ada with SunglassesAlex Katz, 1969
(or is it Mrs. Clooney?)

Below: the main interior courtyard at WAM.

For more info, link here.

Friday, July 10, 2015

ODD BITS: A 21st century Adele Bloch-Bauer

When Gustav Klimt’s much-loved 1907 portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer I, famously looted 
from her family by the Nazis, was at long last retrieved from Austria in 2006, Viennese schoolchildren were invited to imagine her new life in America. 

Adele Bloch-Bauer I, Gustav Klimt, 1907
Oil, silver, and gold on canvas

Pictured below is one of the zanier results of this project, on display now 
along with the Neue Galerie NY's exhibition 
“Gustav Klimt and Adele Bloch-Bauer: The Woman in Gold.”

Adele B-B meets Lucille B?

Photo of Adele Bloch-Bauer c. 1910

And more Klimt-related news:

At the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, through October 11, 2015
Klimt and the Ringstrasse – A Showcase of Grandeur 

Medicine, Gustav Klimt, 1901

More info here, and in a future Mad for Mod posting

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BOOK NOTE: The Tie: A Global History

The Tie: A Global History
Scheideggar & Spiess, hard cover,  280 pages
148 color illustrations, 25 halftones, $70.

The not-so-humble necktie has had its ups and downs, as a symbol of conformity, self-expression, status, sophistication, authority and outrageousness. It is the single traditionally male accessory that can seamlessly pull together or stridently sabotage the wearer's look. Appearing first in the 17th century, as the Croatian Cravat, it wove its way through many incarnations, including the military Steinkirk, the frilly Jabot, the floppy Lavalliere, and the sleek, no-nonsense Long TieAs The Tie: A Global History makes clear, the necktie has remained an oddly compelling bit of haberdashery for nearly 500 years.

The lacy jabot (rhymes with aglow):
what the well-heeled highlander
  wore in the late 17th century.
Some female justices on the US
Supreme Court wear them today.
                                                                                                             The ever-suave Fred Astaire
                                                                                                                         in a long tie

The Tie is published by the Swiss National Museum in Zürich and coincides with a major exhibition there. (Textile production, particularly silk and taffeta, looms larges in Zürich's legend; many of the images in the book come from the museum's own vast collection.) The fascinating volume is filled with wide-ranging essays by international scholars, journalists and fashion historians, who lend their voices to an exhaustive study of the shapes, colors, history, aesthetics and social implications of this phenomenon. Lighthearted chapters such as "Rock ‘n’ Roll Ties" and "The Tie in Women’s Fashion" balance out a more academic discussion of the necktie's long history, and the predominance of Switzerland as a source both of designers and fine textiles.

Above and below: Textile patterns from the
Swiss National Museum's collection
The necktie -- it's not just for men any more!

Christopher Makos

Andy Warhol Altered Image, 1981

Diane Keaton created a much-imitated new look for her role in "Annie Hall" (1977)

Born wearing a necktie?
Who is this man, anyway?

For lots more info on ties -- including photos and tips on bargains
that can be found on some very stylish items -- visit my webmaster
Aaron Doucett's blog, The Thrifty Prep.