Spring is finally here and with it comes those rainy days. One way to beat those rainy day blues is a visit to a museum. These are my picks for fun and interesting exhibits this spring:
Exhibition: Think Pink – Explore the Changing Meaning of Pink in Art and Fashion
Dates: Now until May 26, 2014
Location: The Museum of Fine Arts
Do you have a penchant for pink? The “Think Pink” exhibition explores the history of the color pink in fashion and visual culture from the 18th century to the present day. It showcases clothing, accessories, graphic illustrations, jewelry, and paintings to shed light on changes in style, the evolution of pink for girls, and advances in color technology. “Think Pink” includes a selection of dresses and accessories from the collection of the late Evelyn Lauder, who was instrumental in creating an awareness of breast cancer by choosing the color as a visual reference.
Exhibition: Chocolate Kitchens at Hampton Court Palace
Location: Hampton Court Palace
This is a fun exhibition for chocolate lovers. The curators of Hampton Court Palace recently uncovered the precise location of the building’s Chocolate Kitchens. They were remarkably well preserved with the original charcoal braziers and much of the equipment and furniture still intact. The 18th century Chocolate Kitchens were once the domain of Thomas Tosier, personal chocolatier to King George I. This exhibit shows the very rooms where Tosier and his staff prepared the special chocolate drink for George I’s most intimate dinners and entertainment. Throughout the year, the historic chefs will be in the Chocolate Kitchens hosting Georgian chocolate making sessions. Visitors can learn more about the elaborate and complex process used to create the King’s luxurious chocolate drink.
Exhibition: William Kent Designing Georgian Britain
Dates: Now until July 13, 2014
Location: Victoria and Albert Museum
I recently viewed this exhibit when it was at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City and I really enjoyed it. It focuses on the vast talent of William Kent (1685-1748), who was one of the most prominent architects and designers in early Georgian Britain. He was skilled in painting and designing sculpture, architecture, interior decoration, furniture, metalwork, book illustration, theatrical design, costume and landscape design. His life coincided with a major turning point in British history—the accession of the new Hanoverian Royal Family in 1714. This exhibition reveals how William Kent came to play a leading role in establishing a new design aesthetic for this crucial period when Britain defined itself as a new nation. The exhibition brings together over 200 objects including architectural drawings, furniture and decorative items.
Los Angeles, California
Exhibition: A Royal Passion – Queen Victoria and Photography
Dates: Now until June 8, 2014
Location: The Getty Center
If you are into photography and/or have a soft spot for Queen Victoria, you might find this exhibition interesting. In 1839, just two years after Victoria became queen of Great Britain and Ireland, the medium of photography was announced to the world. This exhibition explores the relationship between the new art and the young queen, whose passion for collecting photographs began in the 1840s. With important loans from the Royal Collection shown alongside masterpieces from the Getty Museum, the exhibition displays rare daguerreotypes, private portraits of the Royal Family, and a selection of prints by early masters such as William Henry Fox Talbot, Roger Fenton, and Julia Margaret Cameron.
New York, New York
Dates: now until April 30, 2014
Location: Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Do you have a passion for fashion? “Trend-ology” examines the vast array of sources from which fashion trends have developed over the past 250 years. Trends have emerged from high fashion runways and urban street style, but they have also derived from art, music, novels and socio-political movements. The exhibition features over 100 objects from the Museum’s costume, accessory, and textile collections. Themes highlighted include 18th century court dress, the rise of the couturier in 19th century Paris, hip-hop fashion, and more recent developments. It’s a fun exhibit to explore.
Exhibition: Metropolitan Vanities – The History of the Dressing Table
Dates: now until April 13, 2014
Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This exhibit combines my love of antique furniture with my affinity to beauty products. “Metropolitan Vanities” focuses on the history of the dressing table, or vanity, exploring the historical background of the modern vanity—beginning with ancient Egyptian decorative boxes used the hold cosmetic ephemera and Asian cosmetic carriers. The dressing table as we know it today originated in Europe in the late 17th century, specifically in England and France where high society patrons began commissioning luxurious specialized furniture from craftsman and furniture makers. Few types of furniture have revealed more about changing social customs, leisure pursuits, and popular taste of the past several centuries than the dressing table.
Exhibition: Costumes of Downton Abbey
Dates: Now until January 4, 2015
Location: Winterthur Museum
Are you a fan of Downton Abbey or costume dramas in general? “Costumes of Downton Abbey” is an original exhibition of exquisite designs from the award-winning television series. Forty historically inspired costumes from the television show are displayed and supplemented by photographs and vignettes inspired by the fictional program and by real life at Winterthur. Visitors have a chance to step into and experience the world of Downton Abbey and the contrasting world of Winterthur founder Henry Francis du Pont and his contemporaries in the first half of the 20th century.
These exhibitions are so good, you might not even want to wait for a rainy day to pay them a visit. To find out more information about any of these exhibitions or museums, click on the following links:
The Getty Center: http://www.getty.edu/visit/calendar/days/03222014.html
Hampton Court Palace: http://www.hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace/stories/palacehighlights/chocolate-kitchen
Metropolitan Museum of Art: http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2013/metropolitan-vanities
Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology: http://www.fitnyc.edu/336.asp
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/think-pink
Victoria and Albert Museum: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/william-kent-designing-georgian-britain/
Winterthur Museum: http://www.winterthur.org/downtonabbey?src=home-slider1