Culture Magazine

Summer Decorative Arts Calendar

By Objectsnotpaintings
For those lazy summer afternoons when you don't feel like going to the are some ideas on what to see in the city (and not just New York City)...
Aesthetic Ambitions: Edward Lycett and Brooklyn’s Faience Manufacturing Company, Brooklyn Museum of Art, on view through June 16, 2013. This exhibition highlights the nearly fifty-year career of ceramicist Edward Lycett (American, 1833–1910), creative director of the Faience Manufacturing Company from 1884 to 1890. The range of works illustrates Lycett’s talent and adaptability to stylistic changes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as his vision for Faience, a company based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that earned acclaim for producing ornamental wares that introduced a new standard of excellence in American ceramics. These bold and eclectic pieces synthesized Japanese, Chinese, and Islamic influences characteristic of the Aesthetic movement and were sold in the United States’ foremost art ware emporiums, including Tiffany & Company. Among the ceramics on view are 39 Faience pieces, including a number of large-scale vases. Also on view are Lycett’s formula books, family photographs, and other ephemera; rare examples of ceramic works by his three sons; and other Brooklyn-made ceramics from the Museum’s collection.
*Be sure to also see Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913–1919 (closes August 19, 2012) an exploration of the early journalistic career of American writer and women’s rights advocate Djuna Barnes. Though best known for her modernist novels and plays, including Nightwood (1936) and The Antiphon (1958), Barnes spent the period between 1913 and her departure for Europe in 1921 living in New York’s Greenwich Village and working as a writer and illustrator for publications including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Vanity Fair. The product of an unconventional household, she developed an outsider’s perspective on “normal” life that served her as an artist, and a liberal sexuality that fit in perfectly with the bohemian lifestyle of Greenwich Village and, later, the lesbian expatriate community in Paris. She used journalism as a means to understand New York City’s people and places, and as an excuse to push boundaries and explore society’s margins. On view will be forty-five objects, including documentary photographs, drawings, works on paper, and Barnes’s stories in newsprint, including eight illustrations she composed to accompany her newspaper columns. Her work suggests a proto-feminist sensibility, emphasizing politics as something experienced on an individual, emotional level.

Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta, Museum of Arts and Design,  June 5- September 19. The first major retrospective of this seminal figure in the American studio jewelry movement. The exhibition is a comprehensive overview of her oeuvre offering new scholarship on how this American Modernist influenced studio jewelry as both maker and social activist. Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta will feature 50 jewelry pieces as well as ceramics, flatware, photographs, photograms, and newly released archival material.
Renaissance Gloves and Rings, Les Enluminures Gallery,  (, 23 East 73 Street in New York, July 9 -13. Sandra Hindman of Les Enluminures gallery (Paris, Chicago, and New York) has teamed up with French couture glove-maker, Mary Beyer, to present “Bespoke Slashed Gloves and Renaissance Rings,”. The show was inspired by Renaissance trendsetters eager to show off their favorite finger rings which generally incorporated luxurious gem stones and gold.
Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000, The Museum of Modern Art, July 29 to November 5, 2012. An ambitious survey of 20th-century design for children and the first large-scale overview of the modernist preoccupation with children and childhood as a paradigm for progressive design thinking. Ranging from urban-planning projects to small design objects by celebrated designers and lesser-known figures, Century of the Child brings together a number of areas underrepresented in design history: school architecture, playgrounds, toys and games, animation, clothing, safety equipment and therapeutic products, nurseries, furniture, and books. Over 500 items will be on view.
California’s Designing Women, 1896–1986, The Autry National Center, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA, August 10, 2012 - January 6, 2013. Women have long been recognized as practitioners of the decorative arts, but commercial design and fine craft, which are the focus of this show were long considered the province of men. This unprecedented exhibition honors female designers who made major contributions to Californian and American design by incorporating into their work the newest styles, materials, and technologies of their time—often influenced by California’s unique confluence of cultures, among them Indigenous American, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican. Many of its approximately 240 examples of textiles, ceramics, furniture, lighting, tapestries, jewelry, clothing, and graphics are being exhibited for the first time.
And finally, if its too hot to venture outside, you can now see great museum shows from the comfort of your air-conditioned study...
The Museum of the City of New York, whose incredible collection of couture is mostly in storage, has received a grant from the Colby Foundation for an online exhibition on two fashion masters, Worth and Mainbocher.  119 outfits are "on view" accompanied by two great essays/bios by Hamish Bowles and Caroline Rennolds Milbank.  And the best part is that you never have to worry about the show closing! to view the exhibition, visit:

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