Pumped: The Art & Craft of Shoemaking to Open May 7

Year of the Collection” continues with stylish new show

NOTE NEW CLOSING DATE: Whether you prefer simple sneakers or sexy stilettos, every visitor will find something to enjoy in the fashionable new exhibition Pumped: The Art & Craft of Shoemaking , which will be on view at Mint Museum Uptown from May 7 through August 28, 2016.

“Shoes are the finishing touch to your outfit, but they are also much more than that,” said Rebecca Elliot, Assistant Curator for Craft, Design, & Fashion at the Mint, who curated the exhibition. “Well-made shoes are a testament to the talents of many people, whether it’s the craftsperson who shaped the leather by hand to create a unique design or the inventor who developed a machine that made shoes more widely affordable.”

Drawn entirely from Mint’s renowned Fashion Collection, Pumped is the first exhibition to view this collection through the lens of craft. The ancient tradition of shoemaking has much in common with other crafts represented at the museum, such as ceramics, glass, and metalwork. Like them, shoemaking at the highest level of quality requires a thorough knowledge of one or more materials with unique characteristics—in this case mainly leather, but also fabric, plastics, and other substances. Such knowledge is obtained through many hours of practice, whether the techniques used are centuries old or twenty-first century.

As with other crafts, industrialization changed shoemaking, enabling mass production and introducing new materials. Yet the desire for bespoke (custom-made) footwear persisted, and so did traditional methods. Today, different shoemakers occupy different points on a continuum of approaches from the most hands-on to the most automated. Since the 1980s there has been a resurgence of interest in the craft from both hobbyists and entrepreneurs who work in a studio setting, using relatively few machines. In the twenty-first century, others have used innovative technologies such as CAD (computer-assisted design) and 3D printing to radically rethink the design process and end product. Pumped features footwear ranging in date from the early 1700s to 2015. In addition to over one hundred pairs of shoes and related materials, the exhibition includes a display of shoemaking tools.

This exhibition is organized by The Mint Museum and generously sponsored by The Founders’ Circle Ltd.

Special exhibition admission is required in order to view Pumped along with its companion exhibition drawn from the Mint’s permanent collection, Here & Now: 80 Years of Photography at the Mint. Admission is $24 for adults with discounts for students, seniors, and children, and Mint members always receive unlimited free admission.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a slate of public programming including a “Taste of the Mint” tour, a Sunday Fun Day, and workshops aimed at teen students ages 14-18 as part of the NexGen Mint program. Details on programming are available at mintmuseum.org/happenings .

Members of the media are invited to preview the exhibition at 10 a.m. May 4 at Mint Museum Uptown. RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org.

Above image:

Saks Fifth Avenue (retailer; New York, 1902–). Evening/Cocktail Shoes, circa 1965, silk grosgrain ribbon, kid leather, crystal rhinestones. Charles Mo Collection. 2004.8.16b. Collection of The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Here & Now: 80 Years of Photography at the Mint” to open April 16

Exhibition continues the Mint’s “year of the collection”

The first survey exhibition of photography drawn solely from the Mint’s permanent collection, Here & Now: 80 Years of Photography at the Mint , will open April 16 at Mint Museum Uptown, offering a fresh perspective on a growing area of strength for the museum.

“As a photohistorian, it has been a delight to comb through the museum’s photographic holdings, discovering treasures and unexpected surprises along the way,” said Dr. Kathleen V.  Jameson, President & CEO of the Mint, who personally curated the exhibition. “Here & Now will provide visitors the same exciting journey not only into the diverse landscape of photography but also with a focused view into the development of the Mint’s collection over the course of its history.”

Most of the works in the Mint’s collection were produced after the founding of the museum in 1936, 80 years ago. While relatively modest in scale, the Mint’s collection boasts exceptional photographs taken around this time by such noted masters as Berenice Abbott and Ansel Adams as well as those taken in the last few years by dynamic contemporary photographers. Global in scope, the Mint’s collection and this exhibition feature works by artists with local and regional roots, including William Eggleston, Sonia Handelman Meyer, and Linda Foard Roberts.

The photography collection ranges from conceptually-based works to those rooted in such genres as landscape, portraiture, and architectural photography. Underlying the infinite differences in style, method, and subject matter is a unity specific to photography—its overarching ability to capture a particular moment in time—to suspend the present in a way that allows us to understand meaning across great distances of time and space.

By its nature, photography has always been a medium rooted in the moment. It began around 1836, nearly the same time period as the founding of the first branch of the United States Mint in Charlotte – later transformed into The Mint Museum when it opened to the public on October 22, 1936.

“From photography’s roots to today, photographic images compel viewers like no other medium,” said Jameson. “As we are increasingly inundated with visual images, many of which are manipulated in some way, there has never been a better time to examine the power of photographic images. Here & Now speaks to concerns that have long been at the core of photographic practice, as well as its most recent developments, shining new light on the issues that are relevant to life in the here and now.”

The exhibition is generously sponsored by The Mint Museum of Art Board of Directors, with additional support provided by K&L Gates.

Following an invitation-only VIP celebration on April 14, the exhibition will be accompanied by a slate of public programming including a “Taste of the Mint” tour, a Sunday Fun Day, and workshops aimed at teen students ages 14-18 as part of the NexGen Mint program. Details on programming are available here .

Media note: Members of the media and special guests are invited to preview the exhibition at 10 a.m. on Thursday April 14. Email leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org to RSVP or for any other inquiries.

Above image:

Oliver Wasow (American, 1960–). Dana and Fortune, 2013, pigment print. Gift of Dana Martin Davis. 2014.71. Collection of The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina. © Oliver Wasow, 2013

Young Affiliates of the Mint Announce Envision & Empower Event

To be held March 9 at Mint Museum Uptown

The Young Affiliates of the Mint (“YAMs”) are excited to announce their second annual event entitled, Envision & Empower, hosted at Mint Uptown’s Level 5 Grand Room on March 9, 2016 from 6-9 p.m. Envision & Empower provides an opportunity for the Charlotte community to come together and celebrate the transformative power of arts education on children in our community.

For Envision & Empower, the YAMs partnered with Behailu Academy, an arts-based youth development program that empowers youth to find and use their voices through the arts, academics, and community service. Located in the North Davidson area, Behailu Academy offers a variety of classes including performing arts, music, and visual arts.   This coming spring, seven seniors will graduate from Behailu Academy; forever transformed by the incredible opportunity Behailu has given them to learn about themselves in a supportive environment, through the creation of art and music.

In preparation for this event, photographer and YAM board member Margaret Strickland had the unique pleasure of meeting and photographing the seven exiting seniors for Envision & Empower. Margaret quickly picked up on a symbiotic relationship between the students of Behailu Academy and the arts. Margaret captured the essence of this artistic engagement in photographs that will be on display at the event. In reflection of her meeting the seniors of Behailu, Margaret stated, “I was profoundly impacted by the stories of the students at Behailu. I met a musician, a marine, an illustrator, photographers, and designers. It is obvious that the drive, confidence and talent of these students are due in large part to the friendships and experiences made possible by Behailu Academy. These seniors have used their time at Behailu to support each other, define themselves, and dream big about their futures.”

Behailu Academy students that participated in this collaboration will be in attendance and will share their powerful stories with attendees.  Additionally, keynote speaker Senator Jeff Jackson will join the YAMs for this evening event. Guests will enjoy jazz musician, Buff Dillard, and a cash bar will be available with wine, beer and liquor for purchase. The art galleries will also be open for all guests to enjoy.

The YAMS cordially invite you to join us and help us raise awareness about the impact of art on youth in our community and to raise a glass to the big futures of Charlotte’s students impacted by the arts. Tickets are $25 for YAM members and $35 for non-members.

To purchase tickets for Envision & Empower, please visit: https://2016envisionempower.splashthat.com/

For questions regarding Envision & Empower, please email: Whitney.feld@gmail.com


The Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum is the longest running young professional group and the premier social arts organization for young professionals in Charlotte, North Carolina.  For 26 years, the YAMs have supported the Mint Museum through a variety of social, cultural, leadership and fundraising activities and events. The YAMs have made substantial donations of tangible and intangible goods to the Mint Museum since 1990.

Speakers from Design Within Reach and Tiffany & Co. to speak at the Mint about “World’s Fairs” next week

Charlotte Studio to Present on “Timeless Modernism;” Archivist to Discuss “Tiffany at the World’s Fairs”

Two world-class experts will visit Mint Museum Uptown next week to illuminate the excitement behind World’s Fairs – events that debuted new items ranging from hot dogs and ice cream to premier decorative arts in the days before the Internet and electronic media allowed the sharing of new ideas.

The public is invited to register for exciting presentations from the Design Within Reach studio – whose staffers are experts on the “timeless modernism” of furniture designs which premiered as early as the World’s Fairs of the 1930s and remain popular today ­– and the national archivist from Tiffany & Co., who will be visiting from New York to present about the jeweler’s rich history of bringing its designs to World’s Fairs. Registration is available at mintmuseum.org/happenings, by visiting the front desks of either of The Mint Museum’s two locations, or by calling 704.337.2107.

The gallery talk on “Timeless Modernism” will occur on Wednesday, November 6 at 7 p.m. within the galleries where the groundbreaking exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939 remains on display through January 19. The presentation is limited to 30 participants and spots are still available. The event is free for Mint members and for college students with valid ID, but non-members must pay $10 adult exhibition admission to Inventing the Modern World in order to enter the gallery.

Leading the discussion is Kari Woldum, Vice President of Merchandising at Design Within Reach, where she manages the merchandising and product development departments. Leveraging her passion for design and modernism, her role at DWR has spanned the entire assortment, from sofas and beds to floor coverings and dining chairs. Woldum is responsible for developing and curating the full product line. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder and spent some years in magazine publishing before discovering her true passion: seeking out the best in authentic modern design.

Next Sunday, November 10, Tiffany & Co. Archivist Annamarie V. Sandecki will speak in the Duke Auditorium at 3 p.m. on “Tiffany at the World’s Fairs.” The lecture is free to Mint members and college students with valid ID, but requires general museum admission for non-members ($10 general adult admission, plus an optional additional $10 to visit the Inventing the Modern World exhibition before or after the talk). The Tiffany & Co. Archives preserve, maintain, and make available materials relating to the history of Tiffany as a jeweler and silversmith. Sandecki also administers a collection of hundreds of Tiffany objects spanning the company’s history, and is responsible for the acquisition of additional Tiffany designs through auctions and estate sales.

Sandecki received her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Delaware, and continued her education in the museum administration masters program at New York University. She is a member of American Association of Museums, the Society of Jewelry Historians and the New York Silver Society.

The Inventing the Modern World exhibition contains several Tiffany & Co. designs, including a priceless corsage ornament from 1900 made from Montana sapphires, diamonds, and platinum. The exhibition was organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, and traveled to the New Orleans Museum of Art before making its final stop at the Mint. So, the Mint is the final place anywhere in the world for the public to see the approximately 200 objects shown during the major World’s Fairs from 1851 to 1939, many of which had never before left their home countries, all under one roof. Major support for this exhibition was provided by Wells Fargo, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition is brought to Charlotte through generous support from Duke Energy, Novant Health, Rodgers Builders, and the Southern Christmas Show.

Both events will occur at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street in Charlotte.

Above image: Tiffany & Co., Unites States (New York), 1837-present. Corsage Ornament, 1900. Montana sapphires, diamonds, demantoid garnets, topaz, blued steel, gold alloys, and platinum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Acquired by Henry Walters, 1900, 57.939

Mint Museum partners with Thompson Child & Family Focus

Campaign will bring gift museum memberships to community families

The Mint Museum has partnered with Thompson Child & Family Focus to provide gift memberships to families who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to participate in the Mint’s educational programming.

For its annual holiday “Gift of Membership” campaign, the Mint’s new partnership offers a twist to those who wish to give a membership to The Mint Museum as a holiday gift to a loved one: For every gift membership purchased by a member of the public before December 31, the Mint will give another membership to a family identified by Thompson Child & Family Focus.

Founded in 1886 as an orphanage, Thompson Child & Family Focus is a non-profit organization, operating three distinct campuses in Charlotte, that provides comprehensive education, treatment, and care for children and families in need.

“We are pleased this year to be able to expand our reach in the community in a new way, and to offer the Mint’s inspirational art and programming to a greater number of families,” said Hillary Cooper, the Mint’s director of communications and media relations. “Those who purchase gift memberships this year are truly giving twice as much as they have in years past, while providing valuable support to the Mint and its programming.”

“We’re so excited and very grateful to the Mint for providing Thompson’s families the opportunity to extend their children’s exposure to the arts,” said Ginny Amendum, president of Thompson Child & Family Focus.  “The Mint’s expansive cultural experiences will wonderfully complement Thompson’s current arts curriculum.”

The Mint’s memberships cost $60 for individuals; $100 for families; $45 for students and teachers; $80 for two adults; seniors receive a $15 discount. Memberships bring unlimited free admission to both museum locations year-round; invitations to special members-only events; free or discounted  admission to educational programs and classes; a 10 percent discount at the Museum Shops; 10 percent discounts at Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth restaurant and American Roadside; special rates at Flex + Fit; and reciprocal privileges at designated Southeastern museums.

The museum packages gift membership cards in wrapped gift boxes and mails them to the intended recipients; to ensure delivery in time for the holidays, givers are urged to purchase by December 14. They can be purchased online at www.mintmuseum.org/support. For more information, call Martha Loftin at 704.337.2011 or email martha.loftin@mintmuseum.org.

‘Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear’ will open March 3

Exhibition examining primal impulses will complement prominent current pop-culture trends.

CHARLOTTE, NC (February 9, 2012) – Fairytales, fantasies, and horror stories are inescapable in our current culture – and now an exhibition exploring these primal themes will open at Mint Museum Uptown on March 3. Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear will be on view through July 8.

The exhibition brings together the work of several internationally acclaimed artists, including Mattia Biagi, Mark Newport, Kako Ueda, Tom Price, and Kate Malone. Known for his work in tar, Italian artist Biagi reinterprets icons of lost innocence, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella’s carriage. Newport, an American fiber artist, creates hand-knit acrylic re-creations of heroes’ costumes, which combine their heroic, protective, and ultra-masculine yet vulnerable personas. Ueda, a Japanese paper artist, uses unsettling imagery, such as insects and skeletons, in her detailed cutouts to represent the fine line between beauty and decay. Price, a British furniture designer, is known for his use of polypropylene tubing to create spiky shapes that evoke forms from the natural world. And Malone, a British ceramic artist, is known for her sensual, Neo-Baroque forms and mastery of crystalline glazes. This thematic exhibition, generously supported by the Mint Museum Auxiliary, also includes selections from the Mint’s permanent collection and loans from private collections. The installation will feature high-tech use of theatrical pieces on flat-screen televisions and cellphone tour commentary provided by the artists.

“This exhibition is a look at contemporary art that explores the world of magical stories, imagination, and fear in works ranging from clay sculpture to cut paper,” said Annie Carlano, the Mint’s Director of Craft + Design. “The sources of inspiration for these artists also interested the Surrealists – the dream world, the occult, fairytales, oral traditions, esoteric religions, and the world of the unconscious. This exhibition is especially timely because of the resonance of fairytales, science fiction and fantasy, and horror stories in current popular culture.”

Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, the President & CEO of the Mint, said the exhibition fits with the museum’s mission of always seeking ways to be relevant to the larger community. “We are pleased to bring yet another exhibition to the public that explores popular themes and also reveals inner truths about human nature,” she said.

As previously announced, the Mint has partnered with N.C. Dance Theatre, which is exploring its own fairytale theme with performances of “Sleeping Beauty” this March. Ticket buyers to “Sleeping Beauty,” which runs March 8-18, can receive free admission to both locations of The Mint Museum on Saturday March 10 and Saturday March 17, while Mint members can receive a 25 percent discount on the purchase of “Sleeping Beauty” tickets. For more information on “Sleeping Beauty,” visit ncdance.org.

Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear is organized by The Mint Museum and made possible through support from the Mint Museum Auxiliary. The Mint Museum is supported by the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council. For more information on Fairytales, Fantasy, & Fear and other upcoming Mint exhibitions, visit mintmuseum.org.

The Mint Museum Launches Exclusive New Fashion & Design Book

The Mint Museum Launches Exclusive New Fashion & Design Book

Oscar buzz was in the air on Monday as more than 420 people attended a celebration in honor of the upcoming 40th anniversary of The Mint Museum’s Historic Costume and Fashionable Dress Collection. The Fall EnrichMINT Forum: Passion for Fashion, hosted by The Mint Museum Auxiliary, served as a launch for a first-of-its kind book: Oscar de la Renta: Fashion & Design at The Mint Museum. The specially produced, commemorative publication documents the legendary designer’s 2011 visit to Charlotte to benefit The Mint Museum.

At the celebration, Jay Everette, Community Affairs Manager of Wells Fargo’s Social Responsibility Group and a member of the Mint’s board of trustees, announced that The Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded The Mint Museum a $15,000 Community Catalyst Grant to support the museum’s Historical Costume and Fashionable Dress Collection acquisition fund. The grant was made in honor of the members of The Mint Museum Auxiliary.  Funds from the grant will be used to acquire contemporary fashion from Oscar de la Renta’s collection.

The keynote speaker at the book launch event in The Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium of The Mint Museum Uptown was Jack Alexander, longtime producer of de la Renta’s runway shows, and he gave lots of behind-the-scenes insights into the production of the April 2011 fashion show at the Mint (it turns out the homegrown Charlotte models were a lot better than the imports from Atlanta!).

Oscar de la Renta: Fashion & Design at The Mint Museum is now on sale for $40 at museum gift shops at both the Uptown and Randolph Road locations. The hardcover book consists of 80 pages of color photos of the designer’s eye-catching fashions. All proceeds from book sales will benefit The Mint Museum.

The initiative is the latest twist in a wildly successful fundraising effort pairing Oscar de la Renta with The Mint Museum Auxiliary. De la Renta’s visit to Charlotte in April as part of the Auxiliary’s annual Room to Bloom celebration generated a record-shattering $400,000 in fundraising toward The Mint Museum and its programs.

Faces & Flowers: Painting on Lenox China

Exhibition explores history of one of the world’s premier manufacturers of fine china.

The Mint Museum of Art will present Faces & Flowers: Painting on Lenox China from August 22, 2009 through January 30, 2010. Lenox china is often referred to as America’s greatest porcelain. The exhibition will feature more than 70 objects, including plates, vases and decorative wares with exquisite paintings of orchids, figures, idealized women and landscapes.

Faces & Flowers highlights the remarkable talents of Lenox’s china painters, with works made by the firm’s leading artists for some of America’s foremost citizens, including orchid fancier Charles G. Roebling and Newark industrialist Franklin Murphy, who was governor of New Jersey from 1902 to 1905.

Walter Scott Lenox started the Ceramic Art Company in 1889 in Trenton, New Jersey (becoming Lenox China in 1906), with the ambition to achieve “the perfection of American porcelain.” To achieve his goal, Lenox hired the premier European and American porcelain painters of his time, including Bruno Geyer (Austrian, active late 19th – early 20th century), William Morley (British, circa 1869-1934), and Sturgis Laurence (American, 1870-1961). The quality and creativity shown in the wares from Ceramic Art Company/Lenox China surpassed the best porcelain produced in Europe at the time and enabled Lenox China to make its mark internationally. The company developed such a loyal following that it became the first American china to be used in the White House (during Woodrow Wilson’s administration).

The exhibition is organized and distributed by the University of Richmond Museums, Virginia. It appears at The Mint Museum thanks to the generous support of the Delhom Service League.  An illustrated catalogue with an essay by the exhibition’s curator Ellen Denker, an independent scholar, is available for purchase in The Mint Museum Shops.