If these gowns could talk

THE STORIES BEHIND SOME OF THE GARMENTS IN “CHARLOTTE COLLECTS: CONTEMPORARY COUTURE & FABULOUS FASHION”

THE STORIES BEHIND SOME OF THE GARMENTS IN “CHARLOTTE COLLECTS: CONTEMPORARY COUTURE & FABULOUS FASHION”

BY HEATHER GWALTNEY

What do birthdays, a pregnancy, furtive feathers, love at first sight, a good investment and luggage left behind all have in common? Sometimes a dress is more than just a dress. Based on interviews with the featured collectors, this is a “behind the seams” look at some of the striking gowns featured in Charlotte Collects: Contemporary Couture & Fabulous Fashion, on view at Mint Museum Randolph through February 4, 2018.

Bride-to-be Amanda Weisiger Cornelson envisioned a long-sleeved dress with color for her summer 2016 wedding. Upon seeing her gown on the runway at the Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall 2015 show at the Grand Palais in Paris, it was love at first sight. She visited the designer’s atelier after the show and tried on a few of the other beautiful pieces from the collection, but in the end she only had eyes for the originally-selected gown.

Like her daughter Amanda Cornelson, Lisa Dargan’s Giambattista Valli blue ostrich feather skirt was wedding attire. She wore the dress only once in her home, for a fitting that had to take place downstairs in her entry hall because no other rooms were large enough to accommodate the generous train (the wedding was in Savannah). But she was periodically reminded of the magic of her wedding day as feathers continued to appear, for a more than a year, in unusual places such as in her nightstand and in a suitcase that did not accompany her on her wedding travels.

Myra.jpgWhen Myra Gassman wears her historic Commes des Garcons dress, it always elicits a reaction. So much so that, more than once, people have offered to buy it off of her while she was wearing it. She purchased it from a store in Carmel, California and more than five years after she purchased it, the store owner called and offered to buy it back at double the price she paid. (It’s one of the most important pieces in the exhibition due to its rarity and excellent condition.)

MMR_CCCCFF_2017(67).jpgDeidre Grubb and her family arrived at the airport one hour before their flight to visit friends in St Barths and were told that they were too late to have their bags put on the plane. In order to make their scheduled flight, the Grubbs elected to leave their luggage behind in the trunk of their car and travel with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Upon landing in St. Barths, their hosts offered to lend them some clothes to wear but also took them shopping. Knowing the caliber of St. Barths’ shopping, instead of buying the same sorts of things she already had at home, Deidre opted to take the opportunity to buy something really special, a gown by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli which she wore twice to dinner during the vacation. Since coming to Charlotte, the dress made its black-tie debut worn by her friend Leslie Culbertson, at the Mint’s Coveted Couture Gala.

Holleman.jpgAlex Holleman’s Delpozo coat is the actual, hand-stitched coat that was shown on the runway. However, as shown, the coat didn’t make it into the collection and was destined for storage. Alex loved it so much that she convinced the designer to sell it to her and, despite its significant weight, she wears it as often as possible.

MMR_CCCCFF_2017(47).jpgFor Chandra Johnson, her gowns in the exhibition represent celebrations, as they were all worn to the NASCAR Awards in Las Vegas when she accompanied her husband, seven-time NASCAR Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson. However, when Chandra thinks about the white silk Isaac Mizrahi gown, she also remembers feeling very, very ill. In fact, though she was approximately three months pregnant at the time, the Johnsons hadn’t yet divulged the secret. However, protocol required her to sit on the stage, facing the audience at the banquet. So, despite the fact that they had yet to share the news with their closest friends, she had to warn the woman organizing the awards show that she was pregnant in case sickness caused her to make a quick exit from stage.

mattei.jpgAshley Anderson Mattei’s pink and yellow two-piece Giambattista Valli ensemble elicits happy memories of a milestone birthday that took place during the year she and her family lived in Paris. In celebration of her 40th birthday, her husband, Scott, teamed up with Laura Vinroot Poole to take Ashley to her very first fashion show: a couture Giambattista Valli fashion show in Paris. Part of the gift was that, in addition to attending the show, she could choose a gown. Though shown with a slightly different profile on the runway, due to the nature of couture, she was able to request some changes to customize the shape of the gown’s skirt to make it feel more “her” when she wears it with the beautiful pink beaded top.

Poole.jpgLaura Vinroot Poole first saw her silk taffeta cocktail dress when she hosted Giambattista Valli’s first-ever couture collection show in the United States at the Duke Mansion. Though the pajama-influenced dress was shown in crisp, white taffeta, she had it made in in one of her favorite color combinations, pale pink with cherry red piping. Couture can be customized, up to a point, as the designer has to sign off on the changes to the piece since his or her name will be on it and Vinroot Poole surmises that Giambattista must have agreed that the color combination was as dreamy as she thought it would be.

putney.jpgDr. Kimberly Blanding Putney had no particular event in mind when she saw her Missoni gown at Nordstrom but she felt it was a must-purchase. Initially worn for a music and art collaboration event, the fun, colorful pattern makes her smile. For her, wearing it is effortless due to the feel of the fabric, its slightly transparent nature, and the beauty of its craftsmanship.

tarwater.jpgWhen asked by her husband to name something she would want for her birthday if she could have anything, Ann Rosemund Tarwater replied, “a Carolina Herrera dress.” Though it gave him a moment’s pause, he made her wish come true and on their next trip to New York City, they spent the afternoon trying on her beautiful pieces. With this gown she feels she has been gifted the look of elegance, femininity, and classic beauty.

MMR_CCCCFF_2017(4).jpgNFL Quarterback Cam Newton shared his fashion philosophy with the Mint at the time his foundation loaned his Versace suit ensemble to round out the exhibition with a menswear sample: “I like to incorporate my individual style into everything I do, especially my fashion sense. From a young age I was encouraged to always be myself, and I make it a point to empower others to do the same. Expressing myself through fashion is something I take seriously…but not so seriously that I can’t have fun with it. Having fun is the name of the game for me. I like classic looks with a twist of something different, like some colorful loafers or a bold tie. Don’t be afraid to stand out! Check out this outfit, for example. The pin stripe Versace suit is classic. It’s dressy, but not too formal. The jacket could even be worn with jeans and a V-neck. I chose the full suit paired with a white dress shirt, a handmade feather bow tie from Charleston’s Brackish Bow Ties, and some colorful Giuseppe Zanotti loafers to complete the look.”

Experience the work of internationally known couture designers from Charlotte Collectors

Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Dolce & Gabbana, and more in “Charlotte Collects: Contemporary Couture and Fabulous Fashion,” opening October 14 at Mint Museum Randolph

Better than a front-row runway seat, the new Mint-organized exhibition Charlotte Collects: Contemporary Couture and Fabulous Fashion will offer up-close, 360-degree views of gowns, dresses, and ensembles from leading 21st-century designers when it opens October 14 at Mint Museum Randolph.

On view through February 4, 2018, the exhibition is part of the three-exhibition series known as the “Year of Fashion” at The Mint Museum, celebrating an art form the Mint has collected for more than 40 years. Members of the media and special guests are invited to preview the exhibition at 10 a.m. on Thursday October 12 at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road. Light breakfast will be served and Mint curators and participating collectors will be available for interviews. RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org.

This exhibition, generously presented to the Charlotte community with support from PNC Financial Services, focuses on individuals in the Charlotte community who consider fashion an important form of art and design, and collect both one of a kind masterworks and ready-to-wear garments of the highest quality. Additional support is provided by a group of Mint patrons known as the Friends of Fashion. (More information at mintmuseum.org/art/projects/the-year-of-fashion-at-the-mint-museum/ )

A range of contemporary designers from the U.S., Canada, Taiwan, Europe, and Japan are featured, and reflect the personal fashion philosophies of eleven individuals known for their unique style: Ann Tarwater, Lisa Dargan, Amanda Weisinger Cornelson, Alex Holleman, Dr. Kim Blanding Putney, Myra Gassman, Ashley Anderson Mattei, Deidre Grubb, Laura Vinroot Poole, Chandra Johnson, and recently added, noted Charlotte style icon and NFL Quarterback Cam Newton .

“There is such masterful craftsmanship and innovative technology in contemporary fashion from the cloth itself – hand embroidery, digital printing, pressure pleating – to the pattern making, construction, and draping,” said Annie Carlano, senior curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion at the Mint. “What visitors will see in the galleries is both traditional centuries-old sewing techniques and 21st century inventiveness.”

“We are thrilled to help the Mint deliver a relevant and compelling exhibition to the community that brings art alive for new audiences,” said Weston M. Andress, Regional President – Western Carolina for PNC.

Media partners for the exhibition are Garden & Gun MagazineThe Charlotte Observer; and Peachy.

The Mint’s fashion collection has previously inspired spotlight exhibitions on designers including House of Chanel; Dior, Balmain, and Saint Laurent; and Franco Moschino. This year, it also serves as the inspiration for the exhibition William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016 at Mint Museum Uptown, and the forthcoming The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta in spring 2018 at Mint Museum Randolph.

“The specific fashions in the exhibition were selected because innovative examples by the fashion designer are on the museum’s ‘wish list;’ as we build the museum’s holdings of 21st-century international fashion, it is hoped that these and or similar examples will enter the permanent collection soon,” said Carlano. “Consider, for example, the neo-Romantic silhouettes of the Giambattista Valli, in the collections of Dargan, Anderson Mattei, and Vinroot Poole, which conjure up Cinderella at the ball. Equally sculptural but with more of an adventurous vibe are the fashion designs of Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garcons, and Rodarte, in the collections of Myra Gassman and Chandra Johnson. Timeless elegance is interpreted by Jason Wu, Isaac Mizrahi, and Carolina Herrerra, from the collections of Alex Holleman, Chandra Johnson, and Ann Tarwater. Eclecticism is represented in an ensemble by Versace, as worn by Cam Newton.”

The exhibition will be available to all general-admission museum visitors and will be open FREE each Wednesday evening from 5-9 p.m. Related educational programming will occur throughout the exhibition; details available at mintmuseum.org/happenings .

Image: Isaac Mizrahi, designer (American, 1961–), Isaac Mizrahi New York, Xcel Brands (2011–). Evening gown made to order ready-to-wear design, 2009, silk. Collection of Chandra Johnson

Book signing for “William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016”

Following the FREE talk inside Mint Museum Uptown by this Tony Award-winning North Carolina native, venture to the MInt Museum Uptown Shop for a book signing and meet William Ivey Long in person. Copies of the new publication William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016, a companion to the exhibition published by The MInt Museum and distributed by Yale University Press, will be available for purchase onsite, but you can skip the cash register and guarantee your signed copy by pre-purchasing it here!

Cover price is $45 plus tax ($48.26)

Mint members ALWAYS SAVE 10 PERCENT ($43.44 including tax)

Mint to Debut “William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016”

New exhibition to bring new admission fee policy

From Broadway to the television screen, the exhibition William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016 will offer backstage access to the art of costume design from September 23, 2017 through June 3, 2018.

The opening, the centerpiece of a weekend-long celebration at the Mint, will also feature a free-admission community day on September 23 and brings the first of three exhibitions during the “Year of Fashion” at the Mint.

“The Mint has collected fashion for over 40 years, and has organized many exhibitions around this important art form, but this marks the first time we have focused specifically on theatrical costume design,” said Annie Carlano, senior curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion at the Mint, and co-curator of the Mint-organized exhibition. Adds Rebecca E. Elliot, assistant curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion at the Mint and exhibition co-curator: “This exhibition offers viewers a rare, close-up vantage point from which they will see the excellent craftsmanship of the costumes, as well as how William Ivey Long uses colors, silhouettes, and other elements of costume design to create characters.”

Visitors will experience sumptuous and elaborate costumes, faithful period recreations, and innovative fantasy creations – all a testament to Long’s extraordinary talent and imagination. Idea boards, fabric swatches, and exquisite drawings by Long elucidate his working methods, from inspiration to finished costume.

The exhibition begins with a glimpse into his designs and working methods, in an immersive studio environment with interactive features and a library of costume and fashion books. It focuses primarily on his most recent work from the past 10 years, including The Lost Colony (redesigned in 2007–2008), the story of the settlement of Roanoke Island in 1587, and a beloved tradition for many families across our state. Also included are the Broadway revivals of The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012) and On the Twentieth Century (2015); the Broadway musical Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (2013); the Kennedy Center’s original production Little Dancer (2014); and the television specials Grease Live! and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (both 2016). Drawing mainly from Long’s studio archive, the exhibition includes sketches, fitting photographs, and other preparatory materials, as well as finished costumes.

Born in Raleigh in 1947, Long is one of the most renowned theatrical costume designers working today. Raised in the world of theater, he grew up in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He began graduate training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but ultimately transferred to the Yale School of Drama where he earned an MFA in set design in 1975. Long then apprenticed in New York under the couturier Charles James, whom Long calls “the ultimate costume architect.”

“Fashion design and costume design are similar in that both involve mounting shows whose story is told through clothing,” said Long. “Mr. James was both my fashion mentor and hero, and he taught me a great deal about how to tell a very effective story through garments.”

Long has received Tony Awards for Nine (1982), Crazy for You (1992), The Producers (2001), Hairspray (2003), Grey Gardens (2006), and most recently, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (2013). He has designed costumes for hundreds of other projects, including operas, dance performances, films, television shows, and performers such as the Rolling Stones.

The exhibition is presented to the Charlotte community with generous support from Wells Fargo Private Bank, with additional corporate support provided by J.P. Morgan and Novant Health. It was also made possible by substantial contributions from the Mint Museum Auxiliary and Friends of William Ivey Long.

It is accompanied by a scholarly book, William Ivey Long Costume Designs 2007-2016, published by the Mint and distributed by Yale University Press. The book tells the story of this American legend through a review of his illustrious career and an analysis of his work. It was edited and co-authored by Carlano with essays from contributors Elliot and Peter Marks, chief theater critic at The Washington Post. It is available in the Mint Museum Shops for $45 and media preview copies are available.

SPECIAL EVENTS – AND A NEW ADMISSION POLICY

The public is invited to view the exhibition FREE on Saturday, September 23 as part of the Mint’s celebration of the national Museum Day Live! observance organized by Smithsonian Magazine. Museums throughout the nation are offering free or reduced admission and other special events throughout the day.

The Mint will offer special “Member Moment” gallery tours with Long himself at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (free to Mint members); a free lecture by Long at 2:30 p.m. (open to all); and a book signing in the Mint Museum Uptown Shop at 4 p.m. Additionally, the Mint will offer free live outdoor “Jazzin’ on the Terrace” at noon in celebration of Charlotte-born artist Romare Bearden and celebrations occurring at nearby Romare Bearden Park. Details on this and other programming occurring throughout the exhibition are available atmintmuseum.org/happenings .

Blumenthal Performing Arts is collaborating with the exhibition by hosting a special “Tribute Concert to William Ivey Long” on February 24, 2018 at Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts. The gala concert will include songs from the shows featuring Long’s designs, as well as tributes and video stories from his friends. More information will be available via mintmuseum.org and blumenthalarts.org closer to the date.

Beginning on Sunday, September 24, the Mint will implement a new admission policy which eliminates fees to visit special exhibitions, and will change general admission to $15 per adult (discounts for students and seniors; children under 5 and Mint members admitted free). Formerly, special exhibition visitors paid up to $24 per adult general admission.

The new admission policy is aimed at increasing public access to the Mint’s special exhibitions, which will now always be open FREE during the Mint’s free admission hours from 5-9 p.m. on Wednesdays (formerly, an exhibition surcharge applied during those hours).

“Back in 2013, we began the policy of charging additional fees for special exhibitions as a way to drive membership – we inspired more visitors to become members and receive a year of unlimited admissions,” said Hillary Cooper, the Mint’s director of advancement & communications. “However, our admission trends suggested that the fee was a barrier for some visitors and was keeping people from viewing our special exhibitions. We are thrilled to be able to eliminate this barrier and increase visitation for the Mint’s special exhibitions.”

The policy will apply to other special exhibitions throughout the year including the two remaining “ Year of Fashion ” exhibitions –Charlotte Collects: Contemporary Couture and Fabulous Fashion , on view October 14, 2017 through February 4, 2018 at Mint Museum Randolph; and The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta, on view in spring and summer 2018 at Mint Museum Randolph. It also applies to Develar y Detonar: Contemporary Mexican Photography , opening October 28 at Mint Museum Uptown as part of the seven-institution In Focus/Enfoque project. Details of upcoming exhibitions are available at mintmuseum.org/art and images for media use are available upon request.

Media and special guests are invited to preview this exhibition at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 21 at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street. Long is scheduled to attend; he and exhibition curators will give a gallery tour and other staff will be available for interviews. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to leigh.dyer@mintmuseum.org.

The Mint Museum announces the “Year of Fashion”

Museum to host three extraordinary exhibitions, launch new fashion initiative in the coming fiscal year

The Mint Museum, long renowned for holding one of the largest and most significant Fashion Collections in the Southeastern United States, will celebrate the art form with its upcoming “Year of Fashion,” the museum announced today to attendees of its annual gala.

Weston M. Andress, chairman of the Mint’s Board of Trustees, issued a proclamation declaring the “Year of Fashion” to 400 attendees at the sold-out Coveted Couture gala, an annual fundraising event permanently devoted to celebrating the Mint’s collection, conservation, study, and exhibition of fashions both historic and contemporary. The “Year of Fashion” will span the museum’s next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017 and continuing through June 30, 2018.

“Today we celebrate the Mint for delivering relevant and compelling exhibitions and programming that engages all members of our diverse global community, and we are thrilled that we will be able to introduce new concepts of art to our community through this year-long focus on fashion,” Andress said.

“Fashion design is like kinetic sculpture, and leading couturiers are like master architects who build with fabric and applied elements using the body as armature,” said Annie Carlano, Senior Curator of Craft, Design, & Fashion at the Mint. “Our relationship with fashion is both universal and personal; fashion reflects the times we live in and who we are.”

The “Year of Fashion” will center around three exhibitions to be on view throughout the year, and is also accompanied by a major financial gift provided by loyal Mint supporters Ann and Michael Tarwater. In honor of his wife Ann, Michael Tarwater has given a lead gift to launch a Fashion Initiative at Mint Museum Randolph to enhance the storage, study, exhibition, and development of innovative immersive programs around fashion in years to come. “The Tarwaters believe the Mint should be the fashion leader in our region – and beyond.  They see fashion design as one of the most engaging and meaningful art forms, with rich aesthetic and cultural associations, and a gateway to understanding style through the ages. They are dedicated to making Charlotte a great city for all, and that includes robust support for the arts. With this lead gift for a dynamic fashion presence at the Mint, Ann and Michael are giving back to the city that has been their home for more than 30 years, and we cannot thank them enough,” said Carlano. Further details of the Fashion Initiative will be made public during the coming months.

The three exhibitions to be hosted at the Mint are:

  • William Ivey Long: Costume Designs 2007-2016 . On view at Mint Museum Uptown from September 23, 2017 through June 3, 2018. North Carolina native William Ivey Long is one of the most renowned theatrical costume designers working today. Since the beginning of his career in the 1970s, he has designed over 70 Broadway shows, has won six Tony awards and received 15 nominations, and has earned many other honors and accolades. The exhibition will explore William Ivey Long’s most recent work, from 2007 to today. It will focus on his process, featuring sketches, swatches, mood boards, and other preparatory materials in addition to the costumes themselves. The exhibition, co-curated by Carlano, and Rebecca Elliot, Assistant Curator for Craft, Design, & Fashion, will provide visitors with exposure to this form of art and allow for comparison of the different goals of theatrical costume and fashion.
  • Charlotte Collects: Contemporary Couture and Fabulous Fashion. On view at Mint Museum Randolph from October 14, 2017 through early 2018. This is the first of a series of Craft, Design, & Fashion exhibitions featuring significant collections and collectors in Charlotte. Curated by Carlano, Charlotte Collects is an exhibition that takes an intimate look at important fashion designs in the collections of several fashion leaders in our community. From exquisite bespoke creations by couturier Giambattista Valli, to the innovative designs by Issey Miyake and elegant minimalism of Jason Wu, the exhibition strives to present a wide range of 21st century fashion through the personal stories of each of these collectors, with the goal of both celebrating these women, and building excitement for the future of fashion at Mint Museum Randolph.  Informative and dynamic, the installation will include runway videos.
  • An exhibition of fashion designs by Oscar de la Renta, scheduled to be on view in spring 2018 at Mint Museum Randolph. Organized in close collaboration with the House of Oscar de la Renta and the designer’s family, the exhibition is curated by André Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue and a lifelong friend of de la Renta. It is scheduled to debut at the Mint next spring following its recently announced run at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston this fall. It is anticipated to contain fashions made during the span of his career in Spain, Paris, and New York. The Mint hosted the late designer for a fashion show fundraiser organized by the Mint Museum Auxiliary in 2011.

Wells Fargo Private Bank has signed on as presenting sponsor of both the William Ivey Long and Oscar de la Renta exhibitions, as well as serving as lead sponsor of this year’s Coveted Couture gala. “Wells Fargo Private Bank is pleased to help the Mint present these signature exhibitions to the community,” said Jay Everette, Community Affairs Manager, Wells Fargo Foundation, and co-chair of this year’s Coveted Couture gala. “The intersection of art, fashion, costume, and design offers incredibly rich content and concepts to explore through both exhibition presentation and community programming.”

“The Mint thanks Wells Fargo, the Tarwater family, the Auxiliary, and all of the hundreds of other individual, corporate, and foundation sponsors who make possible our ability to continue to present these groundbreaking exhibitions to our community,” said Carlano.

The Mint also announced Saturday that the next Coveted Couture gala will be timed to coincide with the opening of the Oscar de la Renta exhibition, and will be co-chaired by Charlotte fashion industry leaders Laura Vinroot Poole and Perry Poole. More information on the plans will be available later in 2017 at mintmuseum.org/gala .

Above image: Lisa Dargan in couture by Giambattista Valli, 2014. Photograph by Gately Williams. From the upcoming exhibition Charlotte Collects: Contemporary Couture and Fabulous Fashion.

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.

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.