Thursday, May 7, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York on a lovely day in early May.

We've recently been experiencing pink flurries.


Gentle breezes released beautiful pale petals from a neighborhood cherry tree.


Everyone walking along the block was laughing as we found the sidewalks and ourselves accumulating a spring coating.


This was so much more fun than last winter's snowfalls.


Thank you, dear cherry tree, and thank you, Mother Nature.


Yesterday, my outdoor walk led me over to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to attend a members preview of a fabulous new Costume Institute exhibit.


The exhibit is a multi-media tour de force, including music, film, centuries-old Chinese garments, sculpture, decorative arts and clothing dating from the eighteenth century to this very year that were inspired by earlier Chinese creations.


The exhibit is displayed throughout galleries on two stories of the Met, which are linked by an elevator and also red-lit staircases.  Most of the galleries themselves are very dramatically dark, to protect the the ancient art.  I was glad to visit the show yesterday before the crowds arrive.


I imagine that crowd control will quickly become an issue for the Met, as it was several years ago for the Alexander McQueen exhibit.  I would definitely recommend this exhibit and hope that my rather poor photographs, taken in the limited light, will not be too disappointing.


It was grand to be able to be close enough to actually take in the fabulous fabrics, sewing and embroidery in both the very old and the contemporary garments.


Lots of fabulous John Galliano designs.  Throughout the exhibit the mannequins were adorned with inventive headgear designed by Stephen Jones.  


Chanel, Saint Laurent, Lagerfeld/Chanel, Westwood, Lanvin and McQueen clothing added lots of drama.


It was interesting to see how the curators had appropriated some of the Met's existing Chinese galleries to house this special exhibit.  There was one gallery whose large, silent Buddhas surrounded a single astonishing golden gown by a contemporary Chinese designer.  I did not attempt to take a picture of that room as I felt the juxtaposition of spiritual and fancy dress seemed a bit wrong.

On the other hand, the following photograph of a display case housing a vintage Saint Laurent in front of a huge screen seemed all right to my critical eye.


It would be difficult to calculate how many hours of skilled stitching was involved in creating everything on display.  I do want to return for quite a few more visits.


Perhaps inspired by that earlier flurry of petals and by the creativity on display at the Met, I returned home to do a little watercolor of some cherry blossoms.  The photograph was not taken in proper light.


I was in a hurry to finish this painting, as it was to become a card I've sent to wish my own Mom a very Happy Mother's Day...it's celebrated this Sunday over here.  May I also extend my wishes to other moms who may see this post. 

Many thanks also to you all for all your visits and comments.

Happy Spring!

36 comments:

  1. We've had some amazing blossom over here in the UK too. Some years are better than others. Thanks for showing us the China exhibition at the Met. I wonder if it will come to the UK. I'm going to see the McQueen at the V&A soon. I wonder if it was the same one you saw? Glad to see you were allowed to take photos. Katharine x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katharine, I think that you would love this exhibit...the objects ... mostly clothing...are displayed in amazing settings, and are often incorporated into the existing magnicent Chinese gallery rooms. I doubt that it will travel, but who knows. I believe that the V&A McQueen show includes some British-owned items that did not travel to NYC. You will also love that exhibit! xo

      Delete
  2. That cherry blossom must be wonderful especially after all that snow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, pink flurries are most welcome! xo

      Delete
  3. That looks like an amazing exhibition. May be like the Alexander McQueen one it will eventually come to the UK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nora, I doubt that this exhibit will travel ...see my longish reply to Katharine above. Perhaps you will have to travel over here to see it! xo

      Delete
  4. ¡Preciosos pétalos rosa!
    Y la exposición es magnífica.
    ¡Abrazos!

    ReplyDelete
  5. How beautiful! The fallen petals, the exhibit (especially the dress of China pieces,) and your lovely watercolor. So much to enjoy here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Vicki. I really do enjoy sharing city views with you all.

      Happy Mother's Day to you, too. xo

      Delete
  6. I must get down to the V&A to see the Alexanda McQueen exhibition. The costume made of blue and white crockery is my favourite!

    I love your watercolour. My own watercolours have been neglected to a few weeks - but the countryside looks so beautiful - like your cherry trees - so I must start getting out and about with my sketchbook again. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Celia, I loved that crockery dress, too. I am a huge fan of blue and white and the room that focused on that theme was a favorite.

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my little watercolor. It was quickly done, but lots of fun to do a bit of spring appreciation.

      Great news...I now have my very own copy of the April Gardens Illustrated magazine...and am so happy every time I see your illustration. Looking forward to the May issue's arrival...in about four weeks, I guess. xo

      Delete
  7. Happy Spring to you too Frances. What a fascinating looking exhibition. I'm looking forward to seeing the Alexander McQueen exhibition in a couple of weeks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gina, the McQueen show is going to fascinate you...for sure! How I wish you could see this China show at the Met. There is so much in it that is right up your street. It's a textile feast! xo

      Delete
  8. An astounding Met exhibit - but your water color is very charming too.
    Yes the pink drifts are delightful.
    SPRING AT LAST!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elizabeth, the show's going to be on for months, so let's make sure to go along to see it together. My report does not do the exhibit justice...it is totally over the top in a very good way.

      Thank you kindly for your watercolor compliment.

      xo

      Delete
  9. What a fascinating exhibition Frances. I would love to have been there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish that you could visit the exhibit, Elizabeth. You would absolutely love all the hand embroidery. It is unbelievably beautiful. xo

      Delete
  10. I love the crockery dress, although the whole exhibition looks wonderful too. Lots of blossom blowing around here too :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Su, what's grand about this dazzling show is that there is something for the scholar, the fashionista, the textile craftsperson, the film fan, and folks of all ages,

      xo

      Delete
  11. France's - I love your pink flurries. They fit right in with the beautiful creations at the museum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Carol. Nature is such a powerful influence on all the arts. xo

      Delete
  12. Looks like a lovely exhibit Frances! We recently had an exhibit on 18th clothes in The Hague, which was a delight to visit as well. Like stepping into a costume drama :-)

    Wishing you a happy weekend!

    Madelief x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madelief, I think that you would love this current China exhibit at the Met, and wish that I could have seen the 18th century clothes at the Hague. Seeing these garments really does let us feel kinship with those who wore them in a way that no history book can do.
      xo

      Delete
  13. Love the blossom snow, and your pretty painted blossom too! The exhibition looks amazing.....I would have enjoyed it too, and loved seeing your pictures.
    Happy weekend, Frances.
    Helen xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Helen. Experiencing the cherry blossom flurries really was a celebration of spring. I saw some beautiful wysteria in the Park today, and noticed that lots of bees were also enjoying those frangrant flowers.

      Happy weekend to you, too. xo

      Delete
  14. That is my kind of snow, and it even smells nice? It is so nice that it inspired your lovely painting. What a glorious display of clothing. I simply amazes me, the intricate and time consuming stitchery that went into historic clothing. Can you imagine wearing such garments?! I was never really interested in Chinese wear, until I watched a series on Ghengis Khan, and the costumes were nothing less than awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I share your amazement, Jeri. I wonder if the centuries-old emperor's garments were actually worn very often. They are dazzling!

      xo

      Delete
  15. I think that this exhibit would be reason enough to visit your city! What a way to spend a couple of days!
    I, too, appreciate the snow of pink petals. We are now experiencing quite a blizzard of white and lilac petals - much better than the cold stuff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pondside, I know that you would find this exhibit a joy to see. One of the display cases shows a huge square of embroidered silk. It's a elegant royal robe that was never cut and sewn into shape as a finished garment.

      It's the lightness of the delicate pink petals that charms me.

      xo

      Delete
  16. Oh how I love what my kids used to call cherry snow!

    The exhibition looks amazing and your little painting adorable Frances :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Annie, your children named the petals very well!

      I wish that you could see the exhibit. The colors of the very old garments and the embroidery colors are quite astonishing. It would be so interesting to see the exhibit with you and have you tell me what you think might have been the natural sources of those colors.

      There is a huge exhibition catalogue book, which I've not yet looked at. I'm not sure if it is mostly photographs or perhaps might actually have some detailed information that is surely not included anywhere in the exhibit.

      Thank you for your kind words about the watercolor. xo

      Delete
  17. There was snow in Colorado today. I like your pink flakes so much better. As for the exhibition it must be quite a experience to see all these stunning outfits. Your photos gave a good idea of what it must have been like = a feast for the eyes, indeed, to look at these elaborate costumes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Vagabonde, drifts of petals are much more fun! Perhaps you'll be able to see the China show...it's on through mid-August.

      xo

      Delete
  18. Oh, I love this tender pink snow-like blanket! I imagine how people walked and smiled!
    Thanks for taking us on this exposition! It's quite an impressive one and there's so much to be seen and admired, even if you are not a fashion-fan or follower (as I am)!:)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you, Rossichka, for those kind words. I know you would love the China show. The exhibition's curators and designers used many very clever and effective effects throughout the show. Very theatrical! xo

    ReplyDelete