Friday File

I’ve started a new medication, and unfortunately headaches are a side effect. So as I’m typing this, it feels like someone is crushing my brain. As a result, this week’s links have a little less commentary than usual. Hope you can understand. And have a great weekend!

Colin Powell’s 60-year-old selfie.

Muppets on exhibition! So interesting to consider the muppets from a conservation point of view.

My friend Shaelyn goes on a bench-researching quest.

Did society drive van Gogh to commit suicide? A new exhibition in Paris explores that theory.

Painting with nail polish! These must be tricky to produce.

Stories about John Dillinger, Depression-era bank robber, always fascinate me. Recently, a tommy gun stolen by his gang in 1933 was returned to an Indiana town.

Shining Shots

corset, 1740-1760, and panier, 1770, photographed by Patricia Canino for Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Yesterday I came across a gallery of images for the new Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibition La mécanique des dessous, une histoire indiscrète de la silhouette, which explores the mechanics of foundation garments.

The photography is extraordinary. Shot by Patricia Canino, the undergarments are superbly lit so that they glow against the dark background. I had to share them.

bustle, 1887, photographed by Patricia Canino for Musée des Arts Décoratifs

butterfly bustle hoop, 1872, photographed by Patricia Canino for Musée des Arts Décoratifs

I’ve been to my fair share of historic fashion shoots, and it is incredibly difficult to execute these kind of images. First, the technical skills required to mount these garments must be flawless. The camera picks up the smallest wrinkles, so the form must be moulded to fit the piece perfectly. Then there’s creating symmetrical bows and finding the best drape of the fabric. The camera can spot stray specks of dust that the eye doesn’t catch. Sure photoshop can help, but the final image will be so much better if one takes care of those details from the start. And then lastly, it takes time and talent to light and photograph clothes like this.

paniers, 1775-1780, photographed by Patricia Canino for Musée des Arts Décoratifs

corset, 1770-1780, photographed by Patricia Canino for Musée des Arts Décoratifs

I love underwear. It’s fascinating to me to examine the understructures that literally create the fashionable shape. And these images really show them off in the best light.

Photo Shoot Today

Busy, busy, busy. Work is hectic, and then I come home and either crash or do more work. So as you have probably already guessed, this week is light on posting.

evening dress by Charles Frederick Worth, c. 1885, from Phoenix Art Museum, photographed by Ken Howie

The above Charles Frederick Worth gown was acquired and photographed for the Phoenix Art Museum while I was an intern there. I can still vividly remember assisting on that photo shoot.

Today, I am running a photo shoot of garments from the fashion study collection where I work. Hoping my own shoot goes as well as the first one I worked on in Phoenix. Wish me luck!

Art Madness

Columbus Museum of Art has a great Art Madness tournament going on right now on Facebook. A takeoff of the NCAA basketball tourney, the museum set up brackets featuring some of its most popular artwork from four different museum collections.

Each day two pieces went head to head when they were posted on Columbus Museum of Art’s Facebook wall. Whichever piece got the most likes moves on to the next round.

You can see the full bracket here.

Cornice, 1949 from Columbus Art Museum | The Breakfast, c 1885 from Columbus Art Museum

On Saturday, the Final Four match up was Cornice by George Tooker vs. The Breakfast by Edgar Degas, as seen above, and Sidewalk Clock, NYC by female photographer Ida Wyman vs. Nocturne Navigator also known as the Blue Lady by Alison Saar, as seen below.

Sidewalk Clock, NYC, 1947 from Columbus Art Museum | Nocturne Navigator, 1998 from Columbus Art Museum

Today is the final championship. To get in on the action, like Columbus Museum of Art’s page and like your favorite piece between the top two.