Decades of Style

Clothes tell the story of an age. A dress can reveal the defining spirit of a particular period, or capture the preoccupations of a historical moment. These examples from the 2015 exhibition, High Style: The Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, help trace the evolution of fashion over the twentieth century. 

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Definitely Not Boring Brown

What’s the first thing you notice when you look at the table above? The unexpected and eye-catching red, green and white of the decoration is quite striking in what seems like an otherwise conventional piece of 18th-century furniture. This writing table was crafted between 1745-1749 in France by a master cabinetmaker, or ébéniste, known to the world by his initials, BVRB (for Bernard II van Risen Burgh).

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Transits: Moving Strontium

Debra Evans, head conservator, and Victoria Binder, associate conservator, discuss the challenges of moving this massive artwork, the pressure of working against the clock, and why you shouldn’t bother asking a conservator for cleaning advice.

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Indispensable: t.w.five
Indispensable: t.w.five

“Indispensable” is a series that asks the de Young’s Artists in Residence to describe a tool that’s essential to their work.

“I cut myself all the time. She never does.”

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How to Defy Gravity
Woman's headcover

Woman's headcover (adghar ibrdane tasslit), early to mid 20th century Morocco. Anti-Atlas, Ait Abdellah people, 61 x 33 7/16 in. FAMSF, museum purchase, Textile Arts Council Endowment Fund

Anne Getts, Mellon Assistant Textiles Conservator

On the Grid: Textiles & Minimalism, currently on view in the Textiles Gallery at the de Young, presented the textile conservation lab with a variety of mounting challenges. Among these challenges was determining the ideal way to display a dip-dyed and hand painted Moroccan woman’s headcover, or adghar ibrdane tasslit, with a bulky tassel located at each of the four corners.

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Photo Competition: “A Ruscha With Words”
The image on the far right (OK) should be cropped to eliminate the black strip at the bottom (it's background, not a part of the image). This might require the detail to be enlarged a bit to fit the rectangle.

L-R: Ed Ruscha, Rancho (detail), 1968. Oil on canvas, 60 x 54 in. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Steven and Alexandra Cohen, 2006; Ed Ruscha, There and Here, State II (detail), 2007. Color lithograph, 18 5/8 x 27 15/16 in. Gift of the Artist; Ed Ruscha, God Knows Where (detail), 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 in. Collection of Robert Lehrman, courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman; Ed Ruscha, OK (State II) (detail), 1990. Color lithograph, 27 1/16 x 35 15/16 in. FAMSF, museum purchase, Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund. All images © Ed Ruscha

Along with a passion for California and the West Coast, a key theme in Ed Ruscha's work and Ed Ruscha and the Great American West is the abundance and playfulness of words. Throughout his career, Ruscha experimented with words, song lyrics and sayings, even filling notebooks with them and waiting for the moment that the temperature of a word becomes "really hot."

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