College of Design

Goldstein Museum of Design

March 24, 2015

Object of the Week: Disaster Print


Many screen prints explore the beauty of flora, entice us to see elegant forms of wildlife, and represent common objects in delightful ways. This piece skillfully uses texture and color to relate the violence of an earthquake that hit Ghana on June 22, 1939. This 20-30 second quake registered 6.5 on the Richter scale and could be felt by people living up to 750,000 km away. The flat areas of color in the clenched fist, lightning bolts, and snapping palm trees highlight the aggression of natural disasters against a backdrop of finely detailed building structures.

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Screen print on cotton, 2 color ways, 1940-1945, Artist unknown, Gift of Janna DeLue

Many cultures around the world hold belief in something akin to the evil eye, whereby bad things are brought on by the malevolent glares of powerful beings. The blatant use of symbolism in this print indicates a culture that recognizes the diminutive nature of mankind. The building depicted on the bottom of the print is the colonial-era General Post Office of Ghana, which still stands today as a post office and bank. The time on the clock tower reads 7:20, the exact time the earthquake struck.


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March 16, 2015

Object of the Week: Spacecraft or Kitchen Appliance?


Though it looks as if it would feel at home on Mars, this 11.75 - inch tall hand juicer would more likely be found on a kitchen counter.


Juicer, 1990
Phillip Starck for Alessi

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March 9, 2015

What is this? Object of the Week: Constructivism


Joaquín Torres-García (1874-1949), renowned artist born to an Uruguyan mother and Catalan father, was considered the father of Latin American Constructivism. Torres-García's life and work had significant presence in many regions including Uruguy, Catalonia, France, and the United States. As a young artist he collaborated with architect Antonio Gaudi, creating stained glass windows for a cathedral in Mallorca. He was also part of a counter-Surrealist movement in France during the early 20th century, and worked on many Constructivist related publications.

"Arte Constructivo" Joaquín Torres García, 1943 source:

Around 1920 Torres-García started designing complex toys that contradicted common preconceptions about the simplicity of children's building blocks. This wood block set, purchased in 2014 at the Museo Torres-García in Uruguy, is a re-issue of one of his early 20th century designs. The 10 blocks can be reconfigured into nine different dogs.



Juguettes Transformables, Joaquín Torres García, 2014 (re-issue of circa 1920 set), Gift of Brad Hokanson

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March 3, 2015

A Legacy in the GMD Collection

We remember Margot Siegel with a look at her contribution to the GMD collection

The Goldstein Museum of Design said farewell to one of its most ardent supporters, Margot Siegel, a lifetime member and donor, who passed away on February 24. As the daughter of Jeanne Auerbacher, a revered buyer for Dayton's Oval Room, Siegel began developing her keen eye for fashion at a young age. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1944, Siegel drew on her vast knowledge of design throughout her long career. She worked for publications like Women's Wear Daily, wrote the book Look Forward to a Career! Fashion (1970), and contributed to the Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005).

Left: image of Siegel from the Star Tribune, 1942; Right: (left to right) Margot's business partner Gloria Hogan, designer Bonnie Cashin, and Siegel

Her long list of accomplishments also includes founding Friends of the Goldstein Museum at the University of Minnesota. Additionally, for more than 40 years, the always fashionable Siegel continually donated pieces from her personal collection to the Goldstein Museum of Design - making a particularly substantial contribution to the breadth and quality of the costume collection. She will be deeply missed. A selection of her generous gifts is featured below.

Evening Dress with Matching Stole and Handbag, Nettie Rosenstein, 1940-1945, Gift of Margot Siegel (1975.002.012a-d)

Wool dress and jacket, Pauline Trigere, 1950-1959, Gift of Margot Siegel (1975.002.007a-b)

Jacket and skirt, Emilio Pucci, 1960-1969, gift of Margot Siegel (1982.073.001a-b)

Left: knit dress, Missoni, 1970-1979, gift of Margot Siegel (1987.040.003); Right: knit blouse and skirt, Missoni, 1970-1979, gift of Margot Siegel (1987.040.006a-b)

Palazzo pants, Donald Brooks, 1970-1979, Gift of Margot Siegel, (1975.006.002)

Grey wool dress, Donna Karan, 1984-1985, gift of Margot Siegel (1993.060.005)

Posted by Goldstein Museum of Design at 1:59 PM | | Comments (2)

December 22, 2014

Entirely & Enjoyably Extra: The Holiday Hat

This time of year is filled with many festive celebrations. These various holiday parties have long been accompanied by special, and often new, ensembles - maybe a suit or evening dress. Or, as a 1951 issue of Vogue suggests: "New December Hats."

From Vogue:

It happens every year, just about now. The urge to spend just a dab of money for something new, something fetching, something entirely and enjoyably extra. So we thought - how about this? The little hat (that maybe isn't even that) with only one serious purpose: to make you look prettier (p. 141).

The cover and inside of the December 1951 issue of Vogue.

This hat might have been a subdued pillbox, like the one below (right). Black satin forms stylized flowers around its sideband. This structured, brimless style of hat was introduced in the 1920s and became particularly popular during the 1960s, being frequently worn by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Left: Turban, 1950-1959. Christian Dior [1905-1957]. Gift of Jack Morgan Wilson (1987.029.013). Right: Hat, 1950-1959. Gift of Mrs. John Gill (1984.016.004).

Or, perhaps Vogue readers would have donned a draped turban - like this black satin and fringe version from Christian Dior (center and left). The style has ancient beginning but also experienced popularity during the 1950s. A 1955 article in the Times suggests that Dior helped to incite this trend with a "Persian draped turban hat in...[a] silk brocade" (p. 10).

Hat, 1950-1959, Gift of Mrs. John Gill 1984.016.020.

More daring readers might have taken a slightly more literal approach to the holiday season - like this Christmas-tree shaped hat. While the green, Russian-net veil nods to other hats from this era, the rest of the hat certainly does not. Green leaves form the tree, which is decorated with everything from sequins to Santa, and other holiday iconography. In some respects, this hat-that's-not-shaped-like-a-hat is reminiscent of Elsa Schiaparelli's surrealist designs, especially her shoe hat (Winter 1937-38). A peek at the label inside reveals that it was sold by Harold, a former dress shop in downtown Minneapolis. One can only image what kind of party dress might have been worn with this unique hat.

New December Hats. (December, 1951). Vogue, pp. 140-141.
Picture Gallery. (September 1, 1955). Times. p. 10.
Shapiro, E. (1990). Many Small Clothiers Are Closing. The New York Times. Retrieved from

By Laureen Gibson

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