College of Design

Goldstein Museum of Design

March 2012 Archives

On Tuesday March 13, GMD received an enthusiastic visit from the North Oaks Villagers Needleworks group. The white gloves were on and Assistant Curator, Jean McElvain, had many unique needlework and quilted pieces from GMD's collection ready to show the group. Gathered around one end of the table, the group let out a simultaneous "ooh" for each piece Jean set in front of them.

One of the group favorites was a silk robe and sash by Kiss of the Wolf (1982, Gift of Sandra Sprenkle). This blue-green ankle length robe is hand-dyed with an overall intentional watermarked pattern, dark blue splash accents, and beige and pink koi. These surface elements are all carefully accentuated through machine quilting. One group member commented, "That's amazing, I want to learn how to do that!"

Two other standouts were pieces by Anna Carlson, a nationally known designer who is currently teaching apparel design studios in the College of Design, as well as working on an MFA. Her blue linen jacket (1996, Gift of Anna Carlson) is created from a range of blue-hued, hand-dyed pieces that are brought together through stitching techniques and appliqué. One group member was surprised to find that Carlson does her own design and construction, and another member commented on the "lovely colors."

The second piece by Carlson was a black, hip-length, silk jacket (2004, Gift of Kathleen Campbell). The jacket is lined in black organdy with asymmetrical cutwork patterns of ginko leaves on the front and back. The elegance of the piece led one group member to comment, "You could wear that for years and years."

It was a pleasure to hear the animated conversation during the visit from the North Oaks group. Schedule your own group visit, or search the 30,000 items in GMD's collection from the comfort of your home!

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By Jenny Parker: Goldstein Museum of Design Graduate Assistant,
MFA candidate in Graphic Design and Museum Studies

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Leonard Parker: An Architect's Architect
Friday, March 23, 6-8pm
HGA Gallery, Rapson Hall, Minneapolis Campus
Light refreshments served
sponsored by the College of Design School of Architecture, AIA Minnesota, and GMD

Leonard Parker's contribution to the College of Design's School of Architecture and Twin Cities' architecture is virtually unparalleled. In a career that included several decades of teaching in the School of Architecture, Parker showed generations of students not only how to become skilled designers, but also how to work in ways that would help ensure their own success in the profession.

Parker was also counted among the most prominent architects in the Twin Cities, establishing successful architecture firm The Leonard Parker Associates (TLPA) in 1958. TLPA designed many functional and handsome Minnesota landmarks, some of which include the University of Minnesota Law School (1978), the Minneapolis Convention Center (1989 & 2002), and the Minnesota Judicial Center (1998).

LeonardParker.jpgLinda Mack noted in a StarTribune article after Parker's passing, "Parker's death signals the end of an era. He was one of the young Modernists who shaped postwar Minnesota. Along with his peers James Stageberg, Bruce Abrahamson and John Rauma and their mentor Ralph Rapson (all deceased), he studied with the European giants who brought the International Style to America. Form follows function was their mantra. Architecture was their love."

Hanging on a wall in his office are many personal quotes, one of which reads, "Find out what you're here to do. Do the best you possibly can. And do it all the time." He was an inspiration to the lives that he touched, and continues to inspire architecture through his work.

Please join us in celebrating Leonard Parker's life, work, and legacy.

By Jenny Parker: GMD Graduate Assistant, and James Dozier: GMD Program Director, HGA Gallery

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We are excited to introduce Sherry Sanden Will, a junior in the Apparel Design program who received a grant to work with GMD's collection. Learn more below, then check out her blog Sherry's Fashion Foray featuring some of her personal research and photos.

IMG_7634.jpgAs an apparel design student at the University of Minnesota, College of Design, I feel very fortunate to have the treasures in the collection of the Goldstein Museum of Design right at my fingertips. Through my studies I have learned that much insight and inspiration can be gained by looking at past fashions. As part of my project, I have created a blog to share my observations and research results.

I am currently working on a research project funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) at the University of Minnesota. This program gives undergraduate students like me the opportunity to write my own research proposal and investigate something that interests me. My project is the analysis of couture suits designed in the 1950s and 1960s. I chose this topic, because I have always liked the silhouettes of the 1950s peplum jacket, as well as the boxier two piece suit first lady Jackie Kennedy wore in the 1960s. I was delighted to get permission from GMD to analyze couture suits in the collection for my research. My goal in this research is to analyze the couture techniques used, so that I may reproduce these techniques in my own designs.

My methods of analysis are simple; observe and record what I see, and my list of tools is short; white gloves, measuring tape, magnifying glass and digital camera. I have spent many an hours photographing a wide variety of details, obvious and concealed, for 30 different suits designed in the 1950s and 1960s.

The main technique that I observed, and which I believe gives these fashions such a special polished look is hand stitching. This is not surprising since we are talking about couture fashions made for specific individuals. Hand stitching is observed in the attachment of linings, zippers, hems, buttons, bound button holes, keyhole button holes, pad stitching of lapels and collars and finishing of seam edges. Special details include widespread use of bound button holes, special fabrics (mostly wool with silk linings), two and three piece sleeves, fancy buttons, bows, underlinings, wide seam allowances, pleats and vents.

By Sherry Sanden Will, Junior majoring in Apparel Design

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It has been 30 years since costume designer Jack Edwards and opera star Mildred Miller have seen each other, but it seemed like the two had never parted. Both charismatic and quick witted, they joked together all afternoon during Miller's visit to the exhibition Character in Costume: A Jack Edwards Retrospective. Miller loaned 4 concert dresses and many photos to the exhibition; she remembers wearing each piece, and pointed out how beautifully they each fit.

IMG_0479.JPGMiller worked with the Metropolitan Opera for 23 years after her 1951 debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. She has performed in many concerts around the nation, and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show several times. Miller and Edwards met in the 1960's while he was designing in New York City, and they became fast friends. Miller is now a teacher and coach at Carnegie Mellon School of Music, and said jokingly, "yes I'm still working at my age, they won't let me quit!"

Museum exhibitions can serve as places for teaching and learning, a way to look at the past or present, and in this case as a meeting ground for old friends. Learn more about Miller and Edwards, and see all of the beautiful costumes in Character in Costume: A Jack Edwards Retrospective, and view photos of Miller's visit.

By Jenny Parker: Goldstein Museum of Design Graduate Assistant,
MFA candidate in Graphic Design and Museum Studies

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By Eunice Haugen, GMD Registrar

The Girls Scouts are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. This fact in itself does not stir much within me, but the image of this 1950's uniform in our collection does. Although this uniform pre-dates my time with the Scouts (c.1962-1969) it evokes many memories. My family was very poor and my mother very industrious. One of my first scouting uniforms was used and it was from the 1950's and looked very similar to the one in our collection. I was the only girl with a "vintage" uniform, if only I had looked at it that way; to me it was just one more way I was set apart from the group.

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After I out grew the used uniform, or pleaded long enough to have an updated uniform, my mother made me my second uniform. Again I was the only one with a homemade uniform setting me apart from the other girls. In retrospect I realize it was very accommodating and loving of my mother to find the used uniform, probably alter to fit and make me the second uniform so that in her mind I would be like the rest of the girls.

By the time I reached Cadets in Junior High I made my own green skirt, and purchased the official white blouse. At the time, Dayton's department store had a section devoted just to Scouting including official fabric and patterns to make your own uniform. It was sort of the Sears and Roebuck's catalog of scouting...a place to dream of all the badges I could earn and aspire to, and the store bought uniform I never had.

As a child, what did you dream to wear? View GMD's 30,000 collection items on our digital database, and search for your childhood design dreams.

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At the forefront of today's struggle to reduce consumption, learn about Zurich's plan at the exhibition Smarter Living: The 2,000-Watt Society, which closes this Sunday, March 11. The exhibition illustrates the goal and the current plan of sustainable construction in Zurich, and demonstrates the diverse range of possible solutions.

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Martin J. Bienz, Consul General of Switzerland in Chicago,
College of Design Dean Tom Fisher, and Umberto Dindo, FAIA

On February 15, we were delighted to host architect Umberto Dindo, Principal of Dindo Architect P.C in New York City. Umberto was born and educated in Switzerland and was contacted by the Swiss Consulate to speak about the exhibition and Zurich's commitment to sustainability. Umberto explained that Zurich citizens voted to decrease energy use in 2008, approving a referendum that set the goal of reducing energy consumption by each person from the current 6,500 watt to 2,000 watt by 2050. Both new construction buildings and renovations in Zurich are made to be more efficient and low energy, intended to give architects, investors and contractors the courage and desire to continue on this path, and to invite them to accept the vision of the 2,000-watt society.

This exhibition illustrates 18 projects that take different approaches to sustainable architecture with complex technical solutions and clever references to traditional construction methods in small and large projects, retro fitting old housing stock, and new urban developments. What is being done today needs to be part of the future. In Switzerland, "Green" is no longer an option, it's the Law!

Be sure to check out this exhibition before it closes on March 11, and be sure to check out GMD's upcoming exhibitions.


By Jenny Parker: Goldstein Museum of Design Graduate Assistant,
MFA candidate in Graphic Design and Museum Studies


Two pieces from GMD's collection will be on view for the upcoming exhibition Layered Abstraction: Quilting and Contemporary Fiber Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art from March 10 - August 26. This exhibition explores the relationship between contemporary fiber artists and American folk quilts. The artists featured in this exhibition explore the personal expression through references to traditional textile art, drawing inspiration from the quilt's geometric structure, contrasting, often bold color and fabric combinations, and decorative layers of stitches.

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The first dress dress (1960-1969, Gift of La Vonne Collisson) by Mila Schön uses the same techniques and aesthetic that are used in patchwork quilts. The regularity of the
stripes provide a unifying element despite the many different fabrics used. Mila Schön (1916-2008) began her career in 1958, working in a high-fashion atelier in Milan, eight years later she opened her own boutique. The house of Mila Schön is now owned by the fashion group Mariella Burani, although Schön continued personally to supervise the
designs of the business she had founded.

GMD1978020008-5-jpg634467578225464418.jpg The second dress by Gideon Oberson (Gift of Margot Siegel) dates from the same time period as the Schon dress. The silhouette of the dress is simple but it's construction is highly complex with strong design elements of geometric insets. Oberson is one of Israel's leading designers and now specializes in swimwear.

Both of these pieces use abstract shapes and pattern quilted together, creating bold and unique results. To see more photos of these or other pieces, search GMD's Digital Database, and be sure to check out Layered Abstraction: Quilting and Contemporary Fiber Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art from March 10 - August 26.

By Jenny Parker: GMD Graduate Assistant, and
Eunice Haugen: GMD Registrar




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