Last chance to see The Mint Museum’s Chanel and Aesthetic Ambitions exhibitions is Sunday

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If you’ve been meaning to head over to Mint Museum Randolph to see two of the acclaimed exhibitions on display, “Chanel: Designs for the Modern Woman” and “Aesthetic Ambitions: Edward Lycett and Brooklyn’s Faience Manufacturing Company,” you’d better hurry. After this Sunday, February 26, they’ll both be gone.

The museum’s Chanel exhibition, drawn from its own Historic Costume & Fashionable Dress collection, has earned praise in national and international publications, including Marie Claire (www.marieclaire.com/blog/fashion-museum-exhibitions), which declared it one of “10 fashion-focused museum exhibitions you can’t miss”; MTV’s fashion blog (http://fora.mtv.ca/2012/01/12-fashion-exhibits-we-want-to-see-in-2012/); and EcoSalon (http://ecosalon.com/from-azzedine-alaia-to-yves-saint-laurent-the-fashion-exh…. The exhibition presents the iconic haute couture designs of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (1883-1971), who remains a pivotal figure among the major designers who shaped the landscape of women’s fashion in the 20th century. She pioneered a new look for women in the early 1900s, creating clothes that were primarily comfortable, yet lasting in both their construction and style. Replacing the restrictive corset with casual elegance, her fashion repertoire included simple suits and dresses, women’s trousers, costume jewelry, and perfume.

Chanel: Designs for the Modern Woman includes works dating from the 1920s to the present, augmented by a selection of accessories, sketches, and other fashion-related materials. Sponsored by U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, the exhibition opened May 21.
Aesthetic Ambitions: Edward Lycett and Brooklyn’s Faience Manufacturing Company presents unique examples of American art pottery from the late 1800s. During the 1880s, the Faience Manufacturing Company (1881-1892) of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, earned critical acclaim for producing ornamental wares that introduced a new standard of excellence in American ceramics. These bold and eclectic wares displayed a synthesis of Japanese, Chinese, and Islamic influences characteristic of the Aesthetic Movement style. The firm owed its artistic and commercial success to Edward Lycett (1833-1910), an English china painter who became its artistic director in 1884.

Lycett and his team of decorators produced pieces that were sold in the foremost jewelry and china shops throughout the United States, such as Tiffany & Co. in New York and Bailey Banks and Biddle in Philadelphia. Nearly 40 objects drawn from public and private collections are on display, including vases, ewers, plates, and other decorative wares. The exhibition, which opened September 17, is organized and circulated by the University of Richmond Museums, Virginia.

The Chanel exhibition is slated to be replaced by a cutting-edge show originating from the museum’s Historic Costume & Fashionable Dress collection, opening May 12, 2012. Details will be announced closer to opening. Aesthetic Ambitions will be replaced by a very special exhibition of pottery by a Charlotte artist with deep ties to The Mint Museum. As previously announced, Sophisticated Surfaces: The Pottery of Herb Cohen will bring together approximately 60 works, including selections from the Mint’s permanent collection and loans from numerous private collections. Many of Cohen’s works feature intricate, abstract patterns carved into the clay surface, along with innovative experimentations in glazing. The Manhattan-born Cohen settled in Charlotte in the late 1950s, where he joined the staff of The Mint Museum and served as its acting director from 1968 to 1969. In the 1970s he moved to Blowing Rock, N.C. to establish his own studio, but returned to Charlotte in 2010, where he remains active in the local arts community. This exhibition is organized as part of the Mint’s celebration of its 75th anniversary and will be on view from April 7, 2012 through January 6, 2013.

For more information on these and other exhibitions, visit mintmuseum.org. Select images from Chanel: Designs for the Modern Woman;Aesthetic Ambitions: Edward Lycett and Brooklyn’s Faience Manufacturing Company; and Sophisticated Surfaces: The Pottery of Herb Cohen are available upon request. (Media members please note: All exhibitions discussed in this news release are at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road, NOT the uptown Charlotte location of the Mint. Please be sure to make this clear to your readers, viewers and listeners.)

ABOUT THE MINT MUSEUM

As the oldest art museum in North Carolina, and the art museum with the largest collection between New Orleans and Washington D.C., The Mint Museum offers its visitors inspiring and transformative experiences through art from around the world via innovative collections, ground-breaking exhibitions, riveting educational programs, and profound scholarship. The Mint Museum is a non-profit, visual arts institution comprised of two dynamic facilities: Mint Museum Uptown and Mint Museum Randolph.
Located in what was the original branch of the United States Mint, Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte’s Eastover neighborhood as the first art museum in North Carolina. Today, in a beautiful park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, historic costume and fashionable dress, European and African art, among other collections. Resources include a reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions.

Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally renowned Craft + Design collection, as well as outstanding collections of American, contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility combines inspiring architecture with cutting-edge exhibitions to provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning center city, Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center. Mint Museum Uptown also features a wide range of visitor amenities, including the 240-seat James B. Duke Auditorium, the Lewis Family Gallery, art studios, a restaurant, and a museum shop. For more information, check out mintmuseum.org.

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