American Totem (1960) is one of a series of black-and-white paintings that Norman Lewis made which explore the emotional and psychic impact of the civil rights movement. Lewis, one of the few Black artists associated with Abstract Expressionism, created a form that evokes the infamous hooded Klansman, but the monolith is composed of a multitude of smaller forms resembling apparitions, skulls and masks.
Lewis’s work suggest that terror is both representable and abstract, conscious an unconscious, visible and hidden. The painting was made more than decade after Lewis’s first solo show at the Willard Gallery in New York in 1949, which had earned him considerable renown but neither the financial rewards nor exhibition opportunities if his peers.
In 1960, Norman Norrell created one of his most daring and sensational innovations, the first culotte-skirted, wool flannel day suit. Soon thereafter, he debuted the culotted evening dress. Although it took years to gain widespread popularity, Norell responded to the fact that modern women were more mobile than ever and needed clothing to match their lifestyles.
Pale Pink Beaded Culottes Dress (1961), Chiffon with Glass Beads
Because he was convinced of the culotte’s value and insisted that it be made perfectly, Norell offered to give away his pattern to other Seventh Avenue clothing companies free of charge.
Photographed as part of the Exhibit, Norell: Dean of American Fashion, on View Through April 14th, 2018 at the Musuem at FIT in Manhattan.
The unusual detail in this set, the GE Model 21C134 (1960) shows how television manufacturers tried to differentiate their products while selling essentially the same thing. The controls have been moved to the top, while the oversize wheels and large handle make the set easy to move. The color scheme suggests that the set was intended for an informal basement or “rumpus room” setting.
Photographed in the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria Queens, NY.
Matt Sorum, drummer for The Cult, Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver was born on this day, November 19th, in 1960. Older than me: yes! Speaking of Velvet Revolver, I’m reading this new book (just released November 10th) by Mary Forsberg Weiland – who I believe is in the process of becoming the ex-Mrs. Scott Weiland – called Fall To Pieces. Mary’s book is not just another Rock Wife Tells All piece of fluff. In the pages of the appropriately named Fall To Pieces, Forsberg talks a lot about her own life and career as a model and her drug and alcohol addictions, as well as her staggering battle with Bipolar disorder in addition to her rocky romance and eventual marriage to STP / Velvet Revolver’s hopelessly drug-addicted mess of a lead singer. Talk about having a full plate! To call this book a “page turner” is not strong enough of a recommendation. Fall To Pieces is available now wherever books are sold. Watch for a more in-depth review here on The ‘Gig in the coming weeks!