Tag Archive | metropolitan museum of art

Eye On Design: Upholstered Chair Hat By Karl Lagerfeld

upholstered chair hat by karl lagerfeld photo by gail worley
Photos by Gail

Karl Lagerfeld (19382019), an avid collector of rare books, art and antiques, conceived of a series of accessories inspired by eighteenth-century French decorative arts for his autumn/winter 1985-86 collection. The fashion designer worked closely with milliner Kirsten Woodward to arrive at this Upholstered Chair Hat, and other witty translations of miniaturized furniture based on Lagerfeld’s sketched interpretations of original objects from reference photos.

upholstered chair hat by karl lagerfeld photo by gail worley

The resulting hats were a playful pastiche of historical references, infused with elements of Surrealism and executed with vivid opulence that was often characteristic of 1980s fashion.

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Chess Player (The Turk)

Chess Player The Turk Photo by Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

This elaborate automaton is a reproduction of the original Chess Player (The Turk) built by Hungarian author and inventor Wolfgang von Kempelen. Touted as an android that could defeat chess masters, von Kempelen’s famed illusion debuted at the court of Empress Maria Theresa during wedding celebrations for her daughter in 1769. Over the course of the eighteenth century, the Chess Player (known in its time as The Turk for its robes and turban) won games against Catherine the Great and Benjamin Franklin. When Napoleon Bonaparte tried to cheat, The Turk wiped all the pieces from the chessboard. In reality, a chess master would hide inside the lefthand cupboard.

Chess Player The Turk Photo by Gail Worley

The mysterious machine sparked discussions of the possibilities and limits of artificial intelligence, and it inspired development of the power loom, the telephone, and the computer. The original and its secrets were destroyed in a fire in 1854. This reproduction is by American magician, John Gaughan.

Photographed as part of the exhibit Making Marvels at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Bronzino (Angola di Cosimo di Mariano), Portrait of a Young Man

Portrait of a Young Man By Bronzino Photo By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

The sitter of this arresting work, Portrait of a Young Man (1530s) remains unknown, but he was part of Bronzino’s close circle of literary friends in Florence, and probable holds a book of poetry. The artist was himself a poet, delighting as much in the beauty of language as he did in the witty and fanciful details of his paintings. Here, viewers would have appreciated the carved grotesque heads on the table and chair, and the almost hidden, mask-like face suggested in the folds of the youth’s breeches as comments unmasks and disguises. Bronzino has delineated a sophisticated visual identity for the sitter.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye on Design: Lilac Headband by Adolfo

Lilac Headband by Adolfo Photo By Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

This Lilac Headband (1960s) by Adolfo (Adolfo Sardina) recalls historical styles of the mid-nineteenth century, conjuring Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s portrait The Empress Eugenie Surrounded by her Ladies-in-Waiting (1855). At the same time, the clouds of lilac blooms and traditionally feminine bow at the center of this headband also speak to contemporaneous ideas and aesthetics, channeling the flower power movement of the late 1960s, and early 1970s, and skillfully striking a balance between moments of meticulous coordination and carefree, romantic hippie styles of dress.

Lilac Headband Installation View By Gail Worley

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Lipstick Bracelet and Brooch By Karl Lagerfeld

Lipstick Pin and Bracelet By Karl Lagerfeld Photo By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

This matching Bracelet and Brooch are composed of a vibrant rainbow of resin Lipsticks that humorously assert the decorative nature of cosmetic products.  While both by Karl Lagerfeld and the jewelry designer Ugo Correani were known for their postmodern sampling of objects and ideas, the tendency to inflate scale in order to invest drama was a particular strength of Correani.

Lipstick Bracelet By Karl Lagerfeld Phot By Gail Worley

In the words of Lagerfeld, “He has a magic touch. No one can compare to him . . . He’s modern, not afraid to be oversized, but with the right eye for proportion.”

Lipstick Pin By Karl Lagerfeld By Gail Worley

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Discover Sexy Secrets of The Met On The Unhung Heroes Tour!


Above Graphic and Most Photos By Kat Bentley, Except Where Noted

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has possibly the broadest collection of art in the world; spanning more than 5000 years of objects from across the globe — from the first cities of the ancient world to works being created today. In my 30 years of living in NYC, I’ve visited the museum maybe a hundred times, and I’ve barely even begun to explore its hundreds of galleries. While a dozen new exhibits open at The Met each season, offering no shortage of incentive to plan a visit, what can be really exciting is to discover the hidden works in the museum’s collection that you might otherwise walk right by and never notice. That’s one reason why I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend a press preview of a new Met tour called Unhung Heroes of the Metropolitan, offered by the popular Shady Ladies Tours. As you might infer by the cheeky name, Unhung Heroes explores male members in paintings and sculptures across the museum, and it is all kinds of crazy fun!

Penis Oil Vessel Photo By Gail Worley
You May Hear the Story Behind This Penis-Shaped Oil Vessel (Photo By Gail)

Penis Oil Vessel By Kat Bentley

Expertly guided by Professor Andrew Lear, the founder of Shady Ladies Tours, the Unhung Heroes tour explores the naughty side of classic artworks, and considers burning questions such as:

Are the members in these artworks true to life size?

Were men really smaller back then?

Why are many of the statues’ missing body parts?

Is there hidden phallic symbolism in your favorite painting?

For museum-goers who’ve lost sleep over these and other questions, this tour will school you beyond your wildest dreams. As a leading scholar on the history of sexuality, Andrew Lear is one of the foremost authorities on the erotic in Greek and Roman art. Beyond his historical knowledge, Professor Lear is completely hilarious and has tons of amazing stories that will keep you fully engaged, laughing and entertained over the 90-minute walking tour. Here are a few of the artworks you might see on the Unhung Heroes Tour!

Greek Pottery Shard By Gail Worley
Photo by Gail

One of the first things Professor Lear will introduce you to are the aesthetic ideals of Greek culture and how they have affected the history of art without clothes.  In these ancient times, penis size as depicted in artworks was a reflection of a man’s social status. If a man was of high status, he will generally be depicted with a smaller penis, as a sign of refinement and class.

Dionysus and his Servant By Gail Worley
Photo by Gail

For example, this wine vessel depicts a scene of Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine, and one of his man-servants. You can see that Dionysus‘ junk is completely covered up, while his servant, though naked, has a very modest penis.

Ancient Greek Sculpture By Gail Worley

By contrast, this adjacent, carved figure of a reclining, overweight and quite unattractive man has his stuff all out on display, which was considered vulgar and low class.

Erect Satyr By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

Dr. Lear really knows where to find all the fun examples of large members being associated with beasts as opposed to fine gentlemen. The above pottery shard shows a drunken Satyr (half goat and half man) with an obvious boner who is so wasted he doesn’t even notice that a donkey is walking over him. The word printed above him is his name, which translates to “Not Beautiful.” I love that story.

Masturbating Satyr By Kat Bentley

Here are three Satyrs masturbating. There is no way you would ever find this artwork if it was not pointed out to you. You’re welcome.

Other sexy facts about the ancient Greeks that you might enjoy knowing:

Greek men worked out constantly and they did so completely in the nude. The word Gymnasium literally means “Naked Place.”

While homoerotic practices are sometimes euphemistically referred to as ‘Greek Love,’ Professor Lear pointed out that the Greeks did not approve of anal sex, while the Romans did!

More Penises After the Jump!

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Eye On Design: Pink and Black Sequined Mini Dress By Stephen Sprouse

Sequined Mini Dress By Stephen Sprouse Photo By Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

This Pink and Black Sequined Mini Dress (autumn / winter 1983 84) is characteristic of paradoxical charm of the work of Stephen Sprouse (19532004). He often sited the cutout, mini-skirted styles that designers like Andre Courreges and Rudi Gernreich introduced in the 1960s, yet he reartciluated these silhouettes within the distinct cultural context of 1980s New York. From his debut collection, he established a unique look, artfully integrating pop culture and street style into youthful fashions executed in luxurious materials.

Sequined Mini Dress By Stephen Sprouse Photo By Gail Worley

Sprouse was particularly known for his ability to sketch: the graffiti motifs developed for his textiles were frequently drawn by his own hand. The scrawled neon print of this dress has been skillfully engineered and embroidered with a gleaming layer if clear paillettes, lending a patina of glamour to an otherwise edgy garment.

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Breakfast Suit By Christian Francis Roth

Breakfast Suit By Christian Francis Roth Photo By Gail Worley
All Photos By Gail

Following the lineage of witty designs by creators that include Elsa Schiaparelli and Franco Moschino, this playful Breakfast Suit (Spring / Summer 1990) by Christian Francis Roth employs the Surrealist strategy of displacing everyday objects from their normal environment.

Breakfast Suit By Christian Francis Roth Photo By Gail Worley

Here, a pair of fried eggs are fastidiously pieced down the center front of an otherwise staid, black linen ensemble. Aptly entitled the Breakfast suit, the garment is beautifully constructed, stitched with a level of workmanship and seriousness that belies the joke (yolk)

Breakfast Suit By Christian Francis Roth Photo By Gail Worley
Exhibit Installation View

Roth became known for his engagement with art history and popular culture. His interest in humor and storytelling, combined with an avid devotion to detail, are hallmarks of his work. As the designer himself remarked: “Humor is very important. The quality has to be there, too, otherwise the humor falls dead and the designs just look silly,”

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Butterfly Headpiece By Philip Treacy

Butterfly Headpiece By Philip Treacy Photo By Gail Worley
Photos By Gail

This Butterfly Headpiece (2003) by Philip Treacy epitomizes the milliner’s untethered and imaginative approach to design. A swarm of butterflies is assembled from exquisitely worked turkey feathers that were cut, painted and hand-fashioned into delicate, fluttering forms. Butterflies are one of the most potent symbols of collecting. Rooted in taxidermic systems yet resplendent with poetry, the insect occupies a prominent spot in most European Wunderkammern, or cabinets of curiosities. Because of its transformative nature, the butterfly has inspired infinite metaphor, and within the realm of fashion the analogy has particularly flourished. It easily applies to the accessories in the collection of Sandy Schreier, which is full of items that hold the potential for dramatic metamorphosis.

Butterfly Headpiece By Philip Treacy Photo By Gail Worley

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Glass Flower Necklace By House of Chanel

Chanel Glass Flower Necklace By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

One of the enduring legacies of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was her elevation of costume jewelry to high fashion. Maison Gripoix, a house that has serviced the couture industry since its founding in 1869, was among her earliest and most frequent collaborators. The company’s specialized pate de verre (glass paste) technique was developed by the founder, Augustine Gripoix, and passed down generationally. Instead of the kiln method employed by other manufacturers, the house pours molten glass directly into the sophisticated metal settings that frame its designs. This meticulous an costly process allows for greater freedom of coloration and form, and lends a subtle effervescence to the floating glass components. This wreath of graduated translucent flower heads (circa 1938) was produced by Gripoix for Chanel and reflects the late 1930s vogue for romantic nature-based motifs.

Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.