“Punk: Chaos to Couture”


The Met’s spring 2013 Costume Institute exhibition, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, will examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the early 1970s through its continuing influence today. Featuring approximately one hundred designs for men and women, the exhibition will include original punk garments and recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear borrow punk’s visual symbols.

Focusing on the relationship between the punk concept of “do-it-yourself” and the couture concept of “made-to-measure,” the seven galleries will be organized around the materials, techniques, and embellishments associated with the anti-establishment style. Themes will include New York and London, which will tell punk’s origin story as a tale of two cities, followed by Clothes for Heroes and four manifestations of the D.I.Y. aesthetic—HardwareBricolageGraffiti and Agitprop, and Destroy.

Presented as an immersive multimedia, multisensory experience, the clothes will be animated with period music videos and soundscaping audio techniques.

Videos from the show

The catalog for the show is on order in the Arts Division.



Read more at the NYT and here .

Books on Punk and Fashion











Dandies and Muses: Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity


A new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates fashion, art and their love of fashion  in 19th century Paris. This exhibit  illustrates how artists such as Monet, Seurat, Degas,  and other Impressionists responded to fashion between the 1860s and mid-1880s. With both masculine and feminine attire exhibited  we see the dialogue between art and fashion of the late nineteenth-century Parisian looks that inspired art of the day.

Fashion between those years was at its most beautiful. Opulent fabrics, the corset, tiny waists, stripes, gloves, bustles, and bows, all raised femininity to its highest. This was a pivotal time period for fashion and for Paris when the city emerged as a fashion mecca.

During these years Parisians saw a radical change in their city. Broad new avenues were places to be seen and the department store came into vogue. Ready-to-wear was suddenly available and the proliferation of fashion magazines allowed urban dwellers to see what they could expect in the new shops that were opening along these boulevards. Paris was a place to be seen and with so many choices the bourgeois women might change her outfit up to eight times a day.

As women and men began to look their best artists of the time period began to paint them in their high fashions. The mood portrayed by the Impressionists was one of vibrancy and seductive beauty with tightly corseted waists and elaborate decolletes that were on display in ballrooms and at the opera. An almost party like atmosphere was on display in art at this time. That atmosphere can be seen in Monet’s painting Luncheon on the Grass and in Jean Beraud’s An Evening Soiree.


Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Luncheon on the Grass


 Jean Beraud An Evening Soiree

In Bartholomé’s In the Conservatory, he painted his wife standing in a sunlight conservatory wearing a tightly corseted light summer frock. This exhibit pairs Bartholomé’s this life-size portrait portrait of Prosperie de Fleury Bartholomé in her purple striped dress with the actual dress she posed in.


Artists such as Manet and Degas shared an interest in shopping and both admired seeing the man as Dandies in their dark suits or frock coats and cuffs. This look contrasted with the opulence of the female companion’s attire. Monet particularly transferred this interest into his brightly colored paintings full of women and men both smartly dressed.

Some highlights of this exhibition include Monet’s Luncheon on the Grass (1865–66) and Women in the Garden (1866), Bartholomé’s In the Conservatory(circa 1881, paired with the sitter’s dress), and Degas’s The Millinery Shop(circa 1882–86) from the Art Institute of Chicago; Renoir’s The Loge (1874) from The Courtauld Gallery, London; and Cassatt’s In the Loge (1878) from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

NN ArtLibrarian@Central

The Art Division has a large selection books about this time period as seen below. This is just a sample sample of what we own. Click on image to access our catalog.













Becoming Modern: Armory Show Artists at the MAG

January 25-May 12, 2013


Gaston Lachaise, Standing Woman (1917). Gift of Charlotte Whitney Allen.

In 1913 the Armory Show in New York City shocked American artists and audiences with the radical abstractions of the European modernists. Later that year the Memorial Art Gallery opened its doors in Rochester, a city of predominantly conservative tastes at the time.

The Armory Show refers to the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art that was organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors. The exhibition ran in New York City’s 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets, from February 17 until March 15, and became an important event in the history of American art, introducing astonished New Yorkers, accustomed to realistic art to modern art. The show served as a catalyst for American artists, who became more independent and created their own “artistic language”.

On the 100th anniversary of both events, this exhibition at the MAG will explore how the Gallery’s history and collection have been shaped by the avant-garde art in the Armory Show and the Rochesterians who came to champion it. It will include over 35 paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by modernist masters including Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Stuart Davis and John Marin.




Some artists who exhibited in the original Armory show in 1913.

European Artists




American Artists




Memorial Art Gallery: Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 3

November 18, 2012–February 10, 2013 in the Grand Gallery

This exhibition, the third in a series organized by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, showcases contemporary Native and First Nations artists from the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast USA, as well as Northeastern Canada. Exciting new work in ceramics, glass, metal, wood, fiber, and mixed media demonstrate how traditional cultural values and aesthetics are being renewed and debated by artists caught between traditional and dominant cultures.

Pictured from left: David Pruitt, Hands of the Real People—The Past Present and Future (2011). Courtesy of the artist.   Robert Tannahill, Wise Ass (2010). Courtesy of the artist.   Jeremy Frey, Best of Show Basket, SWAIA (2011). Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Ari and Lea Plosker. Image ©2012 Ari Plosker, all rights reserved.   Gail Tremblay, It Was Never About Cowboys and Indians (2011). Courtesy of the artist.

Al-Mutanabbi and Book Artist Scott McCarney

The Art of the Book opened here at the Central Library on October 21, 2012. There was a great reception and we had a great turnout.  Of course the best part were the artists books and altered books on display. A full post on that exhibit will be coming.

Along with the artists and altered books exhibit is a display by book artist Scott McCarney.  His book  Material Meditation on Mending Al Mutanabbi Street, is a commemoration of  Al-Mutanabi Street  in Iraq, that was destroyed by a bomb on March 5, 2007.

Before being bombed, Al-Mutanabbi Street was a place for to find books and a place for readers, writers, artists, and a place for all in pursuit of culture. His artist book commemorates the attack, the victims, and the survivors. You can view images from his book  in the library’s Link Gallery.

Scott McCarney, Rochester, NY, USA, April 2012
Material Meditation on Mending Al Mutanabbi Street consists of fifteen two-sided loose-leaf prints made from collages constructed from remnants of found books, rubbings from book bindings and photographs. The leaves are gathered into a tar paper folder, like scattered pages picked up in the street and slipped into a convenient sheath. The fragments, assembled with staples, tapes, and glue, attempt to speak to reconstruction as well as memory; of life, literature and culture suspended, disjointed and reassembled into some sense of a whole.

8.5 x 11 inches; 15 loose-leaf pages, digitally printed, housed in tar paper folder

Below are some images from Scott’s book
Material Meditation on Mending Al-Mutanabbi Street

Scott McCarney is an artist, designer, and educator based in Rochester, New York. His primary art practice has been in book form since 1980, combining an academic background in photography and design with a love for the corporeality of craft and philosophic possibilities of sculpture. His works are widely distributed and can be found in library collections at MoMA New York, V&A London and Yale University, among others. His work is shown near (Hallwalls, Buffalo; Everson Museum, Syracuse) and far (Sao Paulo, Brazil; Melbourne, Australia; Budapest, Hungary). He currently teaches in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Book Artists Commemorate Al-Mutanabbi

Project website in Boston  

Al-Mutanabbi Street is the centuries-old center of bookselling in Baghdad, a winding street filled with bookstores and outdoor book stalls. Named after the famed 10th Century classical Arab poet, Al- Mutanabbi, this street has been, since time immemorial, the historic heart and soul of the Baghdad literary and intellectual community.” On March 5, 2007 a bomb exploded on Al-Mutanabbi Street killing 30 and wounding 100.

To mark the anniversary of the bombing and the essential role that art plays in our lives, poet Beau Beausoleil and others have organized readings in 10 cities. These readings are part of a much larger project that Beausoleil and a dedicated group of artists and volunteers have worked on since 2007. Read more at the Huntington Post.

On July 2010, Beau Beausoleil put out a call for book artists to join ‘An Inventory Of Al-Mutanabbi Street’, a project to “re-assemble” some of the “inventory” of the reading material that was lost in the car bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street on 5th March 2007. We joined in with Beau that month, to co-curate the call to artists to join our project and further enhance the previous work of the Coalition by honouring al-Mutanabbi Street, through creating work that holds both “memory and future,” exactly what was lost that day.

Beausoleil also reached out to artists to create books that would hold both “memory and future” of the bombing. There are 261 books that have been created as part of the project. More at the Huffington Post.

More information at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts.

At the Art of the Book exhibit you will see some of the book art created for Al-Mutanabbi  by Rochester book artist, Scott McCarney. Read more below and click on the image for exhibit information.

On October 21, 2012, the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County will host the second exhibit of Art of the Book. Included in this exhibit will be a book by Rochester book artist, Scott McCarney in memory of those who lost their lives at Al-Mutanabbi Street. Entitled Material Meditation on Mending Al Mutanabbi Street, his book consists of fifteen two-sided loose-leaf prints made from collages constructed from remnants of found books, rubbings from book bindings and photographs. The leaves are gathered into a tar paper folder, like scattered pages picked up in the street and slipped into a convenient sheath. The fragments, assembled with staples, tapes, and glue, attempt to speak to reconstruction as well as memory; of life, literature and culture suspended, disjointed and reassembled into some sense of a whole.

Sue Huggins Leopard is another book artist who’s work will be seen commemorating  Al-Mutanabbi. Her book is entitled, ElegiesElegies uses part of a poem titled Elegy on the death of the mother of Saif al Daula, written by al-Mutanabbi in the year 948. Although written by the great poet in an age seemingly vanished and separated from the car bombing on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad by more than a thousand years, the words remain very moving and speak powerfully to the universal themes of mourning and the futility of violence. I echoed these lines with words by an imagined poet in 2007. A poet who I imagined might be like a young person who would frequent a street of booksellers. A poet with a potential to see beauty; to speak.

Book artist, Barbara Fox will also have her book shown. That Day On Al Mutanabbi Street 2012, is a collection of digital images and poetry on various papers. It is printed in English using Lithos Pro, and in Arabic the font is Baghdad. 4 inches high by 6 inches wide. Digital Images on Various Papers. You can see more her work on her website, Barbara Fox.

Al-Mutanabbi is also commemorated by local artist printmaker, Kristine Bouyoucos. Her book folds out with
twenty-eight shadow people in the pages, one for each killed. Their names appear on the back of each page. The last page has a reddish background to remind us of the more than a hundred wounded.

Read and see more at the Centre for Fine Print Research. Find more information and images here at An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street.