Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade

June 24, 2017 – September 24, 2017
Rosekrans Court Special Exhibitions Galleries, Legion of Honor

Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade features 60 Impressionist paintings and pastels, including key works by Degas—many never before exhibited in the United States—as well as those by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, Mary Cassatt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and 40 exquisite examples of period hats.
Best known for his depictions of Parisian dancers and laundresses, Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) was enthralled with another aspect of life in the French capital—high-fashion hats and the women who created them. The artist, invariably well-dressed and behatted himself, “dared to go into ecstasies in front of the milliners’ shops,” Paul Gauguin wrote of his lifelong friend.

Degas’ fascination inspired a visually compelling and profoundly modern body of work that documents the lives of what one fashion writer of the day called “the aristocracy of the workwomen of Paris, the most elegant and distinguished.” Yet despite the importance of millinery within Degas’s oeuvre, there has been little discussion of its place in Impressionist iconography.

The exhibition will be the first to examine the height of the millinery trade in Paris, from around 1875 to 1914, as reflected in the work of the Impressionists. At this time there were around 1,000 milliners working in what was then considered the fashion capital of the world.

Summer of Love Exhibition at the de Young

The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll

Apr 8, 2017 – Aug 20, 2017
de Young, Herbst Exhibition Galleries.

In the mid-1960s, artists, writers, and musicians moved into San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district with hopes of creating a new social paradigm. By 1967, during the highly publicized “Summer of Love,” the neighborhood would attract as many as 100,000 young people from all over the nation. Local bands such as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead provided the soundtrack; the San Francisco Sound found visual counterparts in the creative industries that sprang up around it.

Peace dress, 1967. United States, California, San Francisco. Synthetic yarn; knit. Image courtesy FAMSF. Gift of Leslee Budge. L16.36.

Through a wide array of iconic rock posters, interactive music and light shows, “out-of-this-world” clothing, and photographs from the years surrounding this pivotal moment, Summer of Love celebrates the city’s rebellious and colorful counterculture and explores the visual and material cultures of a generation searching for personal fulfillment through social change. The immersive exhibition includes rock posters by artists including Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson along with examples of the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind garments created by such designers as Brigitta Bjerke, K. Lee Manuel, and Jeanne Rose.

Learn more.

BEYOND THE SURFACE: Worldwide Embroidery Traditions

December 3, 2016 – August 31, 2017
de Young, T.B. Walker Textile Education Gallery

Embroidery — the stitching of patterns on cloth with a needle and thread — has embellished costumes and textiles around the world for centuries. Embroidery stitches, of which there are many di erent kinds, derive from three basic types: at, knotted, and linked and looped. Flat stitches, such as running and satin stitches, are individual stitches that lie atop a fabric’s surface and are made without looping the thread. Knotted stitches, where the thread is knotted upon itself, are used to create raised patterns and textures. Linked and looped stitches, such as chain, are formed by securing a stitch with the following one and are used to create bands of embroidery.

Although embroidery stitches may be purely decorative, they may aid in a textile or garment’s construction, such as to outline a design or pattern, or to reinforce a fabric or edge. As this installation explores, they also serve as expressions of their maker or wearer’s distinctive identity. In Japan, for example, sashiko embroidery — achieved by joining together layers of fabric with diminutive running stitches — was rst used by members of Japan’s rural communities to add strength and integrity to domestic textiles and utilitarian clothing. But the straight, curving, or diagonal lines in which these stitches were executed resulted in striking decorative e ects, obscuring the technique’s humble origins. This is perhaps best evidenced by a ca. 1900 sashiko-worked apron (maekake) on view in the exhibition, which was recently donated to the Museums by Textile Arts Council Board Member Susan York. The apron’s embroidery is dominated by a pattern of interlocking circles, called shippō-tsunagi (“seven treasures”), a repeating design that signi es good fortune.