Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My Kingdom for a Cloche!

Alas, the Downton Abbey costume exhibit never came to my town. But through early October, those visiting Lansing, Michigan can get a flavor of the era at the Michigan State University Museum.

When I was on my recent walk and landed at the Museum, I couldn't resist going into this little cultural gem in our community. They bring in and create wonderful exhibits but I didn't expect to find two that fit me so well! (See the Chinese quilting post HERE.)

The exhibit focused on the jazz age with an emphasis on that wonderful hat, the cloche.

I can never wear the cloche. My head is too big and I have too much hair. It is not a good look. But the Downton women pulled it off so well! (I'm much better with a bit of a brim like the hats from this catalogue of the times.)

I loved the gowns that were featured, too -- lovely beaded creations with great details.


Can't you see Mary or Edith making an entrance in this one?

Accessories were on display and so, too, was a small dressing table that gave a flavor of the period.


Several theatre seats were placed in front of a small screen offering clips from silent movies, including the "scandalous" "Flaming Youth."

And of course you couldn't have a silent film without featuring the Charleston!

We learned a bit about Clara Bow, the "It" girl and one of the hit shows of the period, "Good News."


The description on the museum's website explains that the American "flapper" rejected tradition and embraced more body concious styles, wearing "her newly won freedom to vote, earn and learn on her body: short dresses and clear stockings, bobbed hair, and a head-hugging cloche.

"The cloche -- a bell-shaped hat considered 'clever and smart' -- framed the face with fashionable Art Deco panache."

I confess, I would have walked out with the large Vogue panels showing Deco-period models. They were featured throughout the exhibit giving a greater sense of the fashion of the time.


A special piece that touched my ephemera-crazy heart was a scrapbook from the period created by a woman who attended Michigan State University.


It featured photos from the J-Hop, movie star photos and ticket stubs and even a souvenir bunco card!


Every detail, down to the books on the dressing table, fit the period.

So, if you're in the mid-Michigan area and in mood to find your inner flapper or a fashion throwback,
check out this fun exhibit.

It continues through October at Michigan State University.

And as for me... these words say it all!

This post is linked to Talk of the Town, to "Thoughts of Home on Thursday" and "Share Your Cup," where you can find other fun links to stimulate your imagination, creativity and sense of home, beauty and spring!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Eye Candy Quilts

In my last post I ended up at the wonderful Michigan State University Museum where I was lucky to take in two exhibits. The first featured Quilts of Southwest China.

The exhibit closed in East Lansing on May 1 but will begin a national tour. The MSU Museum was the site of the world debut for the exhibit.

The exhibit goes next to  International Quilt Study Center and Museum at University of Nebraska in Lincoln in June.

It's also coming toMathers Museum of World Cultures in Bloomington, Indiana and Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. Check websites for schedules.

The museum at MSU and the Yunnan Nationalities Museum (Kumming) led a bi-national consortium of American and Chinese museums fostering "an effort to document this textile tradition and, at the same time, advance an understanding of the intangible and tangible cultural heritage of China."

Like American quilts, the quilts and bed coverings of China contain intricate patterns and colorful fabrics.

And, they were used for the same reasons -- to cover a bed and those who slept within.

Marsha MacDowell, curator of the exhibit, offered a fascinating interview on the WKAR Radio program, "Current State." If you are a fan of quilting, take a listen!

This isn't the first quilt exhibit MSU has hosted. It has quite an extensive collection of quilts in its permanent folk art collection and has also hosted other quilt exhibits. But this one might have been one of my favorites, with the magnificent colors.

Look closely -- you'll find traditional symbols like dragons and other animals along with the flowers and tucked in the complex patterns.

The details are amazing.

I'm a quilt collector myself, though I don't venture near quilting myself. All I could say while looking at these was that I wished one or two or ten of them were in my collection!

I leave you with a few details from the quilts -- glorious eye candy!


(I confess -- visiting this exhibit almost made me want to pick up a needle!

Next time we'll look at an exhibit that reminded me a great deal of the later years of Downton Abbey!

Friday, April 29, 2016

At Its Very Best

Safe to say -- Michigan State University is at its very best in the spring. The colors pop, wafts of fragrance follow you around and it feels as though everything has put on its best dress to welcome in the warmth of spring. It was like spring prom for trees!

The magnolia trees outside the library are looking splendid.

The tree was huge and it was at its peak!

And so, too, were these lovely blossoms.

...and the red bud trees!

Of course you know I have a love affair with daffodills. Naturally I was thrilled to see this!


Oh, yes I was! Look at those happy faces!

Graduation robes have arrived and on this particular day students were taking photos in their graduation finery. They were everywhere, but this spot -- by the stadium with its Sparty logo -- seemed to be a favorite.

And for those who felt a bit lazier, there was time to snuggle down by the riverside.

I loved the magnolias near Beaumont Tower.

While I was there I was fortunate to hear a selection from "The Nutcracker" on the carillon.

And of course, I couldn't stop taking photos!

Could you?

My walk ended at the MSU Museum. This greeted me at the back entrance.

And inside? Well, more on that one later! I live you with a bit more pink!


Just because I can!

Happy Spring!

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