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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Searching GMD's Collection: Jumpsuits!

The word jumpsuit originally referred to the one-piece garment worn by parachuters, but now refers to any one-piece garment with pants. Jumpsuits often are worn for utilitarian purposes, but jumpsuits worn for fashion have gone in and out of style since the 1930's (although there are some earlier examples that may or may not have actually been called jumpsuits). GMD has adult women's jumpsuits that date back to as early as the 1930's. There is a wide range of designs, some of which don't even look like a jumpsuit without close investigation.

This example (1997.049.001) has such full pants that it resembles a dress, although it is apparent from this photo that it features pants. The silhouette is reminiscent of dresses from this period (1937-1945), although day-dresses did not tend to be this long.

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jumpsuit, 1937-1945, no. 1997.049.001

Although this jumpsuit by Estevez resembles a men's tuxedo, which would be made of woven material, it's actually double knit. The pants and jacket are all one piece and what looks like a white tuxedo shirt is a dickey, rather than a complete shirt.

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jumpsuit, Estevez, 1965-1975, no. 1980.098.139a-c

Not for the faint of heart, this red jumpsuit has harem pants and would envelop the wearer's body.

jumpsuit, Don Kline, 1975-1979, no. 1994.035.033

Although it has bellbottoms, this jumpsuit by Betsey Johnson is one of the more body-conscious examples that we have photographed. It has a very low halter neck and an open back.

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jumpsuit, Betsey Johnson, no. 2004.019.033

Like the first example, the last example also resembles a dress, but looks like an evening gown rather than a day dress.
jumpsuit, Pauline Trigère, c. 1980, no. 2009.066.002

More images of these pictures and of other jumpsuits are available through our collection database. Search for jumpsuit and indicate that you only want to see objects with images. If you go to Advanced Search you can search more specifically, such as by designer or date made. Another tip is to search for similar words or alternate ways of spelling- for example, I only found the last jumpsuit by searching for "jump suit" instead.

More information and images of jumpsuits:

The Phoenix Art Museum had an exhibition on jumpsuits in 2008-2009.

Vogue Italia posted about jumpsuits as well

By Caitlin Cohn, Collections Assistant at GMD, and graduate student in the College of Design pursuing a PhD in Dress, History, and Culture. She does not own a jumpsuit.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Hot Affair on a Cold Night

Driving by Buford Circle on Friday January 20, you couldn't miss McNeal Hall, glowing with red light in the dark of the evening (by Dynamic Drape & Lighting). Live music by Black Audience greeted guests in the atrium as they made their way up to the gallery for Character in Costume: A Jack Edwards Retrospective. Almost 400 people braved the snow and ice for a glimpse of the gallery, and of Jack Edwards. Jack sat down in the gallery at 6pm to prepare for an evening mingling, but didn't leave the chair all evening, and almost became part of the exhibition. A receiving line ran out of the gallery as he was greeted by friends from near and far including Texas, Washington D.C., California, and New York.

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Left: Jack Edwards, Right: Edwards greeting guests in the gallery

Co-curator Tim Carroll called the evening "one hot affair on a cold winter's night." He continued, "There was not a naysayer in the crowd!" As the crowd noshed on hors devours from Common Roots Café, they were charmed by musicians playing cocktail music dressed in actual footman costumes from the 1986 Guthrie production of The Misanthrope.

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Right: Co-Curator Tim Carroll with friends, Left: McNeal Hall glowing red

The gallery was packed from 6-9pm as attendees discussed Edward's amazing range of work, and shared memories of individual pieces. We were pleased to see individuals who loaned objects to the exhibition including Ruth and David Bachman, James and Susan Berdahl, Jan Bruncati, and Lorie and Tim Line. The evening was also enhanced by beautiful flower arrangements from Ruth and David Bachman, Roger Beck Florist, and Edwards's friends from Hawaii.

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Left: Lorie and Tim Line, Right: Guests chatting about the exhibition

The support for this exhibition, including attendees, press, volunteers, the College of Design, and the generous donors, is beyond words. We are so thankful to everyone who has supported this exhibition, and if you couldn't make it to the opening keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events in conjunction with the exhibition, and opportunities to meet Edwards! Check out the rest of the event photos!

By Jenny Parker: Goldstein Museum of Design Graduate Assistant, MFA candidate in Graphic Design and Museum Studies

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

College of Design Students work with GMD

Working closely with college students is one of the many benefits of being part of the U of MN College of Design. Twice a year for the past two years, we have worked closely with Graphic Design classes as they create marketing materials for GMD exhibitions as a class project. Last fall GMD had the opportunity to work with Professor Daniel Jasper and his Graphic Design class on the marketing designs for the exhibition Character in Costume: A Jack Edwards Retrospective. Guest curators Tim Carroll and Liseli Polivka spoke with the class about the assignment and shared stories about Edwards and his life.

When asked about the experience, Carroll remarked; "Both Liseli and I found the process working with students to be exhilarating. We wanted that involvement." Both curators were anxious to see the finished designs, and Carroll found that; "The presentations all had merit. Everybody came up to the plate and brought something interesting." It was a difficult decision, not only because there were so many great designs, but because each student created two poster designs, leaving the curators to choose one from a pool of forty-four. After much debating, one of Amber Lee's posters was chosen as the winner from a pool of six semi-finalists (Cooney, Ebert, Fladmark, Geris, and Stahel).

Amber Lee's original poster design

Lee's poster is simple yet bold and beautifully highlights Edward's sense of drama. We are excited to continue working with Jasper's class, and hope to see more additions to our "Wall of Fame" soon!

GMD's "Wall of Fame"

By Jenny Parker
Goldstein Museum of Design Graduate Assistant, MFA candidate in Graphic Design and Museum Studies

Monday, January 9, 2012

Eva Zeisel

by Caitlin Cohn

Source: New York Times

Eva Zeisel, who was 105 when she died December 30, 2011, was one of the 20th century's most significant ceramics designers. Her work spanned over eighty years, starting from her very early twenties until the end of her life. Her aunt's pottery collection inspired her to become a ceramicist and she was the first woman to be a member of the Hungarian Guild of Chimney Sweeps, Oven Makers, Roof Tilers, Well Diggers, and Potters. Her second job was at an art-pottery studio, but she was not yet able to produce pots consistently enough to meet their standards so she left after six months. Although Zeisel initially did not succeed at throwing pottery, she eventually learned to work in porcelain, which is a particularly difficult material to work in because it is very soft and does not tend to hold a form well.

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cup and saucer, Eva Zeisel, 1945, no. 1988.008.006a-b

Zeisel's design process started with drawings on paper, followed by paper cut-outs and carving out shapes herself. In her book on Zeisel, Lucie Young quotes the designer: "Everything I do is a creation of my hands whether it is made in wood, plaster, or clay." In a TED Talk Zeisel described the goal of those who make things: "We are actually concerned with the playful search for beauty."

Coffee Pot, Sugar and Creamer, Cup and Saucer, Eva Zeisel, Manufactured by Castleton China of Pennsylvania, 1945, no. 1986.014.001 (hot water pot), 1986.014.002 (creamer), 1986.014.003 (sugar bowl), 1988.008.006a-b (cup/saucer

GMD has several Zeisel pieces, some of which were shown in the recent exhibition Polarities: Black and White in Design. These pieces belong to Zeisel's Museum collection and were commissioned by MoMA in the early 1940's. According to Young, Zeisel's disagreed with MoMA's ideology, which she found to be overly "puritan." The all-white set meets MoMA's stipulations, but also expresses Zeisel's sense of beauty.


"Eva Zeisel, Ceramic Artist and Designer Dies at 105" by William L. Hamilton, New York Times, 12-30-2011

Eva Zeisel, by Lucie Young

"Eva Zeisel on the Playful Search for Beauty, " Ted Talks, Filmed Feb 2001, Posted Dec 2008

Caitlin Cohn is Collections Assistant at GMD. She is a graduate student in the College of Design and is pursuing a PhD in Dress, History, and Culture.