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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Treasure in the Trench

Cedar Riverside Model.jpgBW Cedar Riverside Model.jpg

Back when the Rapson Hall Exhibition program started in 2002 with a generous donation from Ken and Judy Dayton, the program featured exhibitions of objects that had been around the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA) for a considerable time. Two of these objects were models from Ralph Rapson's architecture office of a major project. Most readers will be familiar with this architecture project, having seen it many times; it's the Cedar Riverside project, completed in 1973. Few would realize the original, much larger scope proposed for the project. The more senior of students who passed through the School of Architecture will probably remember the model, especially the section that for many years hung in the stairwell of the School.

As it happens, two very large models of the proposed project were created, each laid out on five solid core doors. Many students in the School of Architecture worked on the models and at various times sections of the models were on display in the School of Architecture spaces.

In 2002, when the Steven Holl addition was added to what is now Rapson Hall, everything was moved out of the building and put in storage. After the renovation was complete, and knowing about the models but not of their whereabouts, we launched a search to find and retrieve the models. It turned out that one of the models was a bit worse for wear. One section had been crushed, making the model look as if a scale-model tornado had passed through the scaled landscape of the Cedar Riverside area.

About a half-dozen years ago the models were pulled out of their permanent storage area, known as "The Trench," and assembled for a seminar class in Architecture. At that time we seized the opportunity to invite Ralph Rapson to come over for a conversation with Tom Fisher, Dean of the College of Design, about the Cedar Riverside project; the conversation was recorded on video tape for posterity.

Although only a part of the proposed Cedar Riverside project was ever built, the models are still in storage, along with other treasures, waiting for the day when another seminar class will call upon them to be the focus of discussion for their class.

Jim Dozier, Rapson Exhibition Coordinator

Photographs of Ralph Rapson's models of the Cedar Riverside Housing Complex project.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hello from the Gallery Staff

Left: Photograph of myself in front of Warhol's Mao at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Right:This is a photograph of a selection of Kim's book purses and her design center that consists of thousands of books and a (very) wide selection of fabric.

Growing up in an artful environment has always left me wanting more. Working in the Goldstein Museum of Design at the Gallery satisfies the constant craving I have to be surrounded by art. It's really hard to say exactly how working in the Goldstein affects me. It satisfies the intense "art craving", but once I leave, my head spins with inspiration for my own art. It's kind of a problem I have. I'm inspired by everything. I can find inspiration in, very literally, anything. It must be a part of my mother in me. My mom Kim Wendlandt is a local artist in my hometown of New London, Minnesota. She's a mixed media artist that began making handmade paper and gradually worked up to, what she is most well-known for, making book purses.

My mother taught me to find beauty in any object. So when I look at the art on display in the Goldstein Gallery, I am truly in awe of each and every object.

Hannah Wendlandt

Hannah is an UMN senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Art

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Field Trip to the Goldstein

On June 21st Stacy Anderson, a teacher at Roseville Area High School, brought her Summer Academy students to the Goldstein Museum of Design for a field trip. Her class had been focusing on fashion history and its relationship to social mores and concurrent world events. I gave them an overview of late 19th and 20th century costume through collection objects, including a peak at the history of undergarments and how they contributed to the fashionable silhouette. After spending 2 hours with these attentive and engaged students, it was clear that they had a strong understanding of ways in which fashion and culture combined and influenced one another.


In this photo above, I am showing students a bodice from the late 19th century. Students were surprised at the number of undergarments that would go beneath an ensemble like this: items worn beneath a 2-piece dress like this (skirt not shown in photograph) included a chemise, stockings, drawers, corset, corset cover, and petticoats.


Students look on as more garments are brought around for up close viewing.


Above, I am showing students a dress from around 1915, and they have questions about how one puts it on, where the dress would have been worn, the materials it is made out of, and who designed it. Many thanks to Ms. Anderson and her class for the enjoyable visit!

Jean McElvain, GMD Assistant Curator

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

UPDATE #2: The Travels of the Lila Bath Intern

[Background] Hello all! My name is Issa Mello and this spring I've been selected as the University's Lila Bath Intern. This means I get to spend a week in San Antonio, Texas at the University of the Incarnate Word studying and analyzing all of the culture, dress, and the extensive Lila Bath costume collection. Throughout my trip I'll be posting a couple blogs and plenty of pictures to share my experience with you! To read her previous blogs click, BlogPost1 or BlogPost2

Wrapping up the last two days of an incredible journey in San Antonio! Thursday we visited a specialty shop for quinceanera dresses, such as the one pictured below. This establishment had two floors. The first level was for wedding, prom, bridesmaid, and honorary court dresses, and the second level was dedicated to quinceanera dresses and men's tuxedos. The space allotted for quinceaneras was easily the largest, which says a lot about how big these celebrations have become! The dresses definitely showed some distinct personality, and there were a lot of fun design details and construction techniques to observe.


After lunch on Thursday I had a chance to meet with Ms. Alexander, a faculty member at Incarnate Word. She showed me some of her and her sister's embroidery, beadwork, and fabric manipulation techniques that they had learned from classes, studying abroad, or techniques they picked up from various surface design books. The patience and expertise that the Alexander sisters show in their work is unbelievable. Watch out for when the Alexanders graduate; they plan to open a school to share their wealth of knowledge of beading, embroidery, and surface treatments.

My final day in San Antonio was spent getting to know the town and seeing some of the main attractions. The day started off at the Museo Alameda and its exhibition, "Revolution and Renaissance". Although the museum did not allow any photography, there was a gallery of gorgeous watercolors by Ruben Resendiz, and some cool historic pieces of costume and interior design dating from the 1910s to present day. After a stroll through an outdoor tourist marketplace, we stopped for lunch at a popular Tex Mex restaurant. Walking off lunch wasn't that difficult with walking around downtown San Antonio to see the Alamo and the river walk. I learned a lot about the Alamo and Texas history that I never knew!

The river walk was beautiful, even if about a tenth the width of the Mississippi River that I'm used to. The landscape architecture, fountains, and surrounding buildings made for a great landscape.


We made some other stops at some tourist markets, including a local wine tasting, and before I knew it, the week was up and I was headed back to the airport. I wasn't leaving empty handed, though. I have a lot of inspiration and ideas for the final capstone garments! My final blog will show you some of the ideas, sketches, drapes, and possibly test garments that will evolve into my final garments. Thanks for sharing this journey with me!

top left: One of the elaborate and decorated dresses for a quinceanera celebration. The skirt features layers of tulle, as well as a collapsible hoop skirt and a layer of petticoats.
top right: One of the garments from the Alexander sisters. In this garment many different beading and embroidery techniques were used, including classic Japanese surface detailing, French and American techniques, plus vintage beads and embellishments.
bottom: Remember the Alamo! The front of the most famous building in San Antonio

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

University Youth Programs Gopher Adventure students join the "Quest for the World's Best Baskets" with a visit to the Goldstein Museum of Design!

IMG_2657.jpg In four separate programs on June 19 and 21, fifty-five Gopher Camp students significantly raised the energy level in the gallery during their visits to the exhibition, Quest for the World's Best Baskets. Each group had fun putting stars on a world map to note where the baskets in the exhibition came from. Before leaving, each student put a red paper heart next to their favorite basket.


The children paid rapt attention as exhibition curator Suzi McArdle walked them around the gallery like a pied piper, charming them with stories about baskets from Panama, South Africa, Ethiopia, Alaska, the American Southwest, and Appalachia.


Younger students made baskets out of paper to help them understand one method of basket-weaving.


Older students competed with each other on a paper-and-pencil "scavenger hunt," seeking out the biggest and smallest baskets, the basket with the most animals, three baskets depicting birds, and baskets showing people.


Suzi and Kathleen Campbell enjoyed teaming up to present these programs, and look forward to the next four groups of Gopher Adventures students on July 10 and 12.