At the Museum: A Theatrical Headress Inspires Maria Pinto Clothing
A Chinese theatrical headdress is created with pearls, blue kingfisher feathers, pompons, and other luxurious materials. John Weinstein © The Field Museum
Lovers of art, style, and history alike will enjoy the Museum's exhibit, Fashion and The Field Museum Collection: Maria Pinto. Running through June 16, 2013, the exhibition explores the world of design, mixing clothing hand-selected from the Museum’s collections by esteemed Chicago fashion designer Maria Pinto, and contemporary pieces created by Pinto.
A handcrafted armor vest from Cameroon (right), this masterpiece is made of crocodile skin. The vest inspired Pinto to explore the way material can be stitched together to take advantage of its patterns and textures. John Weinstein © The Field Museum
In 2010, Pinto selected objects that inspired her in collaboration with Alaka Wali, the Museum’s Curator in North American Anthropology. Driven by her designer’s eye, Pinto chose 25 Museum garments and adornments, attracted by their form, texture, and colors. Fascinated by the range of materials people used, the pieces’ meticulous craftsmanship, and their sheer beauty, the two women developed the exhibition. Pinto then drew connections between these pieces and her own designs, seven of which are featured in the exhibition.
Maria Pinto’s artistic perspective provides a fresh look at artifacts like a crocodile skin vest, a spectacular parka made of bird skins, and a necklace made of woven monkey fur. An incredible 18th century Chinese theatrical headdress inspired Pinto to design an entirely new ensemble of women’s wear, also on exhibit.
A translucent Inuit raincoat made of seal intestines is paired with Pinto’s “Tema” dress from her spring 2010 collection, creating a striking juxtaposition and revealing much about aesthetic principles of both that transcend time and geography.
Visitors are invited to engage with these objects in a new way and examine details they may not have noticed otherwise. The exhibition asks visitors how they can be inspired in their own creative pursuits by thinking of any Field Museum object as an object of beauty.
For further information, visit fieldmuseum.org. Click here to view a stunning interactive tour of Maria Pinto's designs and the objects she chose from the Field Museum's collections.
Some other collections on view
- Artistic Interiors at the Met Museum: Satinwood and Purpleheart with Mother-of-Pearl Inlays, Depictions of Hand Mirrors, Scissors, Hair Combs, Brooches, Necklaces, and Earrings
- Designing Identity: The Power of Textiles in Late Antiquity
- Catwalk, Behind the Scenes: Fashion of the Dutch From 1625 To 1960
- Creating a National Style: Painting Norway, Nikolai Astrup's Lush, Wild Landscapes and Traditional Way of Life at Home
- Elaine Soloway's Rookie Widow Series: A New Lease, Abstinence and Driving Miss Elaine
- Beauty's Awakening Exhibit, the Museum's Shop, and the Knight Trueheart's Quest to Find and Awaken "the Spirit of All Things Beautiful"
- Bicyclists Who Chat, Send Messages or Listen to Music on Smartphones: Cities and States Try to Crack Down on Distracted Bicycling
- Houses and Passageways: Vermeer's The Little Street Whereabouts in Delft
- An Art Installation: Concepts of "Paradise," Sublime Landscape, and the Greater Northwest
- Class Distinctions: Is the Sitter's Dress Made of Silk or Coarse Wool? Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer