Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia has announced its latest exhibition, “Pattern and Palette in Print: Gentry Magazine and a New Generation of Trendsetters.” The exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Alexander Roush and Martha Thompson Dinos Galleries at the museum from March 17 to June 17.
Mary Koon, editor at the GMOA; Clay McLaurin, chair of the fabric design program at the UGA Lamar Dodd School of Art; and Susan Hable Smith, textile designer and creative director of Hable Construction, will serve as co-curators of “Pattern and Palette in Print.”
A collaboration with McLaurin’s undergraduate fabric design students, the exhibition takes as its inspiration Gentry, a 1950s men’s lifestyle magazine that successfully captured nearly a decade of trends in menswear, with special emphasis on textiles and color. As part of a lesson in color forecasting and its significance to fabric design, students were asked to find inspiration in the pages of Gentry and in other 1950s-era media for creating a relevant master color palette. They then designed their own patterns, using the selected colors and drawing on imagery and themes in the magazine. According to McLaurin, “This collaboration provided an amazing opportunity for our students to work with experienced staff from a high-caliber museum. The students not only learned about professional museum practices, but learned about the color forecasting industry as well as pattern development from an accomplished textile designer.”
The exhibition will consist of all 22 Gentry magazine covers, the student’s printed patterns, a small selection of period menswear (for example, a wool duffer coat with Dutch fishing hemp button loops, mahogany pegs and a selection of Botany brand wool tartan ties), other objects frequently advertised in the magazine (including a Vanity Fair nylon perma-pleated nightgown) and objects from the Color Association of the United States, including a book of original color forecasts for the years 1949-1954.
William Segal, the founder and publisher of Gentry, also founded and published American Fabrics, the country’s premier textile trade magazine for more than 40 years. Segal owned CAUS for more than 50 years and was born in Macon. “This exhibition is both a tribute to Segal, a native Georgian, and a tribute to Gentry magazine, a virtually unknown publication that should be recognized as a milestone in the history of design,” said Koon, who has been working on the project for two years. The exhibition will feature interior pages of both Gentry and American Fabrics to illustrate the students’ inspiration sources as well as period color trends.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Leslie Harrington, executive director of CAUS, will present a lecture at GMOA on March 22 at 5:30 p.m. Young at Art, a subgroup of Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art, the museum’s membership organization, will host an opening reception catered by Five and Ten on March 23 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Also in conjunction with the exhibition, the museum will host Family Day: Fabric Fun on March 24 from 10 a.m. – noon and a film series that will include the documentaries “Bill Cunningham New York” on April 12 and “The September Issue” on April 26, as well as a screening of the 1950s musical “Funny Face” on April 19. All films will be shown at the GMOA at 7 p.m.
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see http://www.georgiamuseum.org or call 706/542-4662.