“And the Bead Goes On”
And the Bead Goes On, an exhibition at the Mint Museum Randolph, is centered on the exploration of the use of beadwork embroidery throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This exhibition opened on May 31, 2012 and will remain open to the public until February 17, 2013.
As an exhibition featuring women’s fashion from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, a wide variety of garments are on view. On two of the walls of the exhibition space are jackets hanging from the ceiling using monofilament (a durable yet clear type of wire) and invisible mounts. Invisible mounts were utilized to decrease the appearance of the mannequin itself throughout the exhibition. The main feature of the exhibition is the display of full-size mannequins in the center of the room. Each mannequin displays a unique ensemble from a wide variety of designers, including Halston, Giorgio Armani, Oscar de la Renta, and Alber Elbaz for Lanvin. By combining eye-catching garments, such as evening gowns and cocktail dresses, with informational text throughout the exhibition space, And the Bead Goes On delivers a visually stimulating as well as educational experience.
Overall, the exhibition aims to explore the recent history of beadwork embroidery. Developed in Paris in the eighteenth century, beadwork embroidery has a varied history. Beads were originally restricted to the clothing of aristocrats and indicated wealth and status. In contemporary fashion, beadwork embroidery is democratized and is available to all levels of society since the 1960s. By incorporating a wide variety of beads into the exhibition display, including glass, metallic and faux pearls, the curators of the exhibition have ensured that a depth of material is available to visitors.
The Mint Museum Randolph is located in South Charlotte at 2730 Randolph Road. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday with varying hours each day. More information can be found at www.mintmuseum.org.