Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two shows opened this week

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will present two summer exhibitions for 2011 - Curator’s Choice: Focus on Fashion and Laurel Collects XI: Vintage Toys and Games. Both exhibitions will be on display from June 21 - August 14, 2011.

The public is invited to attend the opening for the exhibitions on Sunday, June 26. David Longest, guest curator for Laurel Collects XI, will give a Gallery Talk at 2 p.m. and LRMA Curator Jill Chancey, PhD will speak on photography. A reception will follow.

Curator’s Choice: Focus on Fashion features a selection of fashion photographs ranging from the 1940s to early 1960s. Laurel native Charlotte Payne worked in New York, Japan, and Europe during that time period, and her personal and professional photo collection is currently in local hands. Those who have been watching the TV show Mad Men, or who remember the styles of the ‘50s and ‘60s, will find a lot of familiar material in this exhibition. This nearly twenty-year survey will show how quickly fashion and images of fashion changed during the post-war years and how clothing and styling changed again around 1960.

Charlotte Payne was crowned “Miss Laurel” in the late 1930s. After a brief marriage and a stint working for the war effort in Jackson in the early 1940s, she moved to New York and signed with the prestigious John Robert Powers Agency. She began as a juniors model. Her baby face and “girl-next-door” look kept her in juniors for nearly ten years before she “graduated” to more sophisticated work. She appeared in hundreds of ads and on the covers of such magazines as Life, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Junior Bazaar, and many others.

The exhibition will feature approximately 60 photos, tear-sheets, proofs, and contact sheets that show the development of both the fashions in the photos, and the style of fashion photography. The show will also illustrate the career arc of a successful fashion model during the pre-supermodel years, from juniors catalogue work to the cover of Vogue, when models were meant to be anonymous chameleons, not celebrities.

Curator’s Choice is generously sponsored by Gilchrist, Sumrall, Yoder & Boone, LLC.

Laurel Collects XI, organized by LRMA and the Laurel Arts League, will feature vintage toys and games from Laurel and Jones County collections. Previous “Laurel Collects” exhibitions have been devoted to furniture, portraiture, Asian art, and the work of Laurel native Billy Ford. Toys in the show include rare early Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls – and even rarer, their nanny, Beloved Belindy; three different kinds of train sets; Barbie and GI Joe dolls and many more. Visitors will find familiar faces and traces of childhood memories in this exhibition.

David Longest, a lifelong collector of toys, has written nine books on antiques including Collecting Disneyana, Toys, Antique and Collectible, Character Toys and Collectibles, and Santa Claus Collectibles. He was a feature writer and contributing editor of the national Toy Shop news magazine as well as a feature writer for Collector’s Showcase magazine. Longest has been a guest lecturer on the subject of antiques for various regional organizations and is also a published playwright. He is an award-winning high school theatre director whose drama program has been featured on Showtime and The Movie Channel cable networks and in the arts section of The New York Times. Longest has won numerous national teaching awards including the D.A.R.’s National American History Medal and the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award.

LRMA Director George Bassi said “Laurel Collects is a terrific tradition in our community, and we are pleased to present this latest installment with the continued cooperation and assistance of the Laurel Arts League. Over the decades, this unique exhibition series has staged a variety of collectible shows, and vintage toys will surely please visitors of all ages.”

Laurel Collects XI
is generously sponsored by Laurel Arts League and Laurel Bone & Joint Clinic.

Visit us on Facebook to see installation views of each of these exhibitions.

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