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The Chase

This post was co-authored by Rebecca Long, Curatorial Assistant for European Painting and Sculpture to 1945, and Petra Slinkard, Curatorial Associate of Textile and Fashion Arts/European Painting and Sculpture to 1945.

Emilio Pucci, scarf, "La Caccia," 1959. Gift of Murph Damron (2009.26)

Fashion designer and Italian aristocrat, Emilio Pucci is perhaps best known for his brilliant, sinuous prints. Inspired first by the atmosphere on the Island of Capri, Marchese Emilio Pucci di Barsento (1914-1992) began designing clothing for women in 1949, opening a small shop a few years later. Preoccupied with the absurd constraints popular clothing of the time imposed on women; he re-conceptualized menswear for women, as resort wear. Loose fitting shift dresses, palazzo pants and blouses, created out of luxurious hand-painted silks. The instantly recognizable Pucci brand was highly sought after for much of the 1950s and 1960s.

Emilio regularly looked to his heritage for inspiration; his ancestry can be traced back to both Lorenzo de Medici and Catherine the Great.  “Possibly the greatest misconception about Emilio Pucci is that the prints that made the brand famous are abstract. In fact, they are drawings, often simply inspired by objects, or Pucci’s home surroundings…” (Pucci: Fashion Story, 2010, pg. 107)

Considered a Renaissance man by many , he was “… fascinated by his roots, and art and architecture; you can actually see it in his work. On my honeymoon in Capri in 1953, I remember going to his shop and being struck by how much the designs resembled Florentine mosaics. It was really extraordinary, although I don’t think a lot of people realized it.” –Rosita Missoni (Pucci: Fashion Story, 2010, pg. 42)

In 2009, the IMA acquired a silk scarf by Emilio Pucci, titled La Caccia or The Chase from his Botticelliana Collection, 1959.  The motif for the scarf is inspired by the Stories of Nastagio degli Onesti by Sandro Botticelli.

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Filed under: Art, Textile & Fashion, The Collection


Unpacking Warhol

You’ve probably heard that Andy Warhol Enterprises will be on display at the IMA from October 10th through January 2, 2011. Organized by IMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art Sarah Urist Green and former Assistant Curator Allison Unruh, this retrospective includes works by Warhol that relate to his business as well as studio practices spanning from 1946 until his death in 1987. Andy Warhol Enterprises encompasses Warhol’s beginnings as a commercial artist upon his move to New York in 1949, as well as works that are more familiar, such as his Brillo box sculptures or his portraits of Marilyn Monroe. Archival materials included in the show provide insight into the many different areas of Warhol’s career. For example, record covers and contracts chronicle his time spent as the band manager for the Velvet Underground and Nico, and episodes of Andy Warhol’s T.V. and copies of Interview magazine serve as evidence for Warhol’s explorations into mass media.

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Filed under: Art, Current Events, Exhibitions


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