The Columbia Museum of Art is transforming haute couture for the biggest exhibition of its 2023 calendar.
On December 20, the museum announced next year's exhibition schedule, with an October exhibition named after famed fashion designer and artist Alexander McQueen and photographer Anne Ray, who photographed most of the works. of McQueen over a period of 13 years.
With the McQueen exhibit, which features more than 50 costumes designed by him and 60 photographs, the museum is likely to draw regional crowds to Main Street.
"We expect the Alexander McQueen and Anne Ray show to be a great show because of the name recognition," said Jackie Adams, director of arts and education at the museum.
McQueen was the designer of the Alexander McQueen brand of the same name and one of the biggest names in the world of high fashion, especially in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the year The designer, who has Taking off in 2010 at the age of 40, he was instrumental in creating some of the most famous dresses in recent history with Givenchy and Gucci.
Musicians such as David Bowie and Björk have also been criticized for their touring attire.
And while not as obvious to museum fashion as painting can be, Adams sees his works as visual works or sculptures.
"What makes Mackinaw so different and unique…is that he's seen as an artist and a designer," says Adams, who says his designs are inspired by artists like MC Escher. "(He is) one of those designers who transcends the definition of being a one-of-a-kind designer."
"In the visual arts, we're very used to painting or sculpture as a medium, but for McQueen it was fabric," she continued.
Although McQueen is a household name in the exhibit, it also includes a series of photographs taken by stylist and artist friend Ray. These photos are mostly black and white and are a mix of behind-the-scenes runway scenes and other McQueen moments.
Adams says the photos provide an honest portrait of McQueen, while offering a unique look at some of his most iconic moments. One was a late 90s show where model Shalom Harlow was photographed by robots on the runway. McQueen is a living example of how he overturned fashion rules and introduced artistic flourishes.
"I think (Ray) is doing a good job of staying true to who he is," Adams said.
The museum year includes at least seven other exhibitions. This includes the annual Art Flowers exhibit, as well as a range of work focused on diverse and underrepresented artists and groups, Adams said.
These include the June-September Catawba, an exhibition on the art of indigenous communities in the region; the February-May exhibition on “Art of the Islamic World”; Another on "Transient Women Artists"; And others on black art and veteran art.
On the program, museum exhibitions and traveling exhibitions like McQueen. Adams described the McQueen exhibit as a special attraction for the museum because it seems more common in museums in cities like New York or Los Angeles.
"It was weird bringing him to Columbia, but we loved him, too," Adams said.