Weeks ago I posted about my trip to Atlanta to see the Oscar de la Renta exhibition at SCAD FASH and the Iris Van Herpen show at the High Museum of Art. For some reason I neglected to show my other photos from the High Museum. It was the first time I had been to the High Museum in years, and I was lucky in that they also had a special exhibition, Hapsburg Splendor, Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections. That show has ended, but I still want to show you some of the incredible items they had on display, all borrowed from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
The painting above, by Gyula Eder, is of the Crown Prince Otto and Queen Zita arriving at the last Hapsburg coronation in 1916. It was painted thirteen years after the fact, eleven years after the Austro-Hungarian Empire had been dissolved. The young crown prince, or Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius, as he was christened, lived until 2011, but never ruled.
At the end of WWI, the royal family was forced into exile, but someone took good care of their things, including the brocade and ermine outfit the four-year-old crown prince wore to his father’s coronation.
There were some spectacular clothes in the exhibition. This poor photo of an truly outstanding dress can’t begin to show the richness of these royal clothes. This dress was worn by Empress Elisabeth, or Sisi as she was often called. The wife of Emperor Franz Joseph, she was known for her slim figure which was emphasized by the styles she wore. Sisi was assassinated in 1898, and did not die immediately because her tight corset kept the stab wound from bleeding.
This 1905 court dress belonged to Princess Elisabeth Kinsky, who was lady-in-waiting in the Hapsburg court. The train was detachable, which made the dress a lot more useful.
It wasn’t just the ladies who got to dress in fine clothing. This jacket belonged to an imperial and royal chamberlain, around 1910.
And it wasn’t just the humans who got to dress in finery, as the horses were also decked in gold trimmings. This horse and sleigh took up an entire display room.
The high also has a wonderful permanent collection of art and decorative objects. I have focused in on the ones that are fashion and textile related.
Above is Alma Sewing, by Francis Criss, 1935. We see Alma in her sewing shop, surrounded by her tools. We also see Criss, reflected in the bulb of Alma’s lamp.
Two Ladies Testing the Water, by Jacob Wagner, 1891. One lady is corseted, but the other appears not to be.
The Blue Mandarin Coat, Joseph Rodefer DeCamp, 1922. This is a stunningly beautiful work, with the use of color and light. The name of the model is, unfortunately, not known.
The High Museum has an impressive collection of American quilts. This one Freedom, was made by Jessie Telfair in 1975.
I was thrilled and surprised to see this quilt, which I’ve posted photos of here in in the past in my review of American Quilts by Robert Shaw. It was such a treat seeing it in person.
Is it just me, or does this snake seem to be smiling? The maker of this circa 1875 through 1900 quilt is unknown.
In case you can’t tell because of the lack of perspective, this is a full-size chair. Called Crochet, the chair is made from cotton crochet doilies dipped in resin. Made by Marcel Wanders in 2006, I thought it was interesting that an item that was used to decorate chairs in the past had been used to actually make the chair.
And finally, the dog-lover that I am could not resist this huge portrait of a shaggy fellow. Thanks to CMJ, I know this painting is Wrecks 2 by Alex Katz.
I must say that I loved my visit to the High Museum. It is worth a full day of exploration, even without the special exhibitions. My one concern is the high cost of a visit. Tickets for adults are $19.50, and parking is an additional $10. I felt like the price was worth it, but can’t help but wonder if the cost might keep some people from taking advantage of this great resource.