The Stunning Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper Exhibit at the Dixon

One of *the* most fun and fantastical exhibits closes this weekend at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens in Memphis and it is a must see: Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper

It is just beyond. Every.single.everything is crafted from paper.

Excerpts from the press release:

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper is a mid-career examination of one of the most creative figures working in Europe today. Belgian contemporary artist Isabelle de Borchgrave is a painter by training, and she uses paper to recreate historic fashions to dazzling effect. De Borchgrave’s collections have been shown internationally  for two decades, and now they will be on view in North America with a U.S. début in Memphis, Tennessee.

This exhibition celebrates de Borchgrave’s most iconic bodies of work, including Les Ballets Russes, Papiers à la Mode, The World of Mariano Fortuny, The Kaftans, and Splendor of the Medici, all of which illuminate 500 years of fashion history:

• On view for the first time in the U.S., Les Ballets Russes features de Borchgrave’s interpretations of the costumes designed by Léon Bakst, Giorgio de Chirico, Pablo Picasso, and others.

• With Papiers à la Mode, de Borchgrave re-imagined iconic garments from world history, including dresses worn by Madame de Pompadour, Marie-Antoinette, Elizabeth I, and Empress Eugenie.

• The World of Mariano Fortuny includes interpretations of the great master painter and designer’s iconic Grecian-styled dresses and tunics from the early 20th century, while Kaftans highlights Silk Road textiles.

• The works in de Borchgrave’s Splendor of the Medici series capture the astounding luxuriousness that characterizes this extraordinary era of intellectual, scientific, literary, and artistic accomplishments. 

This special Elvis piece above will remain in the Dixon’s permanent collection after the exhibit closes.

It’s all just simply stunning and the museum has done a magnificent job.

Tiny excerpts from the artist’s biography:

The story begins in a little house in Sablon, which Isabelle turned into a studio. There, she gave drawing classes to her friends’ children and other neighbourhood children…

Following a visit to the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 1994, Isabelle dreamed up paper costumes…

The Dixon has its own exhibition catalogue available in its giftshop, and I also found these two books at Amazon that I’d love to see:

and


While at the Dixon, paper art by Justin Bowles is also on display, in another wing of the museum:


…and be sure not to miss the Rodin outside (how could you, it’s massive):

and the Jeff Koons Smooth Egg with Bow off to the side

Besides the current exhibitions, there’s a permanent collection of 18th C. German porcelain:

…and a remarkable, remarkable small collection of paintings by Pissarro, Monet, Cassatt, Gauguin, Matisse, Chagall, and other important artists

Monet’s ‘Village Street’


Additional images from the Isabelle de Borchgrave exhibit here in my Flickr set.

Downtown, Carousel, and Wanting The Brooks To Love Eggleston More

After visiting with Mr. Shankerman in his downtown department store in Clarksdale (he also sang Elvis songs for us as a sweet bonus) and he was so kind and generous with our boys, we kept on to Memphis, where it was Corky’s for supper just because we haven’t been to Corky’s in years and I think Shugie’s never been. Our top two there, I think, are still Germantown Commissary and Central.

We asked if it would be okay if we shared this platter (for one on the menu) and it was the perfect size for Av and me.

We stayed at the Memphis Marriott which is just the basic big city, vanilla Marriott. It was fine.
Memphis Marriott

Av was working in Memphis, so the boys and I decided to have a museum day. We Ubered over to the Children’s Museum of Memphis where they have just opened their gorgeous, restored 1909 Dentzel Grand Carousel.

From there, we took another Uber to the Brooks Museum

We played outside…

…and the little cafe has a nice place to read, snack, and play with building pieces


Thrilled to see these William Edmondson pieces. Above, ‘Courting Lady’


and here, ‘Ram’


Roger Brown ‘Clouds over Alabama’


David Bates ‘The Cat Man’

A selection of Carroll Cloar pieces (yesssss)

…but while there’s a large space for William Eggleston photographs, I really wished for a more immersive experience than just linear picture, picture, picture (the step/step/turn mode of display). It seems the Brooks should be Mecca for anyone with any interest in his work as Memphis is where he was born, and where he lives now. There should be features on everything from his Warhol-crowd years to the video work and the new synthesizer music. Places to sit with piles of his books. His place in the popularization of color photography as fine art. The ‘Elvis at Graceland’ project and how that turned out.

If you’re obsessed with ‘The Red Ceiling‘ and have all the feels from the inside of the freezer and the side of that gas station and, hey, The Tricycle, you’re wanting/expecting a love letter from the birthplace of the OG Colorist.

Some Eggleston love from the National Portrait Gallery:

Merry Christmas!

Lots of love and sweet wishes and yummy dishes to those of you who celebrate Christmas. Hope you have a really terrific holiday. xoxo!

Rewind to a few holiday-ish pics:

Christmas tree at Winder Binder Gallery in Chattanooga


Christmas car in Greenwood, MS


River Road bonfires on the levee for Papa Noel to find his way


Gingerbread at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans


Window display at the Mallory and Leech General Store in Charlotte TN


Oak tree with lights in Monroe, LA

Pics from The Ranchero, And Photogenic Bac-O’s

A selection of pics from our lunch at The Ranchero in Clarksdale, Mississippi

If you’ve ever been here, it’s still that same way.

Rotary phone in the dining room

It’s all ‘same’ — the atmosphere (though…okay…the banquet chairs have been replaced), the food (hamburgers and steaks and hamburger steaks and catfish and shrimp and don’t forget the very specific Italian spaghetti), the people, the everything. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Same feels comfy and familiar. It’s okay.

And I’m convinced this is the most gorgeous picture that’s ever been taken of Bac-os.

Watching the Square

From the Graduate, we walked the Square in Oxford. These two in the window at Ajax were making sure everyone was on their best behavior

There’s a Bill Dunlap show going at Southside Gallery (though we were too early to go in)

Square Books made this insightful observation about the new Mississippi Encyclopedias

I walked into Neilson’s (since 1839, the South’s oldest store) while the boys did Square Books, Jr and we let the boys try out the call booth

Built for Instagram: The Graduate in Oxford

Imagining I could link to a couple dozen articles here about places being designed specifically around what’s particularly Insta-hot right now, but you’ve probably read them too. When we walked into The Graduate hotel in Oxford, Mississippi earlier this month, that’s exactly what I was thinking: built for IG.

The location is perfect — just a block off the Square, so in the morning after breakfast at the hotel, we got to walk around before setting off to Memphis. Here’s what’s going on inside:

…globe lamps above a small library at check-in, only to behold that the books are sawed (?) in half and adhered to the cabinetry. Seriously, I found ‘You: The Owner’s Manual’ smashed between ‘The Heat of Ramadan’ and Garrison Keillor’s ‘Wobegon Boy’ which was either crackpot genius or just, you know, somebody grabbing yardsale books and finishing a shelf.

Some of the brand’s philosophy on why they choose university settings, from the founder via Skift:

We morphed into really focusing on university anchored secondary and tertiary markets and what we found was that most of those markets had a very limited — or very lackluster is probably a better word — hotel product in what were some very dynamic and unique markets. We saw there was opportunity there because there was very little competition for doing any kind of lifestyle, boutique or independent hotel in those markets. Then, we also saw after doing some research that there was very low volatility in these markets safety well; they didn’t suffer nearly as badly in terms of the last two recessions and they bounced back much quicker.

art by William Goodman in the lobby

I always associate him first with that big mural at the Mississippi Museum of Art

More lobby fab:

The televisions here are in big frames so they look less like big dopey televisions.

Lest we forget college town, there’s a few reminders strewn about

The Graduate Hotel, Oxford MS

Back to the yearbooks for a sec, the ones on display were late ’60s and ’70s and w o w y e s s s s s

El Burrito! Yassss.

Burger Chef

and the, um, Benzo Burger

Students are welcome to sit in the lobby at the hotel to study, etc and who exactly gets to study in Eames chairs at school?

I do remember, though, luxuriating in the ball chairs in the Oberlin College library a couple of summers, though, so there’s that. Beyond fab.

There’s a restaurant upstairs at the hotel as well as this quick-serve little cafe:

and just outside:

Then there was this one moment when it got just waaaay too Pinterest-y:But but hey, we all overdo it at college I guess.

at the elevator alcove:

and down the hall (though you’d think they’d want to reconsider houndstooth in Oxford, but ‘kay…):

The room was fine — it’s wasn’t super plush or too minimalist. It was comfortable and alright. They’re making a killing on football weekends but overall it’s not luxurious or particularly service oriented. It seemed as though students were running the hotel, and even when we went to breakfast, instead of someone welcoming guests, they were just sitting around chatting and we mistook them for fellow visitors. There was a whole back-and-forth-how-do-we-even-do-this between the front desk and restaurant when we explained we had purchased a package with breakfast included (so it was as though it was a completely new concept to everyone, and they still wanted to charge us tax). Would we stay here again? Nah. But it was okay.

There was a bluetooth speaker you could take into the bathroom for musical accompaniment, Faulkner illustrations framed on the wall, and Malin + Goetz goodness:


For nicer, there’s Chancellor’s House in Oxford (and that’s a lot of greige).

Our stay at the sister Graduate Hotel in Athens, Georgia here.

My husband the UVA grad is prob going to want to stay at the Graduate in Charlottesville to give that one a go, and if you like card catalogs in your hotel, well there’s this.