Mexican Beadwork of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Mrs. Dwight Morrow Collection)
- Dates: May 6, 1939 through September 17, 1939
- Collections: Arts of the Americas
May 4, 1939: SATURDAY, MAY 13th, through SATURDAY, MAY 20th,1939
SATURDAY, May 13 th,
11:00 A.M. Motion Picture- “China’s Home Life; How China Makes a Living” (Sculpture Court)
2:00 P.M. Lecture-Demonstration- “History of Music and Its Parallels in Visual Art” by David Le Vita (Class A)
3:00 P.M. Songs of Lithuania. Presented in cooperation with the International Institute of the Y.W.C.A. (Sculpture Court)
SUNDAY, MAY 14th,
1:30 P.M. Federal Civic Orchestra of N.Y.C., and Federal Opera Co. of N.Y.C. (Sculpture Court)
3:00 P.M. Sound Motion Picture- “Pilgrim Forests, New England Fishermen” (Class A)
3:10 P.M. Organ Recital -Dr. R.L. Bedell (Sculpture Court)
4:00 P.M. Manhattan Federal Band (Sculpture Court)
TUESDAY, MAY 16th,
10:00 A.M. Sound Motion Picture- “Pilgrim Forests” (New England) (Sculpture Court)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17th,
1:30 P.M. Motion Picture - “The Frontier Woman” (Sculpt. Court)
SATURDAY, MAY 20th
11:00 A.M. Motion Picture - "Bit of High Life; Digging up the Past; Canoe Trails through Mooseland” (Sculpture Court)
3:00 P.M. Sound Motion Picture - “The Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Group, Woodwind, Brass and String Choirs “ (Sculpture Court)
ORGAN RECITALS (Broadcast over Station W.N.Y.C. from the Sculpture Court of the Brooklyn Museum)
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Frida[y]- 1:05 P.M. to 1:30 P.M.
Saturday--------------------------------------------10:00 A.M. to 10:30 P.M.
Exhibition of the Instruments of the Modern Symphony Orchestra and their Historic Antecedents - March 31 to May 14, (Second Floor)
Exhibition of Mexican Bead Work of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Lent by Mrs. Dwight Morrow. May 6 through summer (Second Fl.)
Popular Art in America - May 18 through summer (First Fl.)
World’s Fairs of Yesterday. Material from the Brooklyn Museum Art Reference Library - May 5 to Oct. 1, (Second Floor Library Gall.)
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1938. 11-12/1938, 293. View Original
Date unknown, approximately 1939: Mrs. Dwight Morrow’s collection of Mexican beadwork which she has generously lent for the purpose will be on exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum from May 6th to September 30th. It contains approximately 614 objects ranging from samplers and decorative table linen to beaded shaving sticks, made in the 18th and 19th centuries with the larger number dating before the Mexican war of Independence around 1820.
Mrs. Morrow’s catalogue lists the pieces under the following headings: Illustrating chronology of the collection, showing how Mexico absorbed hundreds of styles; objects showing technique of construction; made in imitation of other materials and techniques; early 19th century Samplers; decorated table linen; bead pictures; objects for use of Gentleman of Fashion; objects for use of Lady of Fashion; ecclesiastical objects; Vacilladas, or articles produced in a playful or joking spirit.
Under the heading of chronology the catalogue groups the almost pure Spanish design; the oldest dated pieces 1790; the traditional work; pure geometric designs; transitional work, in which geometrical European designs are mixed with Mexican figures; pure Mexican design; and the Victorian, which was an attempt to combine naturalistic design and the Mexican all-over pattern.
The types showing construction include those with gauze backing and beads on one side only, a method stronger and softer than bead work by loom. There are also the simple loom type; those with fabric backing of linen or handwoven cotton; beads applied to horsehair; and beads applied to sinew.
Among those made in imitation of other materials and techniques are imitations of cheap cotton damask, the most modern; imitation of cross stitch, of leatherwork in brown and gold, and of a variety of embroidery methods. Oil paintings and prints of more or less famous pictures were also frequently copied.
Among the samplers are several amusing animal subjects; a “transitional” example with real point d’Hongrie embroidery and bead work; and one large typically Mexican sampler, containing 125 designs, such as church symbols, flowers, animals, negroes, harlequins, peasant woman, man with top, boy with sedan chair sticks, and a cupid.
The decorated table linen group shows bead borders for napkins; doilies with bead decorations; and a very elaborate table cover, characteristically Mexican, which has among its numerous designs six or seven circus figures, mermaids with scrolls, a deer with nursing faun, (though the deer turns out to be a buck), a donkey, a coyote, an eagle, hen and chickens, a lion, a monkey on horseback, a rabbit and a tiger, while in the center a fine coach carries a lady and gentleman behind a white horse between rose branches across a stream of water in which fish can be seen swimming.
Among the objects for use of a Gentleman of Fashion are pens; cigar, card and bill holders; a garter with elaborate tassels for use with a leather boot; a key ring of remarkably fine work; suspenders with tiny figures holding money bags for good luck; and bridles, riding whip, hat bands, water bottle, and shaving brushes.
The Lady of Fashion is provided, with money purses of various sizes, pin cushions, necklaces, chains, whisk brooms, scissor cases. The necklaces are very Mexican, many of beautiful workmanship.
The group of Vacilladas, or "joke objects," consists of mermaids dressed in Spanish fashion, a Holy Water stoup, a miniature altar, decorative trees, banderillos, a kitchen fan for fanning charcoal, and many tiny baskets.
Date unknown, approximately 1939:
From the following comments prepared by Dr. Herbert Spinden, Curator of American Indian Art and Primitive Cultures of the Brooklyn Museum, we hope that you will find something of interest in your field. As you can see, this is not a release. We take this means to point out a subject you may find of interest.
Mrs. Dwight W. Morrow’s surprising collection of Mexican beadwork will be on exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum from May 6th through September 17th as an attraction of this summer of the World’s Fair. It contains over 600 objects--ranging from samplers, reproductions of prints and drawings, and decorative table linen to beaded suspenders and shaving brushes. It represents work of the 18th and 19th centuries, with most of the pieces a century or more old. It is not so much folk art as the dilettante achievements of young ladies and matrons of society. Curiously enough, there are no bull fights, no Indian scenes, no memorials of war, but instead religious and sentimental pieces done as acts of devotion or as favors.
In the present vogue which draws so heavily upon the picturesque Victorian products designers of costume accessories will find inspiration in this romantic art of the Splendid Idle Forties. There are brilliant and unfading flowers and variegated bouquets made of beads. Also there are curious devices such as frilly dress fastenings which take the form of flowers, necklaces with beaded medallions and any number of beaded borders which can be put to many uses. There are purses, handbags, pocketbooks, cigarette cases, card cases, etc. in this collection decorated in many fashions.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1939. 04-07/1939, 115. View Original
May 6, 1939: Mrs. Dwight Morrow’s collection of Mexican Bead Work of the 18th and 19th Centuries, which she has lent for the purpose, will be put on public view at the Brooklyn Museum today (May 6th), to be displayed during the summer until September 30th.
The collection contains approximately 614 objects, including decorative table linen, such as beaded napkins, doilies and table covers, beaded shaving brushes, beaded whisk brooms, necklaces, a curled long snake made of beads with a whistle in the tail, and miniature objects called “Vacilladas” because they were made as jokes.
This work was largely done by fashionable ladies from well drawn patterns and is not classed as folk art. Styles this season in decoration, clothes, and jewelry are closely related to the patterns and designs to be seen in this exhibition. A number of pieces come from the period of the Emperor Maximilian and the tragic Carlota which is now receiving a great measure of public attention.
Dr. Herbert Spinden, Curator of American Indian Art and Primitive Cultures, has staged the exhibition in the Main Floor Hall in specially lighted cases set into the walls, and in wall frames.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1939. 4-7_1939/Exhibition, 179. View Original
Date unknown, approximately 1939: This is simply to remind you, in case you have not already seen them, there are two exhibitions only recently opened that you may want to cover when you are seeing the “Popular Art in America” show. They are: Mrs. Dwight Morrow’s Collection of Mexican Beadwork, first floor gallery, just off the Main Entrance Hall and “World’s Fairs’ of Yesterday”, second floor off the Main Entrance Hall.
There will be beaded work photographs available at the Information-Sales Desk. There is no catalogue for this exhibition but one of the publicity releases covers the show rather thoroughly. A supply will be on hand also. There are no photographs or catalogue for the “World’s Fairs of Yesterday” Exhibition. However, we can fill special requests for photographs which we can deliver within 36 hours or less.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1939. 04-07/1939, 120. View Original