An Historical Anecdote About Fashion: Josiah McElheny – catalog from the Henry’s 1999 exhibition
January 29, 1999 – May 30, 1999
The Henry commissioned Josiah McElheny to create an installation loosely based on an obscure tale from the history of glass design. During the 1950s, the designers of the world-renowned Venini Italian glass design house were highly influenced by the daily lunchtime visits of Venini’s couture-clad wife to their workspace. In their spare time, the workers created many glass designs based on her finery.
Partly in response to this story, McElheny assembled a site-specific conceptual installation. Lace and textile fragments and costumes from the Henry’s permanent collection were juxtaposed with glass works he created specifically for this piece. Exploring the movement of cultural ideas between disciplines, this exhibition formed a unique narrative for the history of fashion and glass.