Why "through the looking glass"?
You may be wondering, as we were, why the curators chose the title "Through the Looking Glass?" Did this have anything to do with the Lewis Carroll characters? The explanation is weak at best saying that it referenced when Alice entered her looking glass, a mirror, into another world. I wonder that they just thought it was a cool title and then looked for ways to justify and make a connection. True, they did artfully display the fashions in front of mirrors so you could see the back as well as the front of each manikin...and they also put "hats" on many of the manikins in the shape of Alice characters... like a rabbit. However, after the first room, the reference to the Alice's mirror lost its connection. Overall, we ( my mother and I) both enjoyed the exhibit.
Curating at its best
What I love about the Met's fashion exhibits is the way they elevate the shows to high theater. Think of this show as a visit to the Epcot theme park but for sophisticated world travelers and you will get a sense of the quality of the exhibit.
Moon in the Water
By far, one of our favorite rooms had a moon like projection on the ceiling that was reflected into the pond beneath. The costume draped manikins stood on platforms through out the reflecting pond.
from the museum's website:
The exhibition's subtitle, "Through the Looking Glass," translates into Chinese as "Moon in the Water," a phrase that alludes to Buddhism. Like "Flower in the Mirror," it suggests something that cannot be grasped, and has both positive and negative connotations. When used to describe a beautiful object, "moon in the water" can refer to a quality of perfection that is either so elusive and mysterious that the item becomes transcendent or so illusory and deceptive that it becomes untrustworthy. The metaphor often expresses romantic longing, as the eleventh-century poet Huang Tingjian wrote: "Like picking a blossom in a mirror/Or grabbing at the moon in water/I stare at you but cannot get near you." It also conveys unrequited love, as in the song "Hope Betrayed" in Cao Xueqin's mid-eighteenth-century novel : "In vain were all her sighs and tears/In vain were all his anxious fears:/As moonlight mirrored in the water/Or flowers reflected in a glass."
Here are some other stories I thought you'd might like:
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Hey, I'm Miriam Schulman and I create mixed media art to tell stories. I also teach other people how to craft their stories with art. I give them the techniques they need to get the results they desire which brings more joy to their lives.
My art has been published by Somerset Studio, Art of Man and the New York Times among others and collected by an international audience. When I'm not playing with paint in my studio, you'll find me in a museum spending time with friends or family. Explore my art at SchulmanArt.com or join the fun at TheInspirationPlace.net