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Exhibition dates: March 4 through April 3, 2022
Reception: April 11, 5-7 p.m. 

SYRACUSE — A new exhibit at Sue and Leon Genet Gallery explores the role that the online marketplace Etsy plays (or will play) in the art world through what is considered ‘fine art.’

Caveat Emptor: Etsy in the Art World aims to present the historical prevalence and popularity of mass-produced objects, as well as how online platforms such as Etsy offer a departure from traditional work made for the masses. Curated by Molly Wight ‘22, a Museum Studies graduate student at Syracuse University, the exhibition is the culmination of independent study and research that showcases several artists including Andy Warhol, Winslow Homer, Japanese woodblock prints and selections from the curator’s personal collection.

The exhibition will be on view at the Sue and Leon Genet Gallery, located on the first floor of the Nancy Cantor Warehouse from March 4th through April 3, 2022. A reception will be held April 11th, at 5-7pm.

‘Caveat Emptor’ examines not only how artists who market their artwork on Etsy interact with the art world, but also the precedent for mass-produced art and how Etsy art shares similarities, but also has differences from types of art like ukiyo-e prints and Alphonse Mucha’s Art Nouveau posters. Artwork that is marketed on Etsy is contemporary art in that it is created by living artists, but it is very different from the kind of contemporary art that most museums collect.

‘Peter Piening: Abstract Visions in Modernist Graphic Design’ according to Page, “will highlight Piening’s significant contributions to the field of modernist graphic design from the 1930s-1960s and his role as a teacher and mentor at Syracuse University (1958-1973). The exhibit will bring together for the first time his logo and trademark designs as well as dynamic abstract commercial work created for numerous publications and record albums.”

  1. Peter Piening (1908-1977) was a German American graphic designer and educator.

Born in Grabow, Germany, he studied at the Bauhaus and received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Berlin in 1931. After graduation, Piening began working in publishing in Berlin and was among many European artists of his era who fled the Nazi occupation of Germany. He traveled to Paris and worked for Conde Nast before coming to the United States in 1934.

In New York, Piening began working at Vogue magazine and later worked with numerous New York advertising agencies and publishing houses. He was the Art Editor for Life magazine in 1937, and from 1941-1944 he was the Art Director at Fortune magazine. His editorial expertise led to freelance work for additional publications such as Architectural Record, Town & Country, and Cosmopolitan. He also produced creative work for Lincoln, Ford, Shell Oil, and Ballantine Beer.

In addition to his design practice, Piening was also an educator who taught at the Art Students League and New York University before being appointed Professor of Advertising Design at Syracuse University in 1958. He taught at Syracuse University until his retirement in 1973.

‘M. Peter Piening: Abstract Visions in Modernist Graphic Design’ was curated by Meri A. Page, Assistant Professor of Communications Design. The exhibition will be on view at the Sue and Leon Genet Gallery, located on the first floor of the Nancy Cantor Warehouse from October 29 through December 19, 2021. A public reception at the gallery will take place on Thursday, November 11 from 5-7 pm.

This exhibition is supported by a Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts Research Grant.

Mary McFadden: American Fashion Designer

August 30- October 15, 2021

SYRACUSE — A new exhibit at Syracuse University’s Sue and Leon Genet Gallery at the School of Design features distinctive garments that reflect an avid study of ancient and ethnic cultures.

‘Mary McFadden: American Fashion Designer’ showcases the work of a ‘design archeologist’ as she gathers inspiration from diverse cultures and ancient civilizations. From African tribes to the Egyptian pharaohs, ancient Greece and Rome to Byzantium, they all act to inform her collections. McFadden realizes these design elements through the use of hand painting, quilting, beading and embroidery.

McFadden proclaims “I’ve done 60 collections, each based on an ancient civilization, and I went to all those places,”

Born in 1938 into a textile family, McFadden studied in Paris, earned a degree in fashion design from the Traphagen School of Design in NYC and a degree in sociology from Columbia University. She began a freelance design business in 1973 and in 1975 she patented a new process to pleat synthetic charmeuse into irregular pleats reminiscent of those created at the turn of the 19th century by Italian designer Mariano Fortuny. In 1976 she formed Mary McFadden Inc. and continued her business until closing in 2002.

Her patented fabric, called ‘Marii’, is created of synthetic charmeuse woven in Australia, dyed in Japan and machine pleated in NYC. Her concept was to create fabric that ‘falls like liquid gold on the body’.

Mary McFadden first spoke at Syracuse University as part of the Genet Lecture Series in 1992, and then returned in 2010 to the School of Design to again lecture about her as well as to host a fashion show of her original designs.

‘Mary McFadden; American Fashion Designer’ was curated by fashion design professor Jeffrey Mayer and features 17 original designs by McFadden dating from the late 1970s through the 1990s.The exhibition is on view from August 30- October 15, 2021 and is located in the Sue and Leon Genet Gallery which is on the first floor of the Nancy Cantor Warehouse. All garments are from the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection housed within the Fashion Design Program in the School of Design, College of Visual and Performing Arts.

More Than A Toy

April 26 – May 22, 2021

More Than A Toy is the first exhibition to highlight designer art toys as a medium for engaging with today’s most difficult conversations. This two-part exhibition places new focus on the innovators working in this cutting-edge art form and the topics they are tackling including mental health, climate change, the drug epidemic, COVID-19, racial injustice, environmental degradation and more.

More Than A Toy offers an overview of the history, design processes and mass market appeal that elevated designer art toys from niche collectibles to a recognized contemporary art form.

Curated by Ethan Clearfield (MUS ’21).

Support for this exhibition from the VPA Graduate Memorial Scholarship and Fellowship. See video profile of exhibit.

March 5 - 28, 2021

Unchanged: The Sue and Leon Genet Gallery at the School of Design is pleased to present The Suffrage Shop , an exhibition co-curated by Museum Studies graduate students Madeline Nielsen ‘21 and Emma Rathe ‘21.

Unchanged: As white women began to explore their freedom as consumers, suffragists in the United States were campaigning for the right to vote. The Suffrage Movement sought to ratify the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, which legally granted women this right, and did so by copying many of the same campaigning techniques used in the United Kingdom. Beginning in 1910, women in London set up storefronts, known as Suffrage Shops. The shops provided women a space to meet with other suffragists and to help spread educational materials that pushed the messages of the movement.

Unchanged: In an effort to recognize the exclusionary nature of Suffrage Shops, this gallery advocates for the inclusion of a wider range of narratives. The space invites visitors to have conversations surrounding the women’s movement, from its inception to the present day, and how it must change to serve evolving definitions and lived realities as to what it means to be a woman.

For every action, it’s essential that design step forward to offer creative and impactful reactions to address our current and future needs. "Action/Reaction" aims to highlight the work of current students and alumni from the School of Design's industrial and interaction design program reacting with innovative ideas in real-time to protect the public. This exhibition is presented both in-person and as a virtual experience (coming soon).

See the virtual exhibit.

On view through February 28, 2020

Opening Reception

Wednesday, January 22, 6 – 8 P.M.
Featuring a 6:30 gallery talk by Kirsten Schoonmaker and Jeffrey Mayer

On Dec. 2, 2019, Syracuse University canceled a full day of classes for the fourth time in its 150-year history. This means that generations of students have trudged through snow, sleet, ice, and wind in order to get to class. How did they keep themselves from shivering as the daytime temperatures plunged as low as -4°F in January of 1982? Students on campus have proved that staying warm doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Thick fulled wool in fashionable hues has been cut and shaped to follow the silhouettes of the moment, whether it be the 1880s, the 1980s, or today. Collars and cuffs have been trimmed with insulating materials from soft fur to plushy polyester, trapping warm air around exposed skin as icy winds blow. Belts and buttons not only keep coats from flapping, but also add a touch of shape, sparkle, or contrast. Selections from the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection reveal that while faces may change, outerwear has always been a style statement on campus.

November 13-December 13, 2019

In October of 1869 a petrified figure over ten feet in length was unearthed on a farm in the hamlet of Cardiff, NY. Dubbed “The Cardiff Giant,” the oddity became an overnight sensation. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the giant’s discovery, this exhibit explores the history of the giant and its many derivatives through rarely seen photographs, artifacts from the period, a comprehensive retrospective of more than forty other petrified giants currently known, and a full-scale reproduction created by local artist Ty Marshall.Curated by Stephen Singer G’21, Graduate Program in Museum Studies.

Gallery Reception
Thursday, November 14, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The Genet Gallery’s most recent exhibition, Destination Outdoors, featured seven alumni from the school’s industrial and interaction design (IID) program: Rob Miller ’99, Simon JJ Park ’00, Lori Jacobs ’92, Talia Horner ’15, Yun Pei Hsiung ’10, Sean Horita ’96 and Glen Walter ’80. The exhibition celebrated innovative products and creative design work specifically geared for outdoor use. From lightweight bicycle frames to portable grills and high-end climbing gear to cutting-edge audio, these alumni have made their mark in the expanding landscape of outdoor design, illustrating themes of environmentalism, activism and sustainability.

Destination Outdoors was organized by Don Carr, professor and program coordinator of IID and the M.F.A. in design, and Andrew Saluti, assistant professor and program coordinator of museum studies. September through November 2019.

The Sue & Leon Genet Gallery in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design is proud to present the “2019 School of Design Summer Showcase,” an exhibition that features award-winning student work across multiple disciplines in the school, including communications design, environmental and interior design, fashion design and industrial and interaction design.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, is on view through Friday, Aug. 9. The gallery is located on the first floor of the Nancy Cantor Warehouse, 350 W. Fayette St., Syracuse.

On display are examples of eight design student portfolios, final theses and projects of note. Included in the showcase are a dress design by Kalthom Aljiboury ’20, created in collaboration with the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign and winner of the Fashion Without Limits EMME Award, and the design work of Jamie Doppelt ’19, winner of the communication design program’s Paul Leibowitz Award for expertise in web navigation via cutting-edge, interactive design.

May 9 - August 5, 2019

Our goal is to collaboratively make positive and meaningful contribution to our local community and people in need.

This year, the Community Design Studio is challenged to make design proposals to renovate the Catholic Charities of Onondaga County’s HQ office in Syracuse, NY. The CCOC is a local organization that is dedicated to assist and provide services to those in needs of housing, food, human development, and health care. Currently, they house in the historic orphanage building on W Onondaga St, which consists 4 levels of accumulated about 60,000 sq. ft office and service spaces. It is the goal of our designers to make sustainable design proposals to improve access, collaboration, comfort, and creativity within the workspace.

Organized by Dr. Seyeon Lee, Assistant Professor of Environmental and Interior Design, in collaboration with graduate and undergraduate students in the Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure, and Sustainability from Florida International University.

February 14 through March 8, 2019

Earl I. Sponable (1895-1977) spent a lifetime contributing to the research and development of the film industry. Shortly after graduating from Cornell in 1916 with a degree in chemistry, Sponable went to work with Theodore Case in Auburn, NY. The two men set up the Case Research Lab, and would develop the first commercially successful sound-on-film system. Sponable became the Technical Director of Research and Development for Fox Films (later 20th Century Fox), where he was central to innovations in film, including CinemaScope and theater television.

Curated and designed by Karyn Radcliffe (Museum Studies ’18), the exhibition highlights original research and artifacts from the collections of the Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn, NY, that illustrate the groundbreaking role Sponable had on the emerging era of motion pictures.

September – November 2018
“High on a Hill Is a Lonely Dirndl,” an overview exhibition of Tyrolean-styled dirndl skirts by such designers as Yves Saint Laurent, Victor Costa and Ralph Lauren, will be exhibited through Friday, Oct. 12, in the Sue & Leon Genet Gallery, first floor, Nancy Cantor Warehouse, 350 W. Fayette St., Syracuse.

The garments are all part of the holdings of the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection, based in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) School of Design and curated by Jeffrey Mayer, professor of fashion design. Mayer will give the gallery talk “Reinventing the Dirndl Skirt in the 21st Century” on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 5 p.m.

The dirndl, a full-gathered skirt with a tight waist or fitted bodice adapted from Tyrolean folk costume, gained popularity in the 1940s for ready-to-wear, both for women and little girls, as a charming and easy-to-wear garment. This silhouette retained its popularity through the 1950s, growing to extreme proportions and supported by layers of petticoats, and although still popular, slightly less full in the early 1960s.

April 28 – May 13, 2018
Twenty-one students from the School of Design’s industrial and interaction design program are presenting their fifth-year theses, a collection of projects that are the culmination of two semesters of design practice. The first semester was dedicated to research, and the second was spent delving into their respective subjects and turning their conceptual ideas into practical realities. The assembled work in this exhibition include a range of products, services, and experiences that have been practiced, prototyped, and perfected to represent solutions to problems identified by the designers through their initial research.

February 8-23, 2018
Design on Track: Faculty Research from the School of Design is an exhibition that showcases the innovative work currently being explored by the tenure-track faculty in the College of Visual and Performing Arts' School of Design. Representing the expanding range of disciplines and research within the school, the exhibition highlights the faculty work from communications design, fashion design, environmental and interior design, industrial and interaction design, and the graduate program in museum studies. A selection of sculptural objects, fashion, typography, and theoretical research focus on topics ranging from engaging communities through design, innovations in mixed reality, and contemporary curatorial studies.

The faculty members included in the exhibition are Michele Damato (communications design), Adriana Gorea (fashion design), Rebecca D. Kelly (communications design), Seyeon Lee (environmental and interior design), Zeke Leonard (environmental and interior design), Louise Manfredi (industrial and interaction design), Andrew Saluti (museum studies), and Ralf Schneider (industrial and interaction design).

December 4, 2017-February 3, 2018
A number of social, political, and technological changes have had a profound impact on the development of modern bra design. Various changes in the role of women in society with origins in the two world wars, an increasingly fast-changing and innovative fashion scene, and changes in feminist attitudes brought about substantial changes in attitudes toward both the bra and female identity. Thus, the bra often took center stage in reflecting some of these momentous changes.

Cross Your Heart intends to capture the evolution of a highly complex bra design process via a vintage inspired intimate apparel collection. The designer’s innovative bra patternmaking method, ‘Shin’s method,’ is applied for the creation of the collection.

About the Artist

Kristina Shin, Ph.D., graduated from Chung Nam National University, Korea, with a B.A. in clothing and textiles, an M.A. in fashion merchandising from California State University Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in fashion design from the University of Northumbria, U.K. She has more than 10 years’ experience in both the outerwear and underwear industries as a fashion designer and patternmaker. Prior to joining the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Shin worked for Triumph International Overseas Ltd., one of the world’s leading lingerie brands, as a designer.

Shin is the author of Patternmaking for Underwear Design (2nd edition), a textbook that is a comprehensive patternmaking guide aimed at students, educators, and industry. This publication presents innovative bra cup manipulation methods which she developed using a flat patternmaking concept.

October 4-November 12, 2017
In 2016, Syracuse University hired Pentagram, the world’s largest independent design consultancy, to create a new visual identity for the 21st century. When it was discovered that there was a unique connection between the University and Frederic W. Goudy, one of America’s foremost type designers, and that the Special Collections Research Center was in possession of original Goudy type matrices, the decision was made to incorporate these original artifacts into the project. Just Our Type: An Exploration of Typography and the story behind Syracuse University's own Sherman typeface highlighted the new Sherman Book typeface, developed from Goudy’s original design by Chester Jenkins of Village Type Foundry, the cornerstone of the University’s new brand identity. Through documentary video, didactic timelines and displays, and examples of original Goudy artifacts from the University’s Special Collections, this exhibition explored the elements typography through the lens of Syracuse’s own signature typeface.

May-September, 2017
The annual thesis exhibition features the work of graduating seniors in the industrial and interaction design program in the School of Design.

March-April, 2017
The exhibition featured 12 large scale panoramic photographs shot by the artist between 2001 and 2017 using the antique rotating ‘Cirkut’ camera manufactured in the early 1900s. These cameras can document up to 360 degrees, capturing the entirety of large groups within their environment.

“Looking at a panoramic photograph is like unwinding a Chinese scroll, allowing the viewer to slowly take in the story that unfolds,” explains the artist, who began shooting with these cameras nearly 20 years ago. “It’s well suited to exploring the relationships among subjects, objects, and photographer in a broad landscape, and creates a portrait of individuals within a larger community.”

Organized by the graduate program in museum studies, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University.

November 3-December 16, 2016
The exhibition featured a selection of prints and textiles from the Syracuse University Art Collection and the Genet Costume Collection that illustrated the transition of imagery through 250 years of the Japanese woodcut. The prints date from the height of color Ukiyo-e printmaking (circa 1780-1868) through Japan’s Meiji period (1868-1912) to 20th-century impressions of the Shin Hanga movement (1915-1940s). Beginning with portraits and designs of well-known courtesans and bathhouses, the imagery evolved to depict popular allegory and theatrical stories as well as reflections of the Japanese landscape. Later prints from the Shin Hanga (“new prints”) movement look back to the traditional Ukiyo-e method, but embody contemporary scenes and compositions.

October 21-December 10, 2015
Emilio Sanchez: No Way Home, Images of the Caribbean and New York City exhibition featured 24 works by the Cuban American artist best known for his brightly colored, strongly shadowed paintings, prints, and drawings of Caribbean and New York City architecture. The show highlighted a gift to the University Art Collection from the Emilio Sanchez Foundation of more than 250 paintings, drawings, and prints.

Sanchez (Camaguey, Cuba, 1921 – New York, 1999) moved to New York from Cuba in 1944 to take art classes at Columbia and by 1952 decided to relocate there. His early pictures were inspired by the landscape surrounding his father’s plantation in Cuba and described cane fields dotted with palm trees or working class residences and villages. Apparent in them is an interest in pattern, color, and strong lighting contrasts that came to characterize his mature style.

March 3-April 15, 2014
Philippe Halsman created iconic photographs of celebrities, politicians, fashion, musicians, and more. He began his career in France, but moved to the United States during World War II. He worked extensively on projects with Life magazine and was especially well known for his “jumpology” photographs, which featured his subjects mid-jump.

January 22-February 15, 2014
This exhibition brought together chairs that have been collected by faculty members in the School of Design. A chair is the most basic representation of furniture. Formed to support the body, it is defined by the characteristics of human anatomy: bending in one direction at the waist and bending in the opposite direction at the knees. At the same time, a chair, created to support a single individual at a time, has long been considered an aesthetic object, a visual reflection of the taste and power of its sitter.

 October 29-November 26, 2013
This exhibition presented the work of distinguished artist and alumna Cecile Gray Bazelon ’49. Bazelon’s work has been described as surreal, Precisionist, and hard-edged as well as elegant and dislocating. A defining aesthetic in her paintings is the stylistic manipulation of space; she often uses wide-angle perspective to delineate her many images of the New York skyline, resulting in a striking series of conceptual viewpoints.

April 10-May 1, 2013
FAQ aimed to be an innovative, educational, and beautiful presentation with two thematic narratives: the types of questions we ask and how we seek answers to those questions. The gallery housed interdisciplinary displays with artifacts and resources drawn from history, science, art, pop culture, and personal interviews.

February 8-24, 2013
This exhibition showcased the distinguished career of Syracuse University alumnus Robert Blaich ’52, H’90, and the impact of his 60 years in the design field.

September 24-October 10, 2012
Raw Revelations: The Reunion of Hand Tools and Production explored the connection between history, design, and craftsmanship through a sensory experience. The show invited the public to learn about the history of hand tools and woodworking, witness part of the process of creating a wooden stool by hand, and find out how to reconnect the process of creation and the final product.

April 20-May 13, 2012
Stickley Furniture: the Evolution of a Design  presented an inside look into the furniture-making process of one of America’s most legendary furniture companies.
In this exhibition, patrons could follow the design process from inspiration to finished product through the Bristol Chair--a piece that was inspired by a work in the Stickley Museum Collection.

March 23-April 17, 2012
Educational Toys by Roy Wilson featured works designed by 1970 Syracuse University alumnus Roy Wilson. Toys on display included those made for the Learning Curve Toy Co., such as the 1992 Thomas Wooden Railway project and the 1994 Lamaze Infant Development System, which he researched, designed, engineered, and manufactured.

December 2, 2011-January 19, 2012
The Six Sides of Japanese Package Design focused on the way the design of the package relates to Japanese culture and consumerism. Each section of the gallery was a realization of the groups’ respective themes in the form of a museum exhibition.

October 15-November 11, 2011
This exhibition united original Arts and Crafts Movement furnishings with an emphasis on those designed by Gustav Stickley and clothing worn by American women during 1909-1913--a rarely seen combination.

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