ATHM Curator Karen Herbaugh and Guest Curator Madelyn Shaw prepare some of the colorful clothing items featured in Color Revolution: Style Meets Science in
ATHM Curator Karen Herbaugh and Guest Curator Madelyn Shaw prepare some of the colorful clothing items featured in Color Revolution: Style Meets Science in the 1960s.

Feeling funky? Get in the groove at Lowell's American Textile History Museum, where the eye-popping exhibition Color Revolution: Style Meets Science in the 1960s explores the psychedelic '60s through fashions and the science, technology and design that influenced them. It runs Sept. 14-Jan. 26.

"Technology fostered the volcanic eruption of color and patterning that characterized the 1960s," said ATHM curator Karen Herbaugh in press material. "Fiber reactive dyes opened a bright new world of color on cotton fabrics and disperse dyes did the same for the new synthetic fibers that were introduced almost every year."

No Published CaptionSun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our MyCapture site.
No Published Caption

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our MyCapture site.

Screen-printing was the rapid process that allowed this explosion of color and patterns to take hold in pop, psychedelic, neon and Day-Glo designs. In addition, affluent travelers took off for exotic places and brought new color sensibilities, textile patterns and clothing styles back with them.

"Because scientists had come up with new dyes, designers suddenly found themselves with an opportunity to use more saturated, vibrant colors," said guest curator Madelyn Shaw in the press release. "And then all the rules were broken as designers generated stylized, surreal patterns and mixed colors in ways never done before."


Advertisement

Far from high fashion, Color Revolution showcases mainstream and mass-produced clothing worn by everyday Americans. Visitors will find the silhouettes and prints of the funky '60s styles to be familiar, since many are being copied in today's "retro" styles.

The museum is also opening To Catch the Eye: Advertising and the Art of Business on Sept. 14. It showcases a century of textile advertising art and design, including trade cards, cloth labels and images of elaborate exhibits shown at world's fairs.

Special events include An Evening with Regina Lee Blaszczyk, an award-winning historian who will discuss the relationship of color and commerce from 1850-1970, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 6:30 p.m.; members-only private tour with guest curator Madelyn Shaw, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.; From Finland With Love: Marimekko in America, Past and Present, lecture by independent curator Susan Ward, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2 p.m. and Hippie Fashion, lecture by Museum of Fine Arts curator Lauren Whitley, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m.

The American Textile History Museum is located at 491 Dutton St., Lowell. Visit athm.org information.

Art picks

  • ART HARVEST: The Ayer Lofts artist-residents and their guests celebrate autumn and show off their latest creations, including painting, sculpture and more at the Art Harvest from Sept. 7-Oct. 6. The opening reception is on Saturday, Sept. 7, noon-4 p.m. at the gallery, 172 Middle St., Lowell. It will be open Saturdays and Sundays from noon-4 p.m. Visit www.ayerlofts.com/Xevents.htm.
  • CELEBRATING A GOOD CAUSE: The Art of Wine at Tutto Bene celebrates its 1st anniversary this month at its Paint 'n Studio at 58 Prescott St., Lowell. As part of the festivities, the owners/managers give back to the community with an art sale. "Every time we have a class, the artist (leading the class) creates another original painting," said Ellen Andre, who co-owns the business with Dick Rourke and manages the business with Chris Rose. Those paintings have accumulated. So they are holding a Gallery Sale, selling off dozens of originals for $20 each and giving buyers the choice of donating the funds to Merrimack Valley Food Bank or the Lowell Humane Society. So far, they have raised $1,000 and hope to earn $2,000 by the end of September. Stop by the storefront through Sept. 30 to see the art available for sale. Visit tuttobenecellars.com or call 978-459-9463. 
  • WEEKEND HAPPENINGS: The Fitchburg Art Museum celebrates "The Immigrant," a new public sculpture by Nora Valdez located at the corner of Main and Prichard Streets, Fitchburg, on Saturday, Sept. 7, with an artist's talk and performance, 1-3 p.m. at the sculpture site. According to Valdez, the sculpture focuses on the struggles immigrants feel of "being from here, there and nowhere; the constant feeling of drifting without ever finding a place to call home..." Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave., Lowell, presents a talk by Rev. Michael Hamilton on religious icons in connection to visual art on Sunday, Sept. 8, at 4 p.m. For info, call 978-656-1687 or visit theloadingdockgallery.com... Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge greets the fall season with Drummers Call on Saturday, Sept. 7, showcasing many of New England's premier fife and drum bands. On Sunday, Sept. 8, the living history museum celebrates Grandparents Day with free admission for grandparents accompanied by a grandchild. Visit osv.org/events for a schedule of activities.

Nancye Tuttle's email is nancyedt@verizon.net.