Based in the School of Design, the Sue & Leon Genet Gallery hosts exhibitions curated or consisting of work by the school’s students, faculty, and alumni. Exhibitions are presented during the academic year.

Current Exhibition

Wondering the Alphabet

By Roderick Martinzez

Closing Reception and Gallery Talk
Thursday, December 6, 5–7 p.m.

Monday, Friday, and Saturday noon–5 p.m. or by appointment.
*Gallery closed November 17–25.

Based on the book by Roderick Martinez, associate professor and program coordinator of Communications Design in the School of Design, Wondering the Alphabet is a visual and literary investigation of our alphabet. The exhibition features installations of the evolution of the alphabet, tracing its changes graphically over time, as well as collaborations with twenty-six accomplished poets reflecting on unique designs and letterforms. More information about the book can be found at wonderingthealphabet.com.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours during the Fall 2018 semester are Friday, Saturday and Monday, noon-5 p.m. If you require accommodations, please contact genetgallery@syr.edu.

Past Exhibitions

High on a Hill Is a Lonely Dirndl

“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.

With the release of the 1965 film “The Sound of Music,” set in Salzburg, Austria, with charming, carefully researched costumes designed by Dorothy Jeakins and worn by the effervescent Julie Andrews in the role of Maria von Trapp, as well as five of the seven von Trapp children, the popularity exploded and a whole new wave of dirndl dresses, skirt and jumpers (many trimmed with colorful Tyrolean ribbon) emerged as everyday basics.

In 1976 the French designer Yves Saint Laurent re-popularized the dirndl when he designed his now famous “Russian” collection which featured, once again, the dirndl skirt for both day and evening. This time the skirt was sophisticated and elegant, cut in such luxurious evening fabrics as silk taffeta and satin and such rich day fabrics as wool flannel, challis and velvet.

Maintaining its popularity into the 1980s and 1990s, particularly with engineered rayon challis print fabrics, the dirndl became a staple for working women, having a professional but comfortable silhouette.

The popularity of the dirndl had less importance in the early 2000s, replaced by longer bias-cut skirts or slacks. Today we are seeing the reintroduction of the dirndl both in the aforementioned designer collections, as well as at mass market retailers such as Zara and H&M. Fall 2018 Fashion Week marked a return to the dirndl skirt, with designers from Maria Grazia Chiuri at Christian Dior, to Loewe, to Marc Jacobs as well as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the Row (to name just a few) showcasing the soft, full, gathered skirts.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours during the Fall 2018 semester are Friday, Saturday and Monday, noon-5 p.m. If you require accommodations, please contact genetgallery@syr.edu.

Based in the School of Design, the Sue & Leon Genet Gallery hosts exhibitions curated or consisting of work by the school’s students, faculty and alumni. Exhibitions are presented during the academic year.

Industrial and Interaction Design Thesis Show: 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.

Design on Track: Faculty Research from the School of Design | 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).

Cross Your Heart | The Bra: A Product of Socio-Cultural Conflict and Divergence | December 4, 2017-February 3, 2018

A mannequin wearing a black lace undergarment
Cross Your Heart

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. 

Just Our Type | 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.

Cirkut in Time: Photographs by Jamie Young | 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.

Cirkut in Time photo
Image: Graduate program in museum studies students and faculty, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

IID Senior Thesis Exhibition | 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.

Ukiyo-E To Shin Hanga: Patterns of Japan | 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.

Ukiyo-E to Shin Hanga print
Image: Yoshida Hiroshi (Japanese 1876- 1950)
Fujiyama- First Light of the Sun, 1926
Syracuse University Art Collection, 1996.0043

Emilio Sanchez: No Way Home, Images of the Caribbean and New York City | 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.

Emilio Sanchez photo
Image: Emilio Sanchez, untitled, Casita Doble, c1990s. Syracuse University Art Collection, 2010.0203

Philippe Halsman’s Hollywood | 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.

Chairs: A Designer’s Choice | 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.

Chairs exhibition

Between the Spaces: Works by Cecile Gray Bazelon | 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.

Between the Spaces exhibition

FAQ: Fearlessly Asked Questions | 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.

The Design Impact of Robert Blaich | 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.

The Design of Impact exhibition

Raw Revelations: The Reunion of Hand Tools and Production | 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. ​

Raw Revelations exhibition

Stickley Furniture: the Evolution of a Design | 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.

Educational Toys by Roy Wilson | 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. 

Education Toys exhibition

Six Sides of Japanese Package Design | 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.

Japanese Package Design exhibition

The American Look | 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.

The American Look exhibition