Jan 16, 2017
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Museum of Arts and Design to open Judith Leiber exhibit this spring

Jan 16, 2017

The Museum of Arts and Design in New York City announced this week a new exhibition highlighting the work of fashion designer Judith Leiber.

Sonia Delauney envelope in multicolored karung and calf, 1990 - The Leiber Collection/Gary Mamay

Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story will showcase handbags from Leiber’s namesake company from 1963 to 2004, when she designed her last handbag. The exhibit, which was curated by Assistant Curator Samantha De Tillio, uses Leiber’s work to explore the significance of the handbag in twentieth-century Western culture and immigrant entrepreneurship.
Leiber moved to the US from her native Hungary and designed for other companies before founding her own company. She was a pattern maker that could construct a handbag from start to finish, a skill she brought to the States from Europe.

Many pieces slated to appear at Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story feature Parsi ribbons from India, fabrics from Japan, Iran and Africa, and Swarovski crystals. Many Judith Leiber handbags have artistic influences such as Art Deco-inspired hardware, and artwork from Piet Mondrian, Georges Braque, and Sonia Delaunay among others.

Many Presidential First Ladies carried Judith Leiber handbags including Mamie Eisenhower, Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton, and Leiber received many awards during her career including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers and a Visionary Woman Award from Moore College of Art & Design. She also opened a museum in her name, Leiber Museum, in Long Island, which displays several of her handbags.
Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story opens on April 4, 2017 and will be on view through August 6, 2017.

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