Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Costume Institute at Met Museum NYC Focuses on Chinese Influence in Fashion Through Time + Food: Cooking Potatoes

The Met Museum:
An Exhibition on
Chinese Influence
in Fashion
The Costume Institute’s spring 2015 exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass, is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through August 16, 2015. The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, have juxtaposed high fashion with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.

“From the earliest period of European contact with China in the 16th century, the West has been enchanted with enigmatic objects and imagery from the East, providing inspiration for fashion designers from Paul Poiret to Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashions are infused at every turn with romance, nostalgia, and make-believe,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in The Costume Institute. “Through the looking glass of fashion, designers conjoin disparate stylistic references into a fantastic pastiche of Chinese aesthetic and cultural traditions.”

China: Through the Looking Glass features more than 140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear alongside masterpieces of Chinese art. Filmic representations of China are incorporated throughout to reveal how our visions of China are shaped by narratives that draw upon popular culture, and to recognize the importance of cinema as a medium through which we understand the richness of Chinese history.

China: Through the Looking Glass, by Andrew Bolton accompanies the exhibition. ($45 for the gold-stamped flexi-bound edition with 256 pages, 40 printed vellum leaves, and 231 color illustrations. A deluxe limited boxed edition of 500 numbered copies has a traditional Chinese string binding and a framable "Platon" photographic print. The limited edition is $250 and available only at the Museum.)

There is a video at the end of the article showing the Met Gala, RED CARPET extravaganza which opened the exhibition on May 4, 2015. Also find a link to another website showing the evening gowns the stars wore at the Red Carpet, Met Gala. 

Walk with us now, through the exhibition.

First a video overview of the "China: Through the Looking Glass" exhibition, with commentary from the Met's curator for the Costume Institute

(Captions were unavailable to ARTSnFOOD, but all of these fashions have Chinese influence and represent many periods of fashion and design.) 

The video below documents the Met Gala's Red Carpet at the "China: Through the Looking Glass" Exhibition Opening on May 4th, 2015.

(Source: All photos, above, were taken by ARTSnFOOD staff with permission and on location at the exhibition. Text information and videos: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Press Department.)

at other websites, links below:


How To Make a Perfect Baked Potato:

Got time? 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Start with organic russet potatoes of the large baking variety. Wash, scrub, and dry the potatoes.
3. Brush each potato skin with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with ground sea salt.
4. Poke holes on all sides with the point of a sharp knife or fork.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 75 minutes, turn up the heat to 400 
degrees for the final 15 minutes. (This can vary depending on the size of your baked potato and the altitude at which you live, so you will still need to test for doneness and find what cook time works best for you.)
Short on time?
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Start with an organic russet potato of the large baking variety. Wash, scrub, and dry the potato. 
3. Poke holes on all sides with the point of a sharp knife or fork. Microwave the potatoes, up to 4 at a time, on full power for 4 minutes.
4. Turn potato over and microwave for 4 more minutes.
Optional, for crispier skin:
5. Brush the skin with olive oil mixed with disloved sea salt. 

6. Then, bake the microwaved potato in the 450 degree F preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Cooking Potatoes
for Potato Salad
  • Pick the Right Potato
  • Firm and creamy varieties stand up better to being tossed and dressed than soft and starchy ones, which can fall apart. Choose fingerlings, red bliss, new white potatoes, Yukon Gold or any of the small heirloom potatoes you see. Avoid russets.
  • Small Is Beautiful
    Choose potatoes that are all the same size so they cook at the same rate; the smaller the better. Ideally, the potatoes should be small enough that you need only halve or quarter them to yield a nice compact bite. So-called micro-potatoes are ideal.
  • Pour on the Salt
    Don’t be shy with the shaker. Boil potatoes in water as salty as the sea; this ensures even seasoning and maximum flavor.
  • Give Them Room
    Don’t crowd the potatoes in the pot; they need elbow room to cook evenly. Crowding also slows down the cooking.
  • Watch the Pot
    Start checking on the potatoes after 15 minutes for small ones, 20 minutes for medium-size spuds. And don’t overcook — you want them tender in the center but not mushy at the edges. Use the tip of a paring knife to test, not a fork, which can break up their flesh. When done, the potato should fall off the knife and back into the pot.

  • Cut ’Em While They’re Hot 
  • As soon as you can bear touching them, cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks or wedges while they are still hot (or at least warm). Hot potatoes drink up more dressing.
  • Learn the Ratio
    For every 2 pounds of potatoes, you’ll need 1/2 cup to 1 cup of dressing, depending on how saturated you like your salad. For a classic summertime dressing, spike 2/3 cup of mayonnaise with a tablespoon of mustard, a tablespoon or two of cider vinegar or lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons of minced red or white onion.
  • Add Stuff in Stages
    Toss with dressing while the potatoes are hot, but keep other vegetables and herbs separate until the last minute, lest they wilt in the heat.

  • Double Up on the Dressing
  • Potato salads always need more dressing than you think, so keep extra on hand to add at the last minute.
  • Taste It Again
  • Flavors have a way of settling down, so be sure to give the salad a taste just before serving, and adjust the seasoning by adding more dressing, salt, pepper and/or whatever acid (like lemon juice or vinegar) you used in the dressing.
(Source: Information for Baked Potatoes come from Wikipedia and various other online recipe sites. Information for Cooking Potatoes for Potato Salad was originally published at website.)
Link below to potato salad recipes
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness through the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & Photographs are © Copyright 2015 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. Any gallery, event, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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