Reigning Men

It has been a very fashionable year at the St. Louis Art Museum!

Earlier this year, we saw an exhibit dedicated to Degas and the Paris Millinery trade. We also went on a fun scavenger hunt looking for hats designed by British milliner Stephen Jones. But that wasn’t the end of the fashion exhibits! Last week, we also had the opportunity to tour the Reigning Men exhibit,  which showcases men’s fashion from 1715-2015, thanks to “Free Fridays” at the St. Louis Art Museum!

Reigning Men is divided into five sections. First was Revolution/Evolution, which focused on both the more aggressive, political side of fashion, as well as a general resistance to traditional menswear, evidenced by a change in colors and patterns. There was much in the part of the exhibit that felt familiar, due to our studies of history:

Next was East/West, which showed how events such as the Crimean War changed then-current fashions in Europe. The changes have persisted, and have extended to Japanese-inspired fashions, among other things, becoming popular, even today:

The third section, Uniformity,  was the largest. As the title suggests, military uniforms were displayed. More utilitarian outfits worn by civilians, as well as business and formal attire considered socially acceptable, were also included:

There were even several pairs of unusual shoes on display in this part of the exhibit!

From there, we moved on to Body Consciousness, which focused on clothing that flaunted a youthful, trim silhouette. In addition to some rather sheer styles, there were even underwear on display here, which caused some giggling from all of us. We also saw a swimsuit made of the material that was banned following the 2008 Olympic Games!

The final area was The Splendid Man, which focused on bold colors and adventurous styles, including heavy embroidery and even a suit covered in sequins! Let’s face it, we don’t normally see men dressed in the fashions displayed here, so it was the most foreign to us!

This was a fascinating exhibit. We saw suits of clothing that looked as if they had been lifted from the pages from history, tuxedos we recognized from movies, familiar military uniforms, and even the closest thing we have to “National Dress” here in America, in the form of a Ralph Lauren design. But as is the case with most high fashion, much of it was completely alien to us, and unlike anything we’ve ever seen on the streets. It was still interesting to see how men’s fashion has evolved, and I don’t imagine that I’ll consider menswear “boring” again!

2017-18 School Year–Week Three

It was another busy week of school!

We are in a fairly comfortable routine now. The teacher is still working on handling everything for three different grades, but I’m getting it figured out. Surprisingly, religion has been one of the hardest things for me to learn how to balance. Turkey and Bunny do all their Bible readings on their own, but we then discuss all the questions from the lesson together. Meanwhile, I still read the stories (from two different books) out loud to both Ladybug and Chickadee, in addition to going through the questions for each with them. Sometimes, I can’t keep up with who I’m talking to at any given moment, but we’re managing.

Math has continued to go well. Turkey and Bunny have gotten into some new stuff in geometry, but they’re picking it up quickly, and they both like it. Ladybug has been reviewing fractions and decimals, and Chickadee is working on counting higher. She has some trouble after fourteen…she always wants to skip straight to sixteen, and I think it’s because she ignores fifteen because it’s not pronounced “five-teen!”

Ladybug has really been enjoying science. She learned all about different kinds of dogs this week, including wolves, jackals, and dingoes. Turkey and Bunny had their first test (both received As!), and are now learning about the kingdom of Monera. They’re looking forward to getting out the microscope soon, and seeing what kind of weird stuff lives in the ponds around here!

Today we took a field trip. There has been a men’s fashion exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum (Reigning Men), that I had wanted to see, but almost forgot about. Fortunately, they offer free tickets on Fridays, so we were able to get in at no cost before it leaves town. Since we’re all learning about ancient Egypt right now, we also stopped to see the galleries dedicated to Egypt while we were there.

We don’t have any big plans next week, but we are attending a Japanese Festival this weekend, and hopefully we’ll learn something while we’re there!

The Hats of Stephen Jones

In addition to the Degas exhibit, which is wrapping up soon, the St. Louis Art Museum just began a fun new millinery-focused exhibit last week…one that is something of a scavenger hunt!

“The Hats of Stephen Jones” is a display of eight whimsical hats designed by contemporary British milliner Stephen Jones, which are scattered throughout levels one and two of the museum. Some of the hats come with a bit of fame, including one that was worn by the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Miss Pippa Middleton! You don’t have to work too awfully hard to find the hats, as you can get a list of the galleries that are home to these wonderful millinery creations, but the search may encourage you to visit parts of the museum that you don’t normally see, or haven’t seen in a long time, which is a win in my book!

Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade

The St. Louis Art Museum has a special exhibit which will soon be coming to a close: “Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade.” I hadn’t realized that it had so little time left, and we almost missed our chance to go. We got tickets to see it last week, for the “Free Friday” event, and it was quite impressive!

As you might expect, there are works by Degas on display. There are also by paintings by some of his friends and contemporaries, as well: Renoir, Cassatt, and Manet were included.

While the bulk of the exhibit focused on women’s hats, as you might expect, there was also an area dedicated to the different styles of men’s headwear.

There were quite a few actual hats on display, as well. I was impressed by how well they’ve held up over the years!

There was a small area of hat-making materials that you could touch…the children really enjoyed that! The feathers were especially popular!

We even saw a doll who had a selection of tiny hats!

This was a fantastic exhibit. I think Bunny and I could have spent all day admiring the paintings and the hats (although I think Turkey would have been happy had we hurried along a bit). There were even children’s books scattered throughout, and Chickadee enjoyed hearing me read an old favorite and a new story to her while we there. The exhibit will be in town through May 7, and I highly recommend taking a tour!

2016-17 School Year–Week Twenty-Nine

These last few weeks of the school year are so crazy!

Thankfully, math has been easy. Turkey and Bunny have been working with the Pythagorean Theorem, which is not totally new to them, so that was a simple set of lessons. Ladybug has continued to work with metric conversions, which she mostly has the hang of, so that hasn’t been problematic, either.

Ladybug finished her study of Greek Myths in literature. She can spend the last few weeks of the school year listening to me read for fun! Turkey and Bunny have finished another act in As You Like It…the one with possibly the most quotable line: “All the world’s a stage…”

Our history lessons have focused primarily around the former USSR, particularly their relations with the Middle East. We have also learned about terrorism, which I guess isn’t really new to anyone these days, but we focused on organizations like the PLO and the IRA in our studies.

Turkey and Bunny have continued learning about the forces of nature in science. They were very excited that their studies took them to outer space this week, as we learned about the solar system. We also discussed the difference between planets and dwarf planets, and why Pluto is no longer classified as a planet. Ladybug has been learning more about jellyfish, as well as sea anemones in her science lessons.

Chickadee has continued to enjoy listening to me read Beezus and Ramona. We also took some time today to visit the St. Louis Art Museum. We finally got to tour the “Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade” exhibit, which is wrapping up its time in St. Louis. While we were there, I had the opportunity to read Chickadee one of her favorite books, Caps for Sale, as well as a new story to us, Madeline and the Bad Hat. I love that they scatter children’s books related to the exhibit throughout! We were also there for the very first day of “The Hats of Stephen Jones” exhibit, which is like a scavenger hunt through the museum…very fun!

This was a very busy week, and we have about four more of those to go before we finish the school year! I hope I can continue to find fun things to mix in with our work!

St. Louis Modern

Today we visited the St. Louis Art Museum to see the St. Louis Modern exhibition before it closes at the end of the month. This is normally a paid exhibition, but the museum has a “Free Fridays” program where you can request up to six free tickets!

There wasn’t much photography allowed, but I did get a picture of the corvette they have displayed at the entrance to the exhibition:


And we got to have a hands-on experience in creating our own mid-century modern designs…it was very fun!

We also got to try out this very comfortable mid-century modern chair!


There were many other cool things to see. Quite a bit of furniture, including chairs, desks, tables, and lamps, art, photographs of architecture, textiles, an awesome radio, dinnerware…even a small-scale model of the Gateway Arch! My favorite part of the exhibition was an Emil Frei stained glass window…how I wanted to take a picture of it!

The children didn’t really have a grasp on what constituted mid-century modern design before our visit today, but after walking through the galleries, they’ve decided we should add some mid-century elements to our home!

We are very fortunate to have such a great and free art museum so close to home!