First Museum Exhibition to Consider Artistic Innovation of Mannequin Design Open at MAD in New York City

Read more about MAD's mannequin exhibit at

Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin is the first museum exhibition to explore the work of renowned New York-based designer Ralph Pucci, widely regarded for his innovative approach to the familiar form of the mannequin. Through a complete commitment to craftsmanship, and unique artistic collaborations with Diane von Furstenberg, Patrick Naggar, Lowell Nesbitt, Veruschka, and many others Pucci expanded the parameters of this ubiquitous sculptural form, while creating mannequins that reflect major cultural trends of the past three decades. Explore the intersection of Art, Fashion and Craft through three decades of innovative Ralph Pucci Mannequins. Open until August, 30th.

The exhibition features over 30 of Pucci's most important mannequins, as well as an in-gallery recreation of the sculpture studio where his longtime collaborator Michael Evert creates the prototypes.

"Visitors will get a unique behind-the-scenes understanding of the creative process involved in Pucci's multidisciplinary endeavors," says Glenn Adamson, MAD's Nanette L. Laitman Director.

As Pucci was building his business in the 1970s, the notion of the "super model" -- the living mannequin with a personality -- emerged. Pucci captured this catalytic moment in his work, finding inspiration from sources as varied as Greek and Roman statues and the performance costumes of the New York Dolls. Pucci personified the previously anonymous form in new and challenging ways, creating visions of physical beauty that were more specific, empowered, and diverse than the fashion industry had previously allowed. His mannequins became agents of change in our attitudes to the body, to fashion, and to individual identity.

In-Gallery Recreation of Sculpture Studio and Live Sculpting

MAD will reveal the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into the creation of the mannequin by focusing on the collaboration between Pucci and Michael Evert, his master sculptor and longtime collaborator. A recreation of the Pucci Sculpting Studio will feature the idea boards that are used to create mannequin designs, the mannequin forms in various stages of finish, and smaller maquettes revealing the traditional clay sculpting methods Evert uses to create the Pucci mannequins. A time lapse video will uncover the start to finish cycle of the Pucci mannequin design and fabrication process, from the sculpting of the prototype by Evert to the final product ready for the marketplace.

In residence periodically during the exhibition's run, Evert will conduct live "sittings" and sculpt models of selected fashion celebrities and members of the general public, offering visitors a first-hand look at his creative process. Various steps of assembly and finishing will be conveyed via photographs by Antoine Bootz.

Isabel and Ruben Toledo-Curated MAD Tiffany Jewelry Gallery

Renowned designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo will reinvent the entire Tiffany Jewelry Gallery as an imaginary moonscape. Inspired by the first mannequin Ruben created for Ralph Pucci, the surrealist jewelry form, "Birdland," the gallery will contain barren undulating hills and valleys punctuated with half bird/half female mannequin forms and jewelry from MAD's permanent collection.

Highlights from the Main Gallery exhibition include

Have a comment to share? Like us on Facebook - OffbeatTravelCom and post your comment.

April 7th, 2015

© 2015