Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Adventures with Dorothy

 [Photo via hoyasmeg.]

School is out and for me that means more frequent visits to Fernbank Museum of Natural History, aka "the dinosaur museum," and my annual blog mention of a woman ahead of her time, Dorothy Methvin McClatchey.

[Photo via Reid2008.]

In my experience, Fernbank is one of the Atlanta institutions kids enjoy most. Along with the fossils, forest, and architecture by Graham and Gund, there is fashion to see. The museum's permanent exhibition, Reflections of Culture, pulls from a collection of jewelry and costumes assembled by globe-trotting Atlantan Dorothy Methvin McClatchey and explores how what we wear tells who we are.  I've been told that Mrs. McClatchey was into yoga (and yogurt, too) long before it was fashionable or even remotely mainstream. She was fortunate to be able to travel extensively -- from North America to Asia, and to Africa, Europe and Melanesia -- and she had a sincere interest in learning about the cultures she encountered along the way.

[20th-century African necklace incorporatng small antelope bones, ostrich eggshell beads, imitation amber and cast brass beads. Dorothy Methvin McClatchey collection image copyright©Fernbank Museum of Natural History.]

In the past I honed in on her Asian pieces but this summer I'll be paying closer attention to whichever African objects are currently on view. Right now Fernbank does have posted online a bit of interesting information about Maasai women and beadwork as well as early African beads. And to follow up on this post, I did come across more over at the Smithsonian.

Also, for anyone in Atlanta with a schedule flexible enough to commit to two three-hour shifts a month (plus mandatory training), Fernbank offers what sounds like a great volunteer opportunity specific to Reflections of Culture.

[Tory Burch's Venetian Glass Bracelet inspired by the glass artisans of Venice and arts patron, Peggy Guggenheim.]

Related past post: Who Knew?


Gwen Driscoll said...

I want to bring Lucy here next time we come to Atlanta. Looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing. Instantly bookmarking this post. Have a great week.

Style Court said...

Hi Gwen --

Hope you do get to visit. It's a wonderful museum!


I didn't know that you were in school (what are you studying or were you speaking metaphorically? in which case I sound a little slow...) I haven't been to Fernbank in ages, but I have always loved its dramatic interiors. FB is right around the corner, I need to get over there. Thanks for reminding me, Courtney!

Style Court said...

Hey Claire!

Yeah, I meant the kids are out, so I'm more likely to be doing activities with my sister's or friends' children. The shells and pottery are inspiring too.

DeedleDee said...

What a wonderful post! Reflections of Culture is often overlooked by guests, it's great to see it given such special attention here.

Deanna (Fernbank Museum)

Anonymous said...

That's cool that you used my photo of Fernbank. Great use for the fisheye lens. Best wishes on you blog!