As we head into the Art Deco Festival, it’s timely to look at what’s going on around the building and what’s on display. This year our latest exhibition, Tender is the Night, takes its name from the 1934 novel by author F Scott Fitzgerald. Using Fitzgerald’s quotes, this vignette highlights the freedom and decadence of the era, as youth disregarded the traditional morals of their elders. The social and political context in which Art Deco emerged, the flapper movement and the changing fashions and trends of the period are explored. There are some stunning authentic 1920s dresses on display, along with accessories such as hats, jewellery and shoes. Two videos, one with historic film footage gives a real sense of time and place, and the second provides a fun way to learn the steps of the Charleston. You can try some dress-up costumes and really get into the spirit of the era. Guided tours of this exhibition are available on Wednesday 19th, Thursday 20th and Friday 21st at 11am - visit our website for more details.
Downstairs, next to the 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake gallery, a black and white deco dress-up area is available. With an historic image of the Soundshell providing the backdrop, this is a great photo or selfie opportunity. Some high quality and interesting international examples of Art Deco objects are also on display in this area, next to the Survivors Stories theatrette.
A previous exhibition, The Architectural Legacy of J.A. Louis Hay, inspired a Louis Hay specific walking tour and this is on offer both Thursday 20th and Friday 21st at 5pm - visit our website for more details.
There are two main events in the Century Theatre during the festival. Unwind is a concert on Wednesday 19th at 7pm, with saxophonist Hayden Chisholm, bassist Paul Dyne, pianist and composer Norman Meechan, and percussionist Julien Dyne. This group compose and perform original music that fuses a number of styles. With a strong jazz overtone this group is a fitting addition to your Art Deco calendar. The Royale Variety Performance – Stars of Cabaret is in the Century Theatre both Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd at 8pm. Royale sisters, Betty and Mags, will light up the stage with their burlesque performances and musical comedy, alongside other surprises and treats. Come prepared to laugh and be wowed by this fabulous duo.
You can also enjoy Deco-Dance After Dark at MTG on Thursday 20th at 8pm. This naughty but nice event embraces the decadence of the jazz age with bubbles on arrival, canapés and entertainment. This is a great event for you and your ‘goodtime friends’ to enjoy.
Whatever you do over the Art Deco Festival period we hope you enjoy yourselves and all that is on offer. MTG is free to visit and when it’s hot outside it’s cool in here!
Image Credit: Paul Dobson recently kindly donated, on behalf of his parents Evelyn and Ivan, a 1937 art deco dinner set to the museum – part of which is on display in the foyer for Art Deco Festival.
17 February 2020
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