Spectacular Spectacles

8/6/2007

Spectacular Spectacles

July 26 through December 30, 2007

Gallery II
Free opening reception on August 10, 5 – 8 pm in conjunction with downtown’s 2nd Friday Art Night

Spectacles bring the world into focus. Their invention over seven hundred years ago was prompted by the need to correct the failings of the aging eye. Over the years, eyeglasses have been continuously improved through technical innovation in materials and manufacture. Spectacles are spectacular examples of their times and cultures. By exploring the many types of eyeglasses that have existed, we can observe an evolution of both technology and craftsmanship.

 

Yet from the beginning, vision aids were more than optical devices to improve eyesight.  Even in the earliest of designs, spectacles were not limited by practical considerations and artisans worked to create spectacles that communicated both social status and fashion.

 

Spectacular Spectacles is an exhibit featuring over three hundred spectacles and other vision aids from around the world. The exhibit chronicles the history of spectacles, highlighting changes in design and fashion from 1800 to the present.  Exhibited with Spectacular Spectacles are some of the finest and most unusual pieces from the Museum of Vision’s collection including jeweled and enameled creations.  The exhibit features spectacles from Europe and China, monoculars, binoculars/opera glasses, pince-nez, lorgnettes, contact lenses, Eskimo sun shades, goggles, novelties and toys.