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The Making of “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love"

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From Mississippi to Paris – to San Francisco: The Making of “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love" with curator Laura Camerlengo

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Online via Zoom. A recording will be available for 14 days after the talk.

The new exhibition Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love at the de Young Museum in San Francisco (opening 10/23/21) celebrates the career and legacy of Black fashion designer Patrick Kelly (1954–1990). Patrick Kelly drew upon his childhood in the United States South, his African American heritage, his experiences in the club and gay cultural scenes in New York and Paris, and muses from fashion, art, and Black history to create light-hearted yet sophisticated designs that pushed racial and cultural boundaries. The exhibition situates Kelly and his work in the broader context of art and fashion history by exploring the inspirations behind his designs, his significant collection of racist memorabilia (whose images he wrested to tell his own story), and footage from his exuberant and groundbreaking fashion shows.

First presented by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2014, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s updated exhibition features almost eighty fully accessorized ensembles, dating from 1984 to 1990, from the Philadelphia Museum’s archive of Kelly’s work as well as the Museums’ costume collection. These costumes are enriched by videos and photographs from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, sketches by the designer from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, and collages, memorabilia, and ephemera from Kelly’s former business and life partner, Bjorn Guil Amelan, and Bill T. Jones.

This lecture offers a “behind the scenes” look at how the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s presentation and accompanying catalogue, the first-ever volume on the designer, came together with Laura L. Camerlengo, presenting curator of the Museums’ exhibition and catalogue volume editor.


		The Making of “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love" image

Laura L. Camerlengo is Associate Curator of Costume and Textile Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Since 2010, she has organized or co-organized costume and textiles exhibitions for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. With Jill D'Alessandro, Curator in Charge of Costume and Textile Arts, she most recently co-curated the critically acclaimed exhibition Contemporary Muslim Fashions (2018). She is the author of The Miser’s Purse (2013) as well as a contributor to Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade (2017) and Contemporary Muslim Fashions (2018). She holds a master of arts in the history of decorative arts and design from Parsons, the New School for Design/Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York.

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Organizer Textile Arts Council

Organizer of The Making of “Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love"

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We are a support group of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco with the goal of advancing the appreciation of the Museums’ textile and costume collections. We are a Bay Area forum that provides lecturers, workshops, events and travel opportunities for artists, designers, aficionados and collectors of ethnic textiles, rugs, tapestries, costume, and contemporary fiber art.

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