Permanent Collection

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Taubman Museum of Art
Written By Taubman Museum of Art

The Taubman Museum of Art is part of the lively metro mountain mix of arts, culture and outdoor fun in the heart of downtown Roanoke, Virginia.

Outside Eyes: New Perspectives on the Collection

Featuring a broad sampling that includes paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs, drawings, and glass, Outside Eyes focuses on artists who came to the forefront between the 19th century and today, a particularly dynamic period in art being made worldwide. The exhibition brings together over fifty works by such renowned American artists as Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Hart Benton, George Inness, and William Bradford as well as contemporary artists such as Rosemary Laing and Binh Danh alongside regional luminaries Pierre Daura, E. Antoinette Hale, Betty Branch, Gerald Donato, and Glen McClure. A free to use audio tour is available through this exhibit; ask for details at the front desk! Feature photo: John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Norah Gribble, 1888.

Outside Eyes: New Perspectives on the Collection is curated by Amy G. Moorefield, Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections with assistance from Mary LaGue, Registrar and is on view from October 13, 2017 - December 27, 2020 in the American Art Gallery and the Susan Macdowell Eakins and Thomas Eakins Gallery. Outside Eyes: New Perspectives on the Collection is generously supported in part by: First Citizens Bank.

Judith Leiber Handbags

Judith Leiber created exquisitely designed couture women’s accessories that blur the boundaries between function and art. Most known for her semiprecious adorned minaudières or compact occasion cases, her creations also include day bags, belts, and pillboxes. Judith Leiber (1921–2018) was born Judith Peto and was raised in an upper-middle-class Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary. In the late 1930s beginning with the Nazi occupation of Hungary, the family faced severe restrictions due to imposed anti-Jewish laws including limits on Jewish participation in Hungary's public and economic life. Interested in handbag design, Judith Peto began work as an apprentice at Pessel, the finest handbag company in Budapest, and it was a decision that sparked a lifelong career in couture bag design. In 1945, she met Gerson Leiber, an American GI stationed in Budapest and in 1946 they were married. The couple immigrated to the United States to make their home in New York. Between 1963 and when she sold the company to Time Products in 1993, Leiber had designed and fabricated nearly 4,000 bags. Although Leiber was no longer designing with the company after 1997, it continues to produce couture bags under her name today.

Recognized for both her originality in design and impeccable handcrafted quality, Leiber imported materials for her bags from Europe and then constructed them in the United States. Beautifully detailed both inside and out, each tiny minaudière took months to hand fabricate with special attention paid to construction including the interior details and hardware. A single bag can weigh between one to two pounds or sometimes more. Attached one by one with tweezers, the bag’s “skin” is bedazzled with thousands of semiprecious stones and crystals such as garnets, carnelian, rose quartz, amethyst, and jet. Each bag contains a tiny mirror and comb either fashioned in silver or gold metal and a change purse just large enough to hold a small object. Her designs range from the abstract to the whimsical. The bags on display celebrate Leiber's gold and silver works, highlighting her intricately sculpted gold- and silver-plated minaudières, clutches, and pillboxes which convey her inherent talent for sleek design. The Leiber bags on view in the Shaftman Gallery are the result of the immense philanthropic generosity of a Roanoke-based couple, Sydney and Rosalie Krisch Shaftman. Sydney Shaftman gave his wife Rosalie a Leiber minaudière in the 1980s, which began the collection and resulted in gifts from 2005 to 2008 of nearly 120 minaudières and pillboxes to the Taubman Museum of Art.

Explore the Collection: Not on View

Below feature works held within the collection of the TMA that are not currently on view.

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Taubman Museum of Art: Explore our Galleries

Permanent Collection

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