North Carolina native William Ivey Long is one of the most renowned theatrical costume designers working today. This exhibition, organized by The Mint Museum, explores Long's most recent work, from 2007 to today. It features the theatrical productions The Lost Colony (redesigned 2007–2008), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012), Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (2013), Little Dancer (2014), and On the Twentieth Century (2015), as well as the television specials Grease Live! (2016), and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (2016). Focusing on Long's process, it features sketches, swatches, mood boards, and other preparatory materials in addition to the costumes themselves. Because costume design is not an area in which the Mint collects, it provides visitors with exposure to this form of art and allow for comparison of the different goals of theatrical costume and fashion. The exhibition is co-curated by Annie Carlano and Rebecca Elliot.
Shortly after he was born in Charlotte, Romare Bearden's family relocated to Harlem. The time he spent immersed in the vibrancy of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s forever influenced his career as a visual artist. Especially important was the effect of Harlem's jazz scene, many of whose members were close friends of the artist and his family. For Bearden, jazz, the blues, and folk music were always cultural subjects that epitomized the Black experience. Yet, music was also a creative stimulant for Bearden. He often equated the visual arts to music and the painter to the musician. "The more I just played around with visual notions as if I were improvising like a jazz musician," he once explained, "the more I realized what I wanted to do as a painter, and how I wanted to do it." This exhibition explores and celebrates the impact music had on the visual harmony in Romare Bearden's work.