History tucked away in vintage T-shirts

History tucked away in vintage T-shirts

History tucked away in vintage T-shirts

TROY – Pull open the drawer with your T-shirts and you can view the touchstones of your life, recalling everything from concerts to vacations to sporting events. “Everyone has T-shirts,” said Samantha Mahoski, curatorial assistant at the Rensselaer County Historical Society. “T-shirts tell us something. They tell us the events of your life,” Mahoski said. But in Mahoski’s case, they can also be windows into history. Mahoski was tasked with finding T-shirts in the museum collection that were created for festivals marking the Green Island Bridge collapse in March 1977. She turned up two, including one that was a turtleneck. Mahoski’s hunt blossomed into an exhibit, “Selected T-shirts from the Rensselaer County Historical Society Collection.” It’s a companion to the society’s “Bridging the Hudson” show. The shirts are being exhibited until early July. “It’s fun. You really don’t get to see T-shirts in a history museum. It’s a different history of Rensselaer County that you won’t get from documents,” Mahoski said about the 30 T-shirts in the historical society’s collection. The shirts can pull out memories not just from the mind but from the taste buds. Glance at an iconic Snowman T-shirt and you can practically taste the ice cream cones you’ve licked many times outside the iconic Snowman ice cream stand in Lansingburgh. Or shirts from the towns of Schaghticoke and Brunswick celebrating their bicentennials remind of a simpler time — and the fact that someone thought to print up T-shirts to mark their anniversaries. Whether those T-shirts are part of a a museum collection or packed in a box under a bed, they present history differently with a picture and perhaps a phrase. They reveal culture from society down to the individual’s own tastes and experiences. Last year, London’s Fashion and Textile Museum hosted a show called “T-shirt: Cult — Culture — Subversion,” which covered the T-shirt’s role as a platform for musical, political and social messages. “It’s a mini-exhibition of each person. If you take the T-shirts, they tell us things that you consider important and things that you remember,” said Ashley Hopkins-Benton, curator of social history at the New York State Museum in Albany. A museum’s T-shirt collection will vary based in part on its own curatorial objectives about the story it’s seeking to explain and what is donated, in addition to shirts it may purchase. The State Museum possesses about 160 T-shirts in its history collection, covering a half-century from the 1960s through 2017. “It’s interesting to dive into the collection. A large bulk of the T-shirts were created originally to fight for equality in various forms,” Hopkins-Benton said. “The other substantial part of the collection is related to Sept. 11.” There are T-shirts produced by the Creative Women’s Collective in New York City from about 1980 to 1990 with a focus on pro-women’s rights, the Equal Rights Amendment and LGBTQ rights. T-shirts also depict events such as the Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Games, Freihofer’s Run for Women, the 40th anniversary of Pearl Harbor […]

Full article on original web page… www.timesunion.com

Brexit T-shirts: artist Jeremy Deller sums up in two words what millions are thinking

Brexit T-shirts: artist Jeremy Deller sums up in two words what millions are thinking

Brexit T-shirts: artist Jeremy Deller sums up in two words what millions are thinking

When I was a teenager in the 80s, we all had badges – “Don’t blame me, I voted Labour” badges, and “Protest and survive” badges (an anti-nuclear slogan, riffing on the government information films, Protect and Survive), and badges with a great big smiling sun on them, the beginning of climate consciousness. (My cousin once pulled a policeman in a nightclub, and when she put her coat on and he saw the badges, he wouldn’t go home with her.) Then political accessorising fell way out of fashion, until now. Anti-Trump sloganeering dominated the last New York fashion week, while we have anti-Brexit merch. It has to be sweary – a “bollocks to Brexit”, at the very least. The pithiest iteration is from the artist Jeremy Deller, whose T-shirt range (which he actually started in 2017) replaces the endings of well-known phrases and sayings with “Fuck Brexit”. Eg “Frankie say Fuck Brexit”. The beauty of them is that, once you’ve seen one, you want them all. “It’s ground us down, the whole process has left us all ground down,” says Deller, 52, whose work goes far beyond T-shirts. “Humour is important in these conversations. It was probably used during the campaign but I can’t remember anyone using it.” He ruminates on that for a second. “[Vote] Leave at least used imagery; they were cleverer with words and images, more viral. I should have really done these during the campaign.” This new appetite for Brexit merch reflects two things: first, that remainers who were happy to leave the grown-ups to make the case in 2016 are getting a lot more trenchant. This isn’t about tariffs. This is about taking an idea and puncturing it, which can only really be done with swearing, and can’t be done much more quickly than on a T-shirt. More broadly, that it is cool to care again. Political views didn’t disappear these last 30 years, but you kept them out of your wardrobe because they did not belong in your cred portfolio. And now they do. The uncool thing, this season, is to be without an opinion. Deller has a favourite T-shirt: “John&Paul&George&FuckBrexit”. “I really ought to get one to Paul McCartney,” he says. “He’s totally engaged with the world, his heart is in the right place on so many other issues. I’m sure he would wear it if needs be. That might be what it takes.”

Full article on original web page… www.theguardian.com

FCUK T-Shirts. You May Be Dead & Gone But Thanks For The Memories

FCUK T-Shirts. You May Be Dead & Gone But Thanks For The Memories

FCUK T-Shirts. You May Be Dead & Gone But Thanks For The Memories

Designed by Meg O’Donnell The slogan tee — so rich in its history, so radical in its potential for political statement. Remember when Katharine Hamnett met Maggie Thatcher? Remember when George Michael chose life? Remember Frank Ocean’s big questions ? Remember when Nick Clegg wore that This Is What A Feminist Looks Like T-shirt? It’s where fashion meets statement, literally. But like anything stunning, it has been far bastardised from its former glory; instead we wear meaningless slogans across our bodies, devoid of purpose, flapping there on our clammy torsos, reading: BERLIN MILAN PARIS LANCASTER. The other day on the train I saw one that just said: “I’m a fucking bitch” (okay now I’ve written it, I’ve decided I need it). But what does it mean to adorn your body with text? To become a walking book? That’s right, folks: nothing. This hasn’t always been the case. The meaningless slogan tee once held huge social significance. In fact, there was a time when the right man wearing the right meaningless slogan tee would inspire an instant boner in my teenage pants. There was a time when wearing the right slogan tee was so bodacious, it became about radical consumption of space, of fcuking the system, of breaking taboo and expectation. Related Stories Style Obituary: Bench. Style Obituary: Miss Sixty Style Obituary: Jane Norman Fcuk on the beach, perhaps? Fcuk for peace, surely? Shut the Fcuk up!! Feisty as Fcuk — that’s me! Fcuk Moi? Too busy to Fcuk, sadly. Born to Fcuk… hmm, weird? FCUK XXXploded onto the scene somewhere inside the barren, cultureless waste chamber that was the very early ’00s (yes, it was founded in 1972, but it was nothing until those slogan tees). Why? Well, we were so goddamn disappointed that fcuk all happened when the millennium hit — in evidence: Cliff Richard was number one with a song that was actually a Christian prayer — we had to get our kicks from somewhere, anywhere, please?? The world didn’t end and the most exciting invention of the new future were those glass balls that produced visible purple electricity and would give you static hair but, if left on too long, would actually burn the top layers of your skin off. We looked around, saw what we had, and realised it was shite. Nothing had meaning. Everything we had believed about the millennium bringing positive change was wrong. Enter Mr FCUK. The Talented Mr FCUK. The man who made actually really quite vile T-shirts — both aesthetically and emotionally — and sold them for £60 to any desperate teenager, under-parented minor or incredibly bleak dad. They were everywhere, like the plague/Tories/straight white men. They took over, decreeing you both on the fashion pulse but, really, without a bean of style to your name. Add a Kangol bucket hat and it was a different story. But if you’d paid me a pound for every late teenage white guy at Creamfields bopping their arms to Paul Oakenfold, unable to […]

Full article on original web page… www.refinery29.com

 

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