Art in windows

I was mesmerized as a child by the Christmas window of Ogilvy’s department store in Montreal. This window was filled to the brim with moving animals including hopping frogs, swaying monkies, working bunnies, nodding sheep, sliding donkies, as well as lights, sparkling snow, trees and lovely old-fashioned buildings: Ogilvy’s window. It had been the same display since 1946 and in 2015 it went through a Canadian make-over. It was a holiday tradition to go downtown and look at the Ogilvy window every year.
Whenever I see beautiful window displays, I think of the well-known artists who did window dressing for a living at the start of their art careers (Rauschenberg, Warhol, Johns, etc). Andy Warhol in particular used window dressing as a way to launch his career. The first holiday window display was done by Macy’s in 1874 and it coincided with the development of plate glass windows: The History of Department Store Holiday Window Displays.
A recent issue of Hyperallergic showcases the Bergdorf Goodman’s windows which are celebrating cultural institutions this year including American Museum of Natural History, New-York Historical Society, New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Academy of Music and others. The bird display in the image above right and the rhinestone covered dinosaurs in image below, pay homage to the American Museum of Natural History. The designer of these windows, David Hoey, explains that he wants to create “aesthetic delirium” and that the windows are the result of eleven months of work: How Bergdorf Goodman’s Holiday Windows Were Made.
David Hoey’s 5 tips on window designs could possibly applied to artwork. Here is an overview of Hoey’s working method and approach: Behind the Scenes. Bergdorf Goodman’s blog has an archive of their windows dating back to 2010. Of course theirs aren’t the only windows in town; for a overview of other beautiful windows in New York check out 2017 New York Holiday Windows. And for Harper’s Bazaar’s choice of best windows from around the world (which includes a Canadian mention -The Bay in Toronto): Best Christmas Window Displays 2017. And for a local Christmas surprise, check out the over-the-top window display at 665 Fort St made by Gunter Heinrich of Winchester Galleries.

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