So, here's how is went down according to AVAM's Pete Hilsee:
The American Visionary Art Museum tribute windows at Bergdorf Goodman (Fifth Avenue and 58th Street) came about as collaboration between AVAM Board Chairman Chris Byrne and Bergdorf CEO Jim Gold. Longtime friends, Byrne suggested AVAM as a possible feature for the exclusive retailer. Unfamiliar with the museum's unique mission and the raw creativity embodied by its collection, the Bergdorf design team made a trip to AVAM in fall of '08. After touring the campus and seeing selections from AVAM's permanent collection, the team was enthralled and the project grew from in-store display to a mega-installation in the award-winning 5th Avenue windows. Bergdorf's renowned window design team curated selections from AVAM's collection and produced 11 windows along 5th Avenue and 58th Street juxtaposing high fashion with visionary art. AVAM's own extremely fashionable "Fifi" the Pink Poodle was provided a glamorous, special place within the 1st floor Luxury Goods department.
Artwork includes AVAM's outsized sculpture of Baltimore's own "Divine" by Andrew Logan; Untitled works (the cocoon-like yarn sculptures) by Judith Scott; a mega-installation of the bottle-cap sculptures by museum-favorite, Mr. Imagination (who was in attendance at the June 26 debut and presented BG CEO Jim Gold with a bottle-cap staff); whirligigs by Vollis Simpson (creator of the 55 foot-tall whirligig outside of AVAM's main entrance); the giant chess pieces by Lyle Estill; sequined taxidermy heads-on-bikes by Baltimore City school kids created as part of our Kinetic Sculpture Race; and a baby version of "Fifi" the pink poodle, by our Director of Design, Theresa Segreti.
The installation runs through July 20th. All photos courtesy of AVAM.