Sunday, November 13, 2011

Elton's Glasses On Show in Switzerland

Twenty pairs of Elton's unique spectacles, including the famous 'stars and stripes' pair pictured on this page, are under the spotlight at a special exhibition in Switzerland. The exhibition, entitled Brillen (Eyewear), focuses on 'Eyewear past, present and future - vision aid and fashion accessory.' It is at the the Puppenhausmuseum, Basel, and runs until April 2012.

The exhibition is divided into seven areas that give a clear picture of the past, present and future of vision aids. One highlight of the exhibition consists of spectacles worn by celebrities; among them Elton's ostentatious glasses, those of the unforgettable Marilyn Monroe, the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and the Swiss ski-jumping legend Simon Ammann. Also featured are spectacles of the eccentric Basel couturier Fred Spillmann.

The invention of spectacles was a huge cultural leap forward for mankind. After 700 years of development, being able to buy the spectacles that perfectly meet our requirements, choosing from an almost inexhaustible diversity, is something we now take for granted. It has not always been the case. In earlier times, vision aids were miniature works of art, reserved for a very small number of people. The Eyewear exhibition in the Puppenhausmuseum, Basel takes visitors around the world on a journey through time. It tells them about the first vision aids in ancient Syria, China and Europe, documents the development of spectacles from a misshapen vision aid to a fashionable accessory and portrays two well-known contemporary designers. The fact that eyewear can also be objets d'art is evidenced by works from the collection of Claude Bader, creations by the Japanese artist Ryo Yamashita and by the sisters Rachel Cohen-Lunning and Merrilee Lichtenstein Cohen (Mercura NYC), as well as a glimpse into the future.

The special exhibition in the Puppenhausmuseum presents more than 500 objects. It includes film presentations, free spectacles sampling with an iPad app, free workshops for children on Saturdays and Sundays and an attractive eyewear competition.


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