Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail examines the art and culture of the cocktail through the wares in which they were prepared and served. The exhibition, on view at the Dallas Museum of Art November 18, 2016, through November 12, 2017, follows the development of the modern cocktail from the late 19th century to the present day, tracing the stylistic reflections of the rituals of the cocktail’s preparation, presentation, and consumption. Drawn primarily from the DMA’s collection of decorative arts and design, the exhibition features a range of objects, many of which are on view for the first time.
Shaken, Stirred, Styled features more than 60 objects in metalware, glassware, and ceramics. These include19th-century punch bowls, Prohibition-era cocktail shakers, and Art Deco and modern barware. Organized chronologically, the exhibition begins by examining the invention of the cocktail as a result of changes in technology, labor, and recreation in the mid-19th century, then moves to the resurgence of the cocktail following the ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919, and continuing on to the impact of the Great Depression and repeal of Prohibition on cocktail culture through to the continued presence of cocktails in the second half of the 20th century.
Highlights from the exhibition include:
During the 1920s and 1930s, cocktail shakers were often given novel and humorous shapes. Emile A. Schuelke’s silver and gilt “Penguin” cocktail shaker from 1936 in the DMA’s collection is an example of popular zoomorphic shapes of the era.
The pioneering designer Peter Muller-Munk’s 1937 Waring Blendor, one of his best-known designs, showcases Muller-Munk’s transformation from silversmith to industrial designer. The Waring Blendor, a recent acquisition that will be on view for the first time,was named for a popular musician and radio personality, with the spelling of “blender” altered to signify the desirable status of the design and object.
Valeri Timofeev’s intricate kaleidoscopic martini glass, which utilizes traditional Russian enamel techniques, will be on view for the first time since entering the collection.
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to explore the history of spirits and cocktails through a digital interactive at the exhibition’s entrance as well as access a digital copy of the 1862 manual and recipe book How to Mix Drinks: Or, The Bon-vivant’s Companion, the first publication to document many of today’s classic cocktails. Also included as part of the digital interactive installation are seven videos highlighting cocktails and featuring demonstrations with Chad Solomon and Christy Pope of Cuffs and Buttons, a beverage consulting and catering company in New York, and Midnight Rambler, a craft cocktail salon in The Joule Hotel in Downtown Dallas.
The Dallas Museum of Art will toast Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail during a special DMA Speakeasy event on Saturday, February 4, 2017. The password-only party will feature a costume contest, live music from the roaring 20s and the 1930s, dance tutorials, novelty gambling tables, and Prohibition-inspired cocktails. Tickets range from $65, with discounts for DMA Members, to $100 for VIP access, which includes a private lounge, casino, and open bar. Additional programs, including gallery talks, will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition. For dates, prices, and details, visit DMA.org.
Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and curated by Samantha Robinson, the interim Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art. The exhibition is presented by ROXOR Artisan Gin. Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail is included in the Museum’s daily free general admission.