A new page in the story of the house of Dior and the art world is in the process of being written. The announcement took place yesterday, in New York, in the presence of Raf Simons and the artist James Turrell.
The history of Dior has, since the beginning, been intimately linked with the world of art, even before being linked with that of haute couture. Christian Dior was a gallerist in the late 1920s and early 1930s, twenty years before opening his house. He showed the work of Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Alberto Giacometti, to mention but a few. And now Dior is writing the next page in this story. Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and Jennifer Stockman, the Foundation's President, announced yesterday that the house of Dior will be the principal sponsor of this years' museum fundraising gala. After the press conference, the Guggenheim unveiled the work by James Turrell, currently installed in the museum's iconic and huge central stairwell. Two special events, on November 6 and 7, will mark this year's gala. The first evening will be given by the Guggenheim Young Collectors Council, bringing together New York's younger arty crowd. And, on the 7th, the traditional dinner will honor artists James Turell and Christopher Wool, with the museum devoting a major exhibition to the latter.
In this way Dior is perpetuating the long tradition that unites the house with art and artists. It's the common thread that had already proved such an inspiration to Christian Dior's collections, and which happens also to be Raf Simons' credo. He's known as a great lover of contemporary art, and a collector himself. For his first fashion show for the house of Dior, in July 2012, he translated some paintings by Sterling Ruby into the weaving of the fabrics of his haute couture dresses. He also turned to René Magritte's surrealist world for the set of his ready-to-wear shows, and to Andy Warhol's early drawings for his clothes and accessories collections. Art is everywhere in his work, just as it is throughout the history of the house.