Karen LaMonte, Etude, detail

Karen LaMonte: Théâtre de la Mode

Karen LaMonte, Etude, detail

Karen LaMonte: Théâtre de la Mode

September 9, 2021 - January 2, 2022 3D VIRTUAL TOUR

For our third changing exhibition, the Barry Art Museum is proud to present Karen LaMonte: Théâtre de la Mode, September 9, 2021, through January 2, 2022. LaMonte is an acclaimed American sculptor living and working in Prague. By freezing a single gesture of a body both clothed and in motion, LaMonte is able to investigate themes of memory, beauty, and loss. A master craftsperson, LaMonte has pioneered complex casting methods across diverse media. At the Barry, we will set the stage with a selection of her astonishing works in cast glass, iron, and bronze.

This exhibition positions works from LaMonte’s significant sculptural oeuvre in the context of the theater in times of war and upheaval. LaMonte has been inspired by the historical fashion mannequins of Théâtre de la Mode, and here we pay homage to that connection by positioning her work in that performative context. Selections from both her musically referenced Nocturnes series and accompanying Études (one-third scale sculptures) are presented in the gallery, alongside couture fashion dolls that tell the story of these miniature ambassadors or Pandora Dolls through the ages.


We are immensely grateful to Artist Karen LaMonte and her partner Steve Polane; Steve Grafe, Curator of Art at the Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, WA; Alice Hammond at Gerald Peters Contemporary; and Elwood Robinson and Jim Lyden of the ODU Theatre Dept for their generosity and collaborative spirit in the creation of this exhibit.


Free Monthly Lecture Series is a series of conversations inspired by the Karen LaMonte exhibition.

All recordings of the past Fall 2021 Lectures are available to watch on the Barry Art Museum Youtube Page.





Fall Lecture: Steven L. Grafe, Curator of Art, Maryhill Museum of Art | Thursday, September 2 | 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

In this hour lecture Steven L. Grafe, Curator of Art at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, WA will discuss the Theatre de la Mode mannequins and sets that inspired Karen LaMonte’s Etude series of ⅓ life-size scaled dress sculptures.

Free and open to the public. RSVP HERE


VIP Virtual Members Preview | Thursday, Sept 9, 6:00 PM

Join artist Karen LaMonte virtually from the galleries along with the curators and set designers for a first look at the exhibition, and a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the exhibition development process.

Museum Members receive a VIP invitation by email.


Exhibition Opening | Friday, Sept 10, 5:00 – 8:00 PM

Opening reception and pop-up performances by Core Theater Ensemble and original costumes by Philip Odango throughout the Museum.

Free & Open to the Public. RSVP HERE


Partner Exhibition: “Behold The Night…” | Sept 10th-24th 9 AM-6 PM | ODU Goode Theater

Half-scale dress forms displaying student’ costume designs for an imagined production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” 

Paying homage to Karen LaMonte’s 1/3rd scale sculptures, ODU THEATER Costume Design for Stage and Screen students spent half of the spring 2020 semester conceptualizing, rendering, and creating costume designs for a production of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” Their work concluded with a final presentation and the creation of a 1/2 scale costume of Tatiana’s costume. A variety of the 1/2 scale costumes and final presentations will be on display in the Goode Theater on ODU Campus from Sept. 10th-24th. Open daily 9 am-6 pm.

Free and open to the public. 


Partner Production: Intimate Apparel | Nov. 10-13 and 18-20, 7:30 PM, Nov. 21, 2 PM | ODU Goode Theatre

Esther, an African-American seamstress in 1905 New York, is a practical woman with quiet dreams. She hopes for lovely things— fine fabric, beautiful words, a loving touch, while supporting herself making exquisite negligees and corsets for women across the social strata.

When a distant suitor reaches out through poignant and sensitive letters, her life changes. Through friendship, betrayal, and hope, she stitches a new life, a crazy quilt homely to look at but warming to the soul.

Tickets at: ODUArtsTix.com


U-Nite: FASHION & DESIGN | Friday, November 12 | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Join us the second Friday of every month from 5-8 PM for U-Night at the Barry Art Museum; the one night a month that we keep our doors open late. This event is FREE to ALL students! Tonight’s theme: Fashion and Design featuring a fashion show with works by students from GSA and ODU; art, snacks & a cash bar. It’s sure to be a bold night at the museum!

Free and open to the public. Cash bar. RSVP not required, but encouraged!


Free Monthly Lecture Series: Dooyoung Choi | Thursday, December 2 | 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Inspired by the Karen LaMonte exhibition, this month’s lecture will explore how the gaze on the female form has shifted through time. Dooyoung Choi will explore the phenomenon of self-sexualization, self-empowerment and the psychology around these philosophical shifts in the culture of our times.

Dooyoung Choi is an Assistant Professor of Fashion Merchandising at Old Dominion University. She completed her MS and Ph.D. in Apparel Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include consumer behavior and social psychology aspects of dress focusing on female self-sexualization.

Free and open to the public. RSVP HERE


U-Nite: THEATER & FILM | Friday, December 10 | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Experience the Museum at night! University and community partners unite around a monthly theme at the Museum on the 2nd Friday of every month. Join us for an evening of refreshments, Museum tours, and rotating themes brought to us by University and exhibition sponsors.

Free and open to the public. Cash bar. RSVP not required, but encouraged!


Programs and Exhibitions are made possible by our generous Museum Sponsors:

The Barry Art Museum Board of Directors, in honor of our Museum’s founders, Dick and Carolyn Barry, for their remarkable vision and stewardship. 


Mrs. Sarah K. Baker 

Rutter Family Art Foundation

Ms. Linda H. Kaufman






Bruce A. deArmond, Doll Historian

Brett Day Windham, Independent Artist, Writer, Curator

Liana Graham, Visual Arts Department Chair at The Governor’s School for the Arts

Patrick Mullins, Director of Public Works at Virginia Stage Company

Philip Odango, Costume Designer, Teaching Artist, and Cosplayer



Amy K. Milligan, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies (LBGTQ Advisor)

Christopher Hanna, Professor and Director of Theatre in Communication and Theatre Arts

David Mallin, Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts

Jennifer Fish, Professor, and Chair of Women’s Studies

Julia Dieter, Adjunct Professor and Student Advisor for the Student Fashion Association of ODU

Megan Thompson, Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts

Meredith Magoun, Lecturer in Communication and Theatre Arts (Costume Design)

Nancy Klein, PhD. Professor and Chair of the F. Ludwig Diehn School of Music 

Peter Schulman, Professor of French and International Studies

Sharon Davis, Master Lecturer, STEM Education & Professional Studies (Fashion Merchandising) 



Governor’s School for the Arts, Norfolk VA 

Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, WA

ODU Theatre, Music, Fashion Merchandising, Dept of World Languages and Cultures, and Costume Design Department

Public Works Virginia of Virginia Stage Company