Opulence and Fantasy: Couture Gowns and Jewelry of Mindy Lam – Now on View

ROANOKE, Va. (April 2, 2021) – The Taubman Museum of Art is pleased to present Opulence and Fantasy: Couture Gowns and Jewelry of Mindy Lam, a special spotlight exhibition in conjunction with the Museum’s annual Women’s Luncheon benefit. The exhibition is on view May 14-June 13, 2021, and is free and open to the public.

A celebrated artist and jewelry designer, Mindy Lam is known for her meticulously handcrafted jewelry featuring her signature woven metal lace adorned with precious metals, semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, rhinestones and more. From couture pieces for the red carpet to ready-to-wear for an evening out, Lam’s work is beloved by tastemakers and fashion influencers the world over.

In Opulence and Fantasy, Lam mined the Taubman Museum of Art’s galleries and permanent collection for inspiration to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind works – examples include elegant brooches, dramatic chokers, breathtaking necklaces, and an ethereal evening gown that beguiles and seduces. Each piece is paired in the galleries with the painting, photographic work or sculpture that stirred Lam’s imagination.

“Realizing how truly powerful Mindy’s gift of interpretation was, we challenged her to create pieces inspired by the stories she might see in various works on view here at the Taubman Museum of Art,” said Cindy Petersen, executive director. “The result is Opulence and Fantasy: Couture Gowns and Jewelry of Mindy Lam, an exhibition that weaves its way through our galleries, pairing Mindy’s creations with the works to which her creations pay homage. In the Fralin Center for American Art, for example, we see intricate works from Mindy inspired by our permanent collection: Emil Carlsen’s The Leeds Jug, Johann Hamza’s The Curiosity Shop, and Lawrence Beck’s Sterling Forest Water Lily I, all among my favorites, as well as our much adored and ever popular Portrait of Norah Gribble by the esteemed John Singer Sargent. I have no doubt that guests will be inspired by Mindy’s beautiful work and creativity.”

Lam’s inspirational success story, creative process, and passion for philanthropy will be highlighted during the Taubman’s Virtual Women’s Luncheon Monday, May 10, from 12-1 p.m.

Exhibition and education programming for Opulence and Fantasy: Couture Gowns and Jewelry of Mindy Lam is generously presented by The Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation, Inc., the Dorothea Leonhardt Fund at the Communities Foundation of Texas, Inc., and Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo.

About the Artist

Beauty and nature always fascinated Mindy Lam as a child. Growing up on a poultry farm in Hong Kong, China, Lam found tranquility and inspiration by surrounding herself with the beautiful flowers, small creatures, and natural elements found on her family farm. Her work undoubtedly reflects the craftsmanship of the classic couture houses of old, but offers a refreshingly modern edge that echoes the joy of her childhood influences.

Designing for over 18 years, Lam was a huge favorite at Henri Bendel in New York City for nearly a decade, and she has been featured in Elle, Brides Magazine, Glamour, People, Life & Style, L’Officiel, Vogue Italia, among many others.

In 2010, her business came to a screeching halt after her heart stopped and she was given the diagnosis of end-stage kidney disease. The next three years included a rigorous dialysis schedule, and she lost everything due to her inability to work. Finally, in 2013, when her beloved daughter, Kai, was of age, she donated her kidney and the story made front-page Yahoo News.

As a kidney disease survivor and transplant recipient, Lam’s commitment to giving back is now more important to her than ever. In 2016, she successfully relaunched her brand with much fanfare after making a full recovery. Because of her life-changing experience, Lam has now incorporated a philanthropic component to the brand through special collaborations to continue to uplift and spread love and hope to others. Organizations have included the National Cherry Blossom Festival, W Hotel, American Heart Association, Texas Children’s Hospital, St. Jude, Prevent Cancer, and of course the National Kidney Foundation.

Her latest philanthropic collaboration is with the Taubman Museum of Art.

Gaining inspiration from the Taubman’s striking architecture – designed by internationally renowned architect Randall Stout and named the best designed Museum in Virginia by Architectural Digest – Lam created a new, special limited-edition collection. The collection’s organic star shape and silver blues emulate the reflections of the sky seen through the Museum’s soaring glass peak, which is itself a nod to Roanoke’s moniker as the “Star City of the South” and the city’s iconic Mill Mountain Star.

This special limited edition collection benefits children’s educational programs at the Taubman. With patron’s support, 20 percent of proceeds further the Museum’s impact in schools and afterschool programs, and the creation of educational lessons and hands-on art activities for the community.

To view and purchase pieces from this special limited-edition collection, visit Mindy Lam’s website.

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