Marin couple pioneers art-to-wear movement from Summer of Love to Burning Man

Marin Independent Journal – By Paul Liberatore – July 28, 2017

Photo: Mort and Virginia Linder stand outside the Larkspur Library, which recently presented an exhibit of their wearable art. The couple’s creations are being displayed at the Bolinas Museum through Aug. 13. Alan Dep — Marin Independent Journal.

Most people hang art on the wall. Mort and Virginia Linder wear theirs wherever they go.

“It’s so much more fun to wear it than to hang it,” Virginia says.

“And it seems to make people happy,” Mort adds. “People stop us on the street and ask us, ‘Where’s the party?’ We get a lot of comments.”

And why wouldn’t they? The West Marin couple move through the world resplendent in artsy hats, vests, coats, sweaters and regalia that Virginia, a soft-spoken 77-year-old, creates in her home studio, dying and spinning and weaving wool, cotton, rabbit fur and other materials in bright splashes of Matisse-like colors.

On the day of this interview, Mort, a 79-year-old with a snow white beard and long white hair, had on a black Stetson hat festooned with Navajo turquoise, a bright pink cowboy shirt, a Santo Domingo necklace and a vest of many colors that Virginia made.

A founder of Black Mountain Weavers in Point Reyes Station, Virginia was wearing a leather vest she painted by hand, a mother-of-pearl belt and a necklace of big, shiny beads that Mort fashioned from sheet silver. Perched on her head was a hat she trimmed with butterfly pins and black feathers that fluttered and waved when she moved like a Calder mobile.

The Linders are among the artists whose work is being shown in “Art We Wear: Culture & Expression 1960s to Now” at the Bolinas Museum through Aug. 13. It’s part of the museum’s “Counter-Culture & Creativity,” a museum-wide series of free exhibits and events inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

Virginia Linder looks at some of her artwork at the Larkspu

At the same time, the couple is featured in all their finery in Ari Seth Cohen’s new book, “Advanced Style,” a collection of street fashions worn by the over-60 set.

The Linders, who’ve been together for 55 years, are living chapters of counter-culture history, spanning the Beat Generation, the Haight Ashbury hippie movement and Burning Man.

The Larkspur Library recently presented an exhibit of their wearable art — hats, paper shoes, woven handbags — as part of its commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

“Having their work here was very meaningful,” said senior librarian Teresa Capasso. “Of course they were there during the Summer of Love. For us, it’s history, but for them it’s part of their lives.”

Read entire article here

Posted by Teri Perticone


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