Judith Leiber (born Judith Peto in Budapest, Hungary in 1921) creates exquisitely designed couture women’s accessories that blur the boundaries between function and art. Most known for her semi-precious adorned minaudiéres or compact occasion cases, her oeuvre includes day bags, belts and pillboxes. The Leiber bags on view in the Shaftman Gallery are the result of the immense philanthropic generosity of a Roanoke based couple Sydney and Rosalie Krisch Shaftman. Sydney Shaftman gave his wife Rosalie a Leiber minaudiére in the 1980s, which began the impetus for collection that resulted in a gift of more than 130 minaudiéres and pillboxes to the Taubman Museum of Art from 2005 to 2008. Among the collection are two custom minaudiéres Mr. Shaftman commissioned Leiber to create for his wife, including an Inrō, inspired by Japanese nesting boxes with her name “Rosalie” set with gold and a clutch with a star and the name of her hometown “Roanoke” emblazed with white crystals on a jet beaded background.
Considered one of the largest repositories of Judith Leiber bags in the United States, the Taubman Museum of Art is deeply indebted to the Shaftmans for their incredible generosity. Named in the donors’ honor, the Rosalie K. and Sydney Shaftman Gallery is a favorite for visitors.
The grand re-opening of the Rosalie K. and Sydney Shaftman Gallery will debut works from the collection never before displayed at the Taubman Museum of Art beginning November 23, 2013.