Looks like I will not make it to New York City until the summer – or late September – which unfortunately means I won’t get to go to an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that sounds great. Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, running through May 27, combines paintings by artists including one of my favorites Edouard Manet with the fashions of the artworks’ time, illustrating the role of fashion in the work of Impressionists and others of the period. Great idea and from the reviews I’ve read, the exhibit works!
I have two Manet posters in my bedroom – see below – in The Balcony, two women and a man stand on an outdoor balcony wearing markedly beautiful clothes; in the other, Olympia is famously unclothed.)
Here’s more on the exhibit. Can hardly bear to read – I so long to go!
Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents a revealing look at the role of fashion in the works of the Impressionists and their contemporaries. Some 80 major figure paintings, seen in concert with period costumes, accessories, fashion plates, photographs, and popular prints, highlight the vital relationship between fashion and art during the pivotal years, from the mid-1860s to the mid-1880s, when Paris emerged as the style capital of the world. With the rise of the department store, the advent of ready-made wear, and the proliferation of fashion magazines, those at the forefront of the avant-garde—from Manet, Monet, and Renoir to Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Zola—turned a fresh eye to contemporary dress, embracing la mode as the harbinger of la modernité. The novelty, vibrancy, and fleeting allure of the latest trends in fashion proved seductive for a generation of artists and writers who sought to give expression to the pulse of modern life in all its nuanced richness. Without rivaling the meticulous detail of society portraitists such as James Tissot or Alfred Stevens or the graphic flair of fashion plates, the Impressionists nonetheless engaged similar strategies in the making (and in the marketing) of their pictures of stylish men and women that sought to reflect the spirit of their age.