Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity

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Edited by Gloria Groom

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This volume is the first to explore fashion as a critical aspect of modernity, one that paralleled and many times converged with the development of Impressionism, starting in the 1860s and continuing through the next two decades, when fashion attracted the foremost writers and artists of the day. Although they have depicted fashionable subjects throughout history, for many artists and writers, including Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Émile Zola, Gustave Caillebotte, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, fashion became integral to the search for new literary and visual expression. In a series of essays that examine fashion and its social, cultural, and artistic context during some of the most important years of the Impressionist era—years that also gave birth to the modern fashion industry—a group of fifteen scholars, drawn from five interdisciplinary fields, examine approximately 140 Impressionist-era artworks, including those by dedicated fashion portraitists, in light of the rise of the department store, new working methods for designing clothing, and new social and technological changes that led to the democratization of fashion and, simultaneously, its ascendance as a vehicle for modernity.

Gloria Groom is the David and Mary Winton Green Curator of Nineteenth-Century European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Musée d'Orsay, Paris(09/25/12-01/20/13)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art(02/26/13-05/27/13)

The Art Institute of Chicago(06/26/13-09/22/13)

With contributions by Heidi Brevik-Zender, Helen Burnham, Guy Cogeval, Justine De Young, Gloria Groom, Stéphane Guégan, Birgit Haase, Elizabeth Anne McCauley, Sylvie Patry, Aileen Ribeiro, Valerie Steele, Françoise Tétart-Vittu, Philippe Thiébaut, Gary Tinterow, and David Van Zanten

‘Sumptuous [and] irresistible.’—Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times

"Engrossing."—Frank Whitford, The Sunday Times

"Women’s lingerie and its representation in painting has probably never had a more serious academic study than… in Gloria Groom’s thorough catalogue, coherently conceived and beautifully produced by Yale University Press."—Polly Chiapetta, The Tablet

“[A] thrilling, erudite show . . . [an] excellent catalog.”—Roberta Smith, The New York Times 

"There is much to discover about the early days of the world of fashion as we know it today in this well-researched, fascinating book." — Suzanne Rowland,

"Readers will be swept along by the book's lavish images . . . this is the rare exhibition catalogue that is not only as good as being there, but even better."—Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, Ornament Magazine
ISBN: 9780300184518
Publication Date: November 27, 2012
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Art Institute of Chicago
336 pages, 9 x 12
478 color illus.
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