A Very Social History

Carol McD. Wallace, Don McDonagh, Jean L. Druesedo, Laurence Libin, and Constance Old

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"The Ball nights in Bath are moments snatched from Paradise, rendered bewitching by music, beauty, elegance, fashion, etiquette. . . ." Thus did Charles Dickens in Pickwick Papers describe the magic of a grand ball. Even the names of such dances as the minuet, the quadrille, and the waltz are enough to evoke the image of a resplendently dressed assemblage performing with grace and style. The anticipation that precedes such a great social occasion and the afterglow of recollection are intensified not just by the dance and the music but also by the costumes that are so integral a part of the experience. Dance offers a feast for the eye as well as the ear, for it is in response to the grand ball that costume artists have produced some of their most inspired designs. The collections of The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art are especially rich in clothing made expressly for dancing, from the formal gowns of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the mini-dresses of the twentieth. This book was published on the occasion of an exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum from December 17, 1987 through September 6, 1987. [This book was originally published in 1986 and has gone out of print. This edition is a print-on-demand version of the original book.]

ISBN: 9780300200621
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Publishing Partner: Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Distributed by Yale University Press
128 pages, 9 x 12
158 illus. (55 in color)