The Met’s Most Recent Fab Fashion Exhibit

Posted on Mar 18, 2013

impressionism-fashion-modernity

A couple weeks ago I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon and evening at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, exploring their Matisse and Impressionism exhibits, as well as my favorites from the permanent collection.  The hottest spot in the museum that day was the Impressionism-Fashion-Modernity exhibit.  (I think all the Met needs to do to draw a huge crowd is insert the word “fashion” into the name of an exhibit and we’ll come running from wherever we are to see it).

This particular exhibit was really fascinating – the Met curated remarkable works from Manet, Monet, Renoir and many more artists representing a range of styles.  The resounding theme throughout is clothing, dresses in particular for the most part – and we see various takes on similar themes – and even the viewpoint of different artists on the same scene.  Dark dresses, light dresses, clothing in detail, fashion in general all have a subtle running commentary about the morays and attitudes of the time.

In many cases the actual dresses worn in the paintings are displayed alongside them – which is little mind boggling when you see how tiny the ladies had to have been.  In particular Albert Bartholomé’s In the Conservatory  featuring his wife, Madame Bartholomé, is really striking (shown above).  It seems as though you could easily place two hands around the tiny waist, and for that reason it’s not that surprising to find out that Madame Bartholomé passed away just five years after the time of the painting (ca 1881).

At any rate, if you get the chance I hope you’ll check into the show.  {More details here}

metropolitan museum

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