HISTART 393-009

Undergraduate Seminar: Fashion/Costume/Painting

270 Tappan
W 10:00-1:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

During the second half of the nineteenth century, artists working in Paris and London became increasingly interested fashion and costume. The picturing of "modern life"—a central concern of Realism, Naturalism, and Impressionism—demanded a thorough understanding of contemporary fashion and its complex visual codes. An understanding of contemporary costume, on the other hand, was crucial to artists invested in foreign, historical, and theatrical themes. This seminar explores the interplay between painting and clothing, with a particular focus on the work of Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and John Everett Millais. Our objectives are:

To translate the visual languages of contemporary clothing in the context of both painting and social life.

To consider costume as a vehicle for fantasy and escapism.

To explore the ways in which the picturing of fashion and costume became a major source of artistic experimentation.

To undertake primary research in fashion journals, costume books, and artists' correspondence.

Students will develop research skills through a sequence of individual and group assignments, including the preparation of a curatorial dossier on an individual painting. A final research project is designed to explore an artwork—or selection of artworks—in depth.

Field trip (required)

Estimated Cost of Materials: $50-$100.

HISTART Categories for concentration distributions: 4. Modern and Contemporary, D. Europe and the US