Laver Fashion Art Beauty article

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 12
9 views
PDF
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Document Description
Fashion, Art, JAMES LAVER and Beauty Everybody knows whatfashion it hitsus in the eye everytimewe go into the is; street. most And people convinced theyknow are that whatartis,although would they be hard to define Beauty put it. then!Forit is theobvious purpose artto produce of beauty; it is the obvious and purpose fashion makewomen of to beautiful. Fashion, art,beauty mustsurely mean same the thing, so nearly same or the thingthatwe can swallow themallin onegulpandrestcontent. Yet whenwe beg
Document Share
Documents Related
Document Tags
Document Transcript
  Everybodyknowswhatashions; ithits usintheeyeeveryimewegointothestreet.Andmostpeoplereonvincedhatheyknowwhatart s,althoughheywouldbehardput todefinet.Beautyhen!Fortistheobviousurpose farttoproducebeauty;nd tistheobviousurposeffashionomakewomenbeautiful.ashion,art,beautymusturelymeanhesamehing,rsonearlyhesamehing hatwecanswallowhemallnonegulpandrestcontent.Yetwhenwe beginoconsiderhematterwefind tisnotsosimple.Thethreetermshiftheirhapendchangeheirmeaning.etustakebeautyirst.Myselfwhenyoungdideagerlyrequent heaesthetichilosophersnsearchfsomeacceptabledefinition.learnedromSt.Thomasquinashat beautysthatwhich,beingeen,pleases ;dictumhatfailsodistinguishetweenpaintingyTitianandajamtart.And,moremportant,eavespenhepertinentuestion:leaseshom, ndorhowong?FromRuskingatheredhatbeautywasanessentialttributef Nature andthat truth oNature washegoalofart.ButwhenweexaminehepaintingsRuskindmiredefindthatby truthoNature emeantruthtolocalcolor,ignoringltogetherhenterveningayers fairhaturnbrownillntheoregroundto abluemountainnthefardistance.uskinwasalsoof theopinionhatartshouldhaveanupliftingffectandeachamoralesson; ndhisdoctrinewaspushedotheextremeyTolstoi,whocame ntheendtobelievehatanypicture falifeboatwasnecessarilygoodpicture.Whistlernd hisschoolepudiatedllsuchnotions,ndsodidthegreatFrenchimpressionists,orwhatmoralessondoesalandscapeyMoneteach?ThencameCliveBellwithhistheoryf Significantorm, whichurnsuttobe anargumentin acircle. Whydoyouikethatpicture? Becausetgivesme anaestheticensa-tion. Whydoestgiveyouanaestheticensation? BecausethasSignificantForm. Howo youknow thasSignificantorm? Becausetgivesmeanaestheticsensation. herewasnosalvationereortheearnestnquirer.nd,aysomeothertheorists,erhapshe endofartsnotbeautyutexpressiveness;hismakeshecloudofunknowingorempenetrabletill,oronescompelledoask,xpressivefwhat?Whenweturnofashionheproblemecomesvenmoreomplicated.etuscon-siderhewordnitsnarrowenseasmeaningheclotheseopleespeciallyomen)wear. Whatbeautifulress, esay,whenweseeawomannthelatestreationfsomegreatcouturier.t isthereforefashionableress,whichmeanst isattractiveinthecontextfcontemporaryaste. I I7 Fashion, Art, and Beauty JAMESLAVER ConDenEs Fashion, rt,andBeauty JAMESI,AVERI IsFashionnArt? I.NORMANNORELLLOUISENEVELSONIRENESHARAFFALWINNIKOLAISANDRECOURREGES Fashion]ates JANET S.BYRNEIi TheArtofFashion POLAIREWEISSMANI'C OV E R: RitadeAcostaLydig,byBarondeMeyerI869-I946),American.hotograph,6N, XI2 inches.GiftofMercedesdeAcosta,67.639.I BACKCOVER: Photograph,967,byRichardAredon The Metropolitan Museum of Artis collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve, and extend access to The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin  www.jstor.org  ®   TheLetter eforeWaterloo,y William i^il g t; :FrontispiCef 'gnirv ; ( z YvS) he \T 9 But now a very disconcertinghinghappens. he dresswe thought o beautifulgoes outof fashion, nd henwe do not think t beautifult all.In fact,we think thideous.t seems o usoutrageouslygly,andwe cannotmagine oworwhy anybodyever thought t anything lse.It wouldbe easyto multiply xamples, utperhaps one maysuffice. he firstedition f Vanzzy azr was llustratedy Thackerayimselfand, n his foreword, e remarkshat of course e couldnot bear o clothehisAmelian the hideous lothes f I8I5 (which, fterall, washisplainduty),and hecalmlyproceedso clotheher,andBeckySharp oo, in the modeof I838. An amusingame anbe playedwiththe family lbum. howanyyoung womanphotographf her own mother n the dress he worewhen he wasyoung,andthemodern irlwill cry Hideous! ith complete onviction.Go on turning hepagesuntil you cometo a photographf the girl'sgrandmother.he reactions notso violent; he clotheswornare ikely o be dismisseds quaint. reat-grandmother'sclothes re ikely o seemmoreattractive, romantic ven;and great-great-grand-mother'slotheswill n allprobabilityepronouncedbeautiful. heyhave, n short,enteredhe realm f historicalostume ndwe questionhemno more. THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART Bullefin VOLUME XXVI, NUMBER 3 NOVEMBER I 967 Published onthly romOctober o JuneandquarterlyromJuly o September. opyright¢) 967 by TheMetropolitan useum f Art,FifthAvenue nd82ndStreet,NewYork,N. Y. Io028.Second class ostage aidat NewYork,N. Y. Subscriptionss.ooa year.Single opies iftycents.Sent reeo Museummembers. ourweeks' otice equiredorchange f address. ack ssues vailablen micro-film romUniversityMicrofilms, I3 N. FirstStreet,AnnArbor,Michigan. ssociate ditor nCharge of Publications:eonWilson. ditor-in-chieff the Bulletin: atharine . B. Stoddert; ditors fthe Bulletin: uzanne oorsch, oanK. Foley,andAnnePreuss;Designer: eterOldenburg. I I8  This s surely mostextraordinarytateofaffairs.f ourjudgmentsn thematteraresocompletelyubjective, ndsubject o a timescalebeyond urcontrol,rewejustified,henwe areooking tclothes,nusing hewordbeautyt all?There s afurtheromplication.hateverlseart maybe, it surelynvolvescertainarmonyintheparts.Butmereharmonys not enough;t is apttobedull,or,asFrancis acon,withhisacutensight,ut t, Theres noexcellent eautyhathathnotsometrange- ness n theproportion. his s theexaggeration propos in whichomehaveeen heessence fart.But if artsexaggeration propos, fashioneems eryoften o beexag-geration ala propos. If we thinkhat hefemale odys itselfabeautifulbject andonlySchopenhauerwilldisagreeithus about his),whatarewe to thinkof whatashion asdone o it?IntheElizabethanpoch t cut ofthe egsaltogether,othateverywomanecamemere orsomergingrom drum.n the earlyighteenthentury,y means fpan-niers, tmade he femalebodyookextremely idewhenseenfrom he frontandextremelyarrowwhenseen fromthe side.Themid-nineteenth-centuryrinolinemade t seemmmenselyideall round.Thebustle hat followedaveeverywomanthe colossaluttocks ftheHottentot.Theearlywentieth enturylicedhern twoatthewaistndpushed he upperart everalnches utof true.The 920S abolishedthe bosom seffectivelyspreviouspochs ad abolishedhe egs.Thepsychologistsaveattemptedoexplain his bythe theoryof theshiftingerogenousone. Accordingo thistheory he femaleody sattractive nlywithincertainimits, ndeedat certaineasons, scan be seenamongavage ribeswhosewomen oabout n astateof nudity.Theonly way nwhicht canbe made ermanently attractivesto shutoff,so to speak,ts totalmpact nd oemphasizene beautyfteranother. hiss exactlywhatashionetsoutto do. In one periodtemphasizeshesmallnessfthewaist, nanotherhesmoothnessf theshoulders,n anotherhegraceof the egs.Fashionays: Look!Here ssomethingouhad orgottenbout oradec-ade,orperhapsoracentury; ere s a formneglectedoo long,here s abeauty oomuch oncealed. Fashionsa gameofhide-and-seek,layedbetweeneductionndmodesty,withmoves o rapid hat,fromoneminute oanother, oone can tellwhich,orwho, s It. Newfashionsre alwaysdaring ecause urattentionsbeingdirectedo apartof thefemale odyhat,havingbeenhidden orageneration,asbeenable oaccumulateroticapital ndhasnowall the attractionfnovelty;ecentashions realwaysdowdy ecause urattentionsbeingdirected o abeauty hat salreadyfamiliarndof whichwe havebegun o grow ired.Thiss all verysatisfactorys farast goes,but t doesnot seem ohaveverymuch o dowithartor beauty.Arewethen o thrown thesponge ndadmit hatnopurposesserved yattribut-ingeither othe clotheseoplewear? hiswould eem obealtogetheroopessimisticaview.Oncea fashionasemergedrom he gap n appreciation hatnevitablyfollowst(andduring hisperiodny judgment e passupon t isnecessarilynvalid),once t haspassedhroughhestageswe havementionedndwe canookupon t ashistoricalostume, eare urelyntitled ocall t beautiful -f itis. II9  Er itwould be toabrogateestheticstandardsaltogethernot toadmit that theclothesof someepochsarebeautifuln asense inwhich othersarenot.Whenweturnover the pagesofany well-illustratedhistoryofcostume (andthere aredozens ofsuchbooksavailable oday),we findour eyerestingwithpleasuren ahundredex-amplesofpaintingshat arenot only beautifulinthemselves utdepictpeople n what we havenohesitation n callingbeautiful lothes.There s no lackofdocumentation.nEgyptianwallpaintingsand bas-reliefse can admire heclose-fittingiaphanous ressesf thecourt adiesand their widecollarsof goldandbrightstones.InAssyrian ndBabylonianarvingswe can seethe fringedgarmentswithwhich bothmen andwomenwereclothed. In thefigurinesand fres-coes ofancientCretewe seewomenrepresentedinstartlinglymodernostumes,withtight waists,flouncedkirts,anddaringdecolletages.One ofthesecreatures n afragmentof afresco n thePalaceofKnossos sso eleganthat sheis knownas LaParisienne. ThebeautyofancientGreekcostumewas en-tirely inthe drapingfoblongsofwoolen cloth,andwhateffectsouldbe obtainedby suchsimplemeansathousandtatues estify. Whocan denythe dignity of theRomantoga andnot marvelattheelaboration ftheladies'headdresses ndthe simplegraceoftheirflowinggowns?But asyet there slittle orno hint ofthe useofmaterialsrich orbeautiful nthemselves.Withthe rise ofByzantiumall thatischanged.Tothis day, inthe Churchf SanVitaleatRavenna,we cansee,translatedntoglitteringmosaic, thecostumesworn byJustinianndTheodora; hecloth ofgoldencrustedwithgems,thejeweled fibulae,the collarsofpreciousstones, thered leathershoes. Buttheclothes ofboth sexesare stilldraperies;here isnoattempt to reveal or toexploit theshapeof thehuman igure. ThepriestWoserhetndhis wifeand mother.Temperacopy,by N.de GarisDavies,of awallpainting nthetombofWoserhet,hebes,Dynasty zx (timeofSetiI, about13lo B.C.), 30.4.33A>shurnasirpal1 and anattendant. elieffromhepalaceofA>shurnasirpal1(883-859 B.C.), A>ssyrian.Giftof JohnD.Rockefeller,r., 31 l43.4 [20
Similar documents
View more...
Search Related
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks
SAVE OUR EARTH

We need your sign to support Project to invent "SMART AND CONTROLLABLE REFLECTIVE BALLOONS" to cover the Sun and Save Our Earth.

More details...

Sign Now!

We are very appreciated for your Prompt Action!

x