Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity

When I read one reviewer of the new Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art describe the Impressionist artists as the "street style photographers of the past", I thought Monet and Manet would roll over in their graves. But once you see the exhibition in person, you realize that the Impressionists were truly capturing the fashions of their day.  The most amazing part of the show is that the Met has some of the actual dresses on display next to the paintings. It's also not just for the ladies.  One whole gallery is dedicated to the men who only had to change their clothes twice a day unlike the women who changed for almost every activity. 

I visited this exhibition on a very busy Saturday where it was a bit difficult to see everything so I was grateful to be invited back for a semi-private tour on a Monday were I was allowed to take photographs to share with you.  Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity runs though May 27, 2013. 

"The latest fashion . . . is absolutely necessary for a painting. It's what matters most."
— Édouard Manet, 1881

Jean-Frédéric Bazille (French, 1841–1870) 
Family Reunion, 1867

Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926) 

Luncheon on the Grass (left panel), 1865–66 
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926) 

Luncheon on the Grass (central panel), 1865–66 

Day Dress 
American, 1862–64 
White cotton piqué with black soutache 

Albert Bartholomé (French, 1848–1928) 
In the Conservatory (Madame Bartholomé), ca. 1881 
Summer Day Dress Worn by Madame Bartholomé in the Painting In the Conservatory 
French, 1880 
White cotton printed with purple dots and stripes 

Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894) 
At the Café, 1880 

Could you imagine having to wear this today?!

Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894) 
Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877 

This guy kept getting ahead of me and invaded all my shots but here he makes a great contrast to show how differently men dress today. 

This was my favorite painting. You can just imagine the woman in on the left in the back is gossiping about someone to the gentleman leaning in. 

All photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Posted By: Jum Aidi

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity