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Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Portrait of Madame Monet (Madame Claude Monet Reading), c. 1874, oil on canvas, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Image © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts


What Should They Wear? Impressionists and the Art of Fashion

Saturday, Feb 22, 2014
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet Map & Directions

Presented by Gloria Groom, PhD, David and Mary Winton Green Curator, Department of Medieval through Modern European Painting and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago.

Were the Impressionists fashionistas? And what role did fashion play in their goal to paint modern life with a “modern” style? In the second half of the 19th century, the modern fashion industry was born: Designers like Charles Frederick Worth were transforming how clothing was made and marketed, department stores were on the rise, and fashion magazines began to proliferate. Visual artists and writers alike were intrigued by this new industry; its dynamic, ephemeral, and constantly innovative qualities embodied the very essence of modernity that they sought to express in their work and offered a means of discovering new visual and verbal expressions.

Gloria Groom, organizing curator of the internationally acclaimed exhibition Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity—the first exhibition to uncover the fascinating relationship between art and fashion from the mid-1860s through the mid-1880s as Paris became the style capital of the world—presents a new perspective on the Impressionists, revealing how these early avant-garde artists embraced fashion trends as they sought to capture modern life on canvas. Questions about the content of this lecture? E-mail

This lecture is presented in conjunction with The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

About the Friday and Saturday Afternoon Lecture Series
This series of lectures is held on Fridays at 1:30 p.m. with a repeat on Saturdays at 4 p.m. in Brown Auditorium Theater. A reception to meet the speaker and a “Your Turn to Speak” tour follow each lecture.

$5 MFAH Members
$8 Nonmembers + Museum admission
Free for Members at the Patron, Supporting, Sponsor, and Benefactor levels, up to two tickets. Leadership Circle members receive unlimited free tickets.
Secure your seat in advance! Use the "Get Tickets" button above and print at home; call 713.639.7771; or visit any MFAH admissions desk.

Friday and Saturday Afternoon Lectures at the MFAH receive generous support from The John C. Wynne Memorial Lecture Series for Art Education.

Special thanks to Adept Word Management for transcription services.

All education programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, receive endowment income from funds provided by Caroline Wiess Law; The National Endowment for the Humanities; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; the Fondren Foundation; BMC Software, Inc.; the Wallace Foundation; the Louise Jarrett Moran Bequest; the Neal Myers and Ken Black Children’s Art Fund; the Favrot Fund; and Gifts in honor of Beth Schneider.