The Barnes Foundation Presents Symposium Exploring Fashion and Feminism
Followed by reception & feminist fashion show at Moore College of Art & Design
Saturday, October 20, 2018, 1–5 pm
Philadelphia, PA, September 18, 2018—On the occasion of its major fall exhibition, Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist, the Barnes Foundation will present Fashion and Feminism: A Symposium Inspired by Berthe Morisot on Saturday, October 20. Led by Dr. Martha Lucy, deputy director for research, interpretation, and education, and Cindy Kang, associate curator, this symposium will bring together scholars, curators, and designers to explore the historically complicated relationship between fashion and feminism.
Mainstream feminism has long argued that the pursuit of fashion is inherently oppressive for women—from the fussy 19th-century ensembles depicted by Berthe Morisot to the sexualized styles pervading today’s pop culture. In recent decades, however, a more intersectional, inclusive feminism has opened up a way of thinking about fashion as a powerful form of self-definition and political expression. Hardly restrictive, fashion is now viewed as a versatile tool with enormous potential for subverting expectations around gender and sexuality and for asserting one’s own agency in a culture that constantly wants to prescribe what women should be. Even the corseted women in Morisot’s paintings might be understood as harnessing fashion’s potential to express something of the self.
“The importance of fashion in constructing modern femininity is a central theme in Morisot’s paintings from the 1870s and 1880s,” said Martha Lucy. “So many of Morisot’s impressionist works show elegant Parisian women at the ball or dressing in their homes. We’re using her focus on stylish clothing as a jumping-off point for exploring the complicated relationship between fashion and feminism from a range of contemporary perspectives.”
Talks will address clothing’s role in political movements like black women’s liberation and 19th-century dress reform; the relationship between sexuality, objectification, and empowerment; and the portrayal of fashion in art forms like film and painting. Attendees will also hear from two cutting-edge designers whose work actively addresses some of the key concerns of contemporary intersectional feminism.
Symposium speakers will include:
- Rikki Byrd, writer, scholar and educator on fashion and race, and PhD student at Northwestern University;
- Suzanne Ferriss, professor emeritus at Nova Southeastern University;
- Charles Harbison, a Los Angeles–based fashion designer;
- Nasheli Juliana Ortiz González, chair and associate professor of fashion design at Moore College of Art & Design;
- Clare Sauro, chief curator, Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection at Drexel University; and
- Linda Scott, professor at Oxford University and author of Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism.
The symposium will conclude with a reception and feminist fashion show at Moore College of Art & Design from 5:30 to 7 pm, featuring work from Los Angeles–based fashion designer Charles Harbison and Nasheli Juliana Ortiz-González, chair and associate professor of fashion design at Moore College of Art & Design. Harbison is the founder and creative director of HARBISON and his high-profile fans include Beyoncé Knowles, Solange Knowles, and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Prior to launching his own line, he worked as a designer for big names in the fashion industry, including Michael Kors, Billy Reid, and Luca Luca.
Ortiz-González will show designs from her new “Stranded” collection, for the first time after its debut at Paris Fashion Week 2018. “Stranded” brings the complex and tumultuous history between Puerto and the United States to the runway, drawing from key images of events ranging from the U.S.’s wartime invasion and acquisition of Puerto Rico in 1898 to the recent aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Ortiz selected and digitally manipulated these images in order to create patterns that seem beautiful to the naked eye but, with the use of 3D glasses, reveal the push and pull between Puerto Rico’s natural beauty and its history of suffering. Each piece invites the viewer, as Ortiz says, to “change the lens through which they see the world by looking deeper into the perspective of the other.”
$30; Barnes members $15; students FREE; advance registration required
Ticket includes access to Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist from 11am – 1pm, and reception and feminist fashion show at Moore College of Art & Design from 5:30 to 7 pm.
11am – 1pm: Preview access to the Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist exhibition
1pm- 5pm: Symposium
Welcome and Introduction
Dr. Martha Lucy, deputy director for research, interpretation, and education, and Dr. Cindy Kang, associate curator, of the Barnes Foundation
Redressing Fashion and Feminism
Linda Scott, Emeritus DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Oxford; author of Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism
“But What of Black Women?” Fashioning Black Women’s Liberation
Rikki Byrd, writer, scholar and educator on fashion and race, and PhD student at Northwestern University
Fashion and Self-Fashioning in the Films of Sofia Coppola
Suzanne Ferriss, professor emeritus at Nova Southeastern University
Wearing the Pants: A Brief History of Fashion and Feminism
Clare Sauro, chief curator, Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection at Drexel University
Designers in Dialogue: Charles Harbison and Nasheli Ortiz
A conversation between two cutting-edge designers whose work addresses some of the key issues of contemporary intersectional feminism. Charles Harbison is designer and founder of Harbison; Nasheli Juliana Ortiz González is chair and associate professor of fashion design at Moore College of Art & Design.
5:30 – 7pm: Reception and fashion show | Moore College of Art & Design
BERTHE MORISOT:WOMAN IMPRESSIONIST EXHIBITION INFORMATION:
Member previews: Thursday, October 18 - Saturday, October 20, 2018 Open to the public: October 21, 2018 - January 14, 2018
For more information, visit here.
This exhibition is sponsored by:
Denise Littlefield Sobel
Aileen and Brian Roberts
Maribeth and Steven Lerner
Bruce and Robbi Toll
Critical support for the exhibition comes from contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund with additional support from Morisot Philanthropy Circle Donors.
Additional funding from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, and The Rittenhouse Hotel.
The exhibition catalogue is made possible with generous support provided by the Lois and Julian Brodsky Publications Fund.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist is organized by the Barnes Foundation, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie.
ABOUT THE BARNES FOUNDATION
The Barnes Foundation is a non-profit cultural and educational institution that shares its unparalleled art collection with the public, organizes special exhibitions, and presents programming that fosters new ways of thinking about human creativity. The Barnes collection is displayed in ensembles that integrate art and objects from across cultures and time periods, overturning traditional hierarchies and revealing universal elements of human expression. Home to one of the world’s finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist paintings—including the largest groups of paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne in existence—the Barnes brings together renowned masterworks by such artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Vincent van Gogh, alongside ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and non-Western art as well as metalwork, furniture, and decorative art.
The Barnes Foundation was established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture.” Since moving to the heart of Philadelphia in 2012, the Barnes has expanded its commitment to teaching visual literacy in groundbreaking ways, investing in original scholarship relating to its collection and enhancing accessibility throughout every facet of its program.
The Barnes Foundation is open Wednesday–Monday, and tickets can be purchased on-site, online, or by calling 215.278.7200. Ticket prices and current hours are listed on our website.
MOORE COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN
Moore College of Art & Design educates students for careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's visual arts college for undergraduates. The College's career-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district, surrounded by world-class museums.