The Art of changes

The Art of changes


“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself" 

Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again)


Throughout the history, arts and fashion were the most vivid reflections of the social reality and the representations of the main changes the society was undergoing during a certain period. Let's take a look at the transformations that happened to fashion and costume design during the years of Art Nouveau and Art Deco flourishing and see what caused them to happen.

Probably, the most significant metamorphose that happened was the role of the woman in the society and her image. The Suffragist movement that aimed to gain women's democratic rights had the most important influence on the development of the "New Woman" ideal. First-wave feminism refers to an extended period of feminist activity during the XIX and early XX century in the United Kingdom and the United States. Originally, it focused on the promotion of equal contract and property rights for women and the opposition to chattel marriage and ownership of married women (and their children) by their husbands. However, by the end of the XIX century, activism focused primarily on gaining political power, particularly the right of women's suffrage. Yet, feminists such as Voltairine de Cleyre and Margaret Sanger were still active in campaigning for women's sexual, reproductive, and economic rights at this time. 


Valeria Nepeina, student doing work experience; Master's Degree Arts and Cultural Managment UIC


Litography The Evolution of Woman by Harry Whitney McVickar is an illustration of the satirical book with the same title that Harry Whitney McVickar published in New York in 1896 (available on Google Books). 

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The Evolution of Woman, Harry Whitney McVickar, 1903