Author: Rebekah Pollock

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The Orientalist Gaze
This fan’s printed scenes of the Ottoman Empire are after the English architect and landscape painter Thomas Allom (1804-1872), whose drawings were engraved and published in the 1840 book, Constantinople and the Scenery of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. [1] The center image is of the Arut Bazaar, a female slave market in Constantinople....
Brisé fan, France, late 19th century
Get Carried Away
This fan commemorates the Montgolfier brothers Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (left, 1740-1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (right, 1745-1799), inventors the globe aérostatique (hot air balloon). The central scene shows the brothers’ first public experiment, which took place in Annonay, France on June 4th, 1783 in front of a group of state representatives. That day, a balloon inflated with...
Pleated fan, Europe, late 18th–early 19th century
Swift as an Arrow
The subject of this fan is an episode from the Ancient Greek myth of the Trojan War. Agamemnon has vowed to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to appease Artemis, whose wrath he incurred by killing deer in a sacred grove. This fan illustrates the dramatic moment when the goddess takes pity on the girl and at...
Louis XVI restaurateur de la liberté, toile de Jouy, France
Unsuccessful Propaganda
It is with the perfect vision of hindsight that we can perceive the dramatic irony embedded in this textile, printed at the heart of the French Revolution. The intended message is announced on a banderole held aloft by a putto: Louis XVI is the Restorer of Liberty, a title briefly bestowed on him by the...
Waistcoat, France, ca. 1795
Garb for a Gent
The light color palette and spare decoration of this waistcoat are typical of the neoclassical style, which dominated design in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. The silhouette is tight-fitting and markedly angular, with the lower hem cut straight across and rectangular pocket plackets. This was a departure from the skirted waistcoats with...
CHSDM-1920-10-1MattFlynn
Swiss Style
During the nineteenth century, many European nations endeavored to define their cultural identities and to establish national histories. This romantic nationalism was characterized by a nostalgia that fueled an interest in historic folk customs. Peasants were commonly viewed as synonymous with nationhood and peasant costumes were the subject of interest and national pride. This fan,...
1952-161-198
Fanning the Flame of Love
This brisé fan (one consisting of rigid sticks joined with a ribbon) illustrates a story from ancient Greek mythology. Dionysus, the god of wine, finds Ariadne on the Island of Naxos. Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, has fled away with Theseus, slayer of the Minotaur, and been deserted by him on the...
19-- Matt Flynn 002
Studied Flirtation
This fan depicts a scene from Roman mythology in which Vertumnus, god of orchards, seduces the nymph Pomona, steward of fruit trees, by assuming the guise of an old woman. The story is best known from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a collection of myths centered around the recurring themes of love and transformation. Such tales were apt...
sutnar 1
Embodied Design
We see posters not only with our eyes but with our bodies. In this sense, we respond physically to the taut pose of the elegant athlete in Ladislav Sutnar’s 1958 poster for Addo-X. Sutnar created a bold new logotype for the Swedish office machine brand in 1956; he also designed numerous posters and advertisements for...