Monday, September 5, 2016

Before Labor Day, of course - Women in White 19C America

Attributed to1802 John Vanderlyn (American artist, 1775-1852) Theodosia Burr Alston (1783-1813) daughter of U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr and Theodosia Bartow Prevost.  Also called the Nags Head Portrait

1802 Gilbert Stuart (American artist, 1755-1828)  Mrs Harrison Gray Otis

1800 Gilbert Stuart (American artist, 1755-1828) Mrs. Michael Keppele (Catherine Caldwell)

1800 Gilbert Stuart (American artist, 1755-1828) Portrait of Mrs. Elizabeth Chipman Gray

1807 Ezra Ames (1768-1836) Harriet Romeyn (Mrs. Spencer) Stafford (1792-1849)

1808 Ezra Ames (American artist, 1768-1836) Maria Van Schaick (1782-1865)

1809 Ezra Ames (American artist, 1768-1836) Mrs. Daniel D. Tompkins (1781-1829)

1812-21 Henry Folsom (American artist, 1792–1814 or c. 1805–1825) Possibly Anna Gilman Folsom

Ellen Sharples (American artist, 1769-1849) Young Lady in a White Dress

 Gilbert Stuart (American artist, 1755-1828) Eleanor Nelly Parke Custis 1805

Gilbert Stuart (American artist, 1755-1828) Anna Payne Cutts 1804

 Cephas Thompson (American artist, 1775-1856)  Maria De Wolf (Mrs Robert Rogers) 1805

 Joshua Johnson (American artist, 1763–1824) A Young Lady Holding a Book c 1810-15

 Charles Bird King (American artist, 1785-1862) Mrs Joshua Johnson

Cephas Thompson (American artist, 1775-1856) Mrs Cephas Thompson 1810

 Robert Fulton (American artist and inventor, 1765-1815) Susan Hayne Simmons (Mrs. Manigault Heyward), ca. 1813

Unknown artist,  New England Lady c 1820

Samuel Finley Breese Morse (American artist, 1791-1872) Mrs-Daniel DeSaussure Bacot 1820

 Jeremiah Pearson Hardy (American painter, 1800-1887) Mary Ann Hardy 1821

Cephas Thompson (American artist, 1775-1856) Susan Howland Aspinwall 1810

Cephas Thompson (American artist, 1775-1856) Alice Lawrason Riggs (Mrs. Elisha Riggs) of Baltimore 1815

Attributed to Susanna Paine (1792–1862) , Rhode Island 1824

 Cephas Giovanni Thompson (Amerian artist, 1809 – 1888) Spring 1838

 Asher Brown Durand (American artist, 1796-1886) The Parrot

Daniel Huntington (American artist, 1816-1906) Lady in White Dress, said to be Emily Astor

Daniel Huntington (American artist, 1816-1906) Mary Gardiner Thompson

Daniel Huntington (American artist, 1816-1906) Portrait of a Southern Lady

George Fuller (American painter, 1822-1884) Portrait of a Lady

Abraham Archibald Anderson (American artist, 1847–1940) Louise van Beuren Bond

David Dalhoff Neal (American artist, 1838–1915) A Token of Love

Frank Duveneck (American painter, 1848-1919) Portrait of Maggie Wilson

Richard Edward Miller (American painter, 1875-1943) Alice Carey

Mary Neal Richardson (American artist, 1859-1937) Girl Reading

The American dictum that women shouldn't wear white clothing before Memorial Day & after Labor Day has been around at least since the Civil War. The wives of the super-rich dominated high society after the Civil War. As more & more people became financially successful, though, it was difficult to tell the difference between "old money" in elite families & those who only had "new money." By the 1880s, in order to tell who was "acceptable" & who wasn’t, some elite women felt it necessary to create fashion "rules," that everyone "in the know" knew to follow. Not wearing white outside the summer months was one of these rules. In the non-air-conditioned early 20C, the summer "season" was defined by Memorial Day & Labor Day, when those-who-could flocked from town house to seaside "cottage" or mountain "cabin" to escape the oppressive summer heat. City clothes were left behind in exchange for lighter, whiter, summer costumes. Come fall, as well-to-do families returned to the city, more formal, darker city clothes were donned once more. And many in the large cities heated their environs with coal. The soot from the coal spread through the heated indoor spaces & coal dust quickly would stain light garbs. So folks changed to a darker wardrobe around Labor Day. This coincided with the growth of fashion magazines available to all levels of society. The magazines reflected the no white after Labor Day rule in the glossy, seductive pages of Harper's Bazaar & Vogue, which set the fashion tone for the country. This practice progressed from tradition, into rule, & finally into an identifiable cultural faux pas for decades into the 20C. 

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