Sargent and Fashion
Presented by Dr. Erica Hirshler, Interim Chair, Art of the Americas, Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
“The coat is the picture,” John Singer Sargent explained to one of his sitters in the summer of 1894, insisting that the gentleman wear a heavy woolen overcoat despite the warm temperatures and tugging it ever more tightly around him to attenuate his slender form. This episode is but one example of the manner in which Sargent manipulated fashion—and his sitters—in the service of his art. Join MFA curator Erica Hirshler for a sneak preview of her forthcoming exhibition, Sargent and Fashion, a major show opening in 2021 that examines the role of dress in the painter’s work. Go behind the scenes to learn about the ideas, logistics, and process of organizing this international exhibition, which will feature many of Sargent’s finest portraits with representative clothes of the period, including several of the actual garments he depicted in portraits.
Space is limited; reservations required. Tickets are $10 CAM/SHM members; $20 nonmembers. Sign up online at Eventbrite or call (978) 283-0455 x10.
Dr. Erica Hirshler, an expert in late 19th and early 20th-century American painting, Dr. Erica E. Hirshler has published extensively on John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Dennis Bunker, William Merritt Chase, Winslow Homer, and women artists and collectors. Author of A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940 (2001), Dr. Hirshler holds a BA from Wellesley College and a PhD from Boston University; she has lectured at museums and other cultural institutions across the United States, Europe, and Japan. She is currently planning an exhibition about Sargent and fashion.
John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925), Mrs. Charles E. Inches (Louise Pomeroy), 1887. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Anonymous gift in memory of Mrs. Charles Inches' daughter, Louise Brimmer Inches Seton. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.