2:00 pm

Jill Carey – “Orson Lowell: Fashion and Satire”

Lasell Professor, Jill Carey will discuss how during the opening years of the 20th century, illustrative commentary filled magazine pages as a means of conveying humanity within a societal context. Humorist Orson Lowell, a noted illustrator from this period, created fashion-filled compositions that linked dress and wit within an evolving commercialized culture. Lowell’s love of watching people and their foibles in awkward situations were artfully represented in The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, Vogue, and Life.  As a satirist, focusing on social life in New York City, he spent limited time in the studio and instead joined a variety of prestigious organizations from which to garner inspiration for his impressive renderings. In this sense, Lowell’s depictions seamlessly disseminate style within an urban context, frequently balancing on the line between humor and controversy. Whether Orson Lowell was an innovator of trend or an avid follower of la mode, his work provides an incredible opportunity for a colloquy on fashion satire as a means of interpreting social ideals.  Note: This lecture will accompany an exhibit of the same name at ATHM which will open in February 2016.