Are Clothes Modern?
October 7, 2017 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Bernard Rudofsky is not so well known for his social critiques. But in 1944, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) put on an exhibition based on his book, Are Clothes Modern?. The museum didn't do another exhibition on this subject for 73 years. In the second link Exhibition Info, you will see info about the out-of-print book and link to "View the Publication" which will give a download pdf for the entire book. Below that is a link to "View the Checklist" which will give you a download of the list of all garments shown in the exhibition.

Rudofsky is one of the most fascinating people I know of. I learned about him first through his books "Architecture without Architects" and "Streets for People" on vernacular architecture worldwide. There's also "Behind the Picture Window" about American suburbia, and "The Kimono Mind" about Japanese culture. Here's a link to his Wikipedia bio: Rudofsky bio
posted by MovableBookLady (6 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Link to the current Is Fashion Modern? exhibit...
posted by endquote at 10:01 PM on October 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

A witty and perceptive observer of human behavior and inventiveness. The Kimono Mind, The Unfashionable Human Body, and Now I Lay Me Down to Eat are such wonderful—though now largely forgotten–books!
posted by tenderly at 11:15 PM on October 7, 2017

posted by infini at 11:52 PM on October 7, 2017

endquote: My first link is to the curator discussing the importance of the Rudofsky exhibition in 1944 and why it took so long to do another on the topic. I thought it had enough Rudofsky to work for this post.

infini: Yes, that is a re-used link but I put it in so people could get the pdf of Rudofsky's book as it's out of print. This is probably the main reason I posted this, because the book is so good.

Apologies if this was a wrong thing to do.
posted by MovableBookLady at 4:07 AM on October 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't think its a double, hence my own question.
posted by infini at 5:13 AM on October 8, 2017

Rudofsky goes right to the core of things immediately in the 1947 book (and please tell me that someone out there has posted the missing two pages!):

" addicts, a term which applies to practically everybody who has reached adolescence..."

And this framing and celebration:

"Modesty —to be specific, the Jewish-Christian variety of corporeal modesty — was born from sin"

"...the new artificial skin cracks alternately or simultaneously in a dozen places, sometimes to the delight of its wearer. It is noteworthy that though modesty has often punished humanity severely by inflicting unnecessary hardships, it has just as often given the most exquisite pleasures to its non-conformists."

"It is somewhat comforting to observe that life has laws of its own, which do not always coincide with moral or theological axioms."

Hopefully some kind MeFite will report back from the current exhibit.
posted by johnabbe at 10:30 AM on October 8, 2017

« Older Mean Girls: The Forbidden Lesbian Romance   |   Dear catcallers, Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments