A Separate Sphere: Dressmakers in Cincinnati's Golden Age, by Cynthia Amneus, Marla R. Miller, Anne Bissonnette, Shirley

By Cynthia Amneus, Marla R. Miller, Anne Bissonnette, Shirley Teresa Wajda

'This exhibition catalogue (worth procuring for the pictures by myself) files the artistry and talents of dressmakers who catered to the elite girls of Cincinnati' - "Dress". 'One will get a unprecedented glimpse into the enterprise of favor during this lovely publication...Amneus makes use of dressmaking as a important topic to merge key concerns within the components of social and hard work background in the course of a time of cultural transformation in the US. the result's a scholarly paintings that records gender roles, equivalent rights, artisanship, and entrepreneurship' - "Michigan historic Review". Dressmaking, thought of a average extension of women's right paintings in the house, was once a typical and profitable employment for girls within the 19th and early 20th centuries. It afforded inventive expression, status in the neighborhood, or even the potential for monetary independence. but as marketers, dressmakers confronted specified enterprise pressures, and with the appearance of shops and frequent mass construction of women's garments, so much have been pressured into bankruptcy. Coinciding with the exhibition Cynthia Amnus equipped for the Cincinnati paintings Museum, this paintings examines the nineteenth-century ideology of women's separate sphere, the early feminist circulate, ladies within the place of work, and dressmakers as artisans and pros. greater than a hundred and forty attractive personalized clothing, ancient pictures, and dressmakers labels rfile the wonderful inventive and technical ability of the ladies who produced trendy gown in Cincinnati from 1877 to 1922. Bracketing Amnuss incisive learn are essays via Anne Bissonnette at the eccentric tea costume, Marla Miller at the pitfalls of gaining knowledge of women's cultural paintings, and Shirley Teresa Wajda at the dressmakers filthy rich shoppers. In all, A Separate Sphere bargains a cautious look at the lives of ladies suffering from ideological obstacles. Chronicling offerings made via and imposed on either working-class girls and their prosperous opposite numbers, it finds how those ladies controlled to reinforce their prescribed sphere for themselves and for the group at huge.

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Extra resources for A Separate Sphere: Dressmakers in Cincinnati's Golden Age, 1877-1922 (Costume Society of America Series)

Example text

Between  and , the number of professional degrees awarded to women increased by  percent. In , women still were only a tiny proportion of practitioners in the learned professions. Also, although the number of women choosing to remain single increased, as did the divorce rate, the majority of women still chose marriage and motherhood over actually utilizing their education in a professional career. In most cases, feminists in the second half of the nineteenth century were able to advance women toward greater equality with men, perhaps to a “separate but equal” condition.

The finished pieces were collected, the workers were paid by the piece, and the finished articles were shipped to market to be sold. Large-scale manufacturing produced functional specialization, and division of labor became the norm. This new system changed the nature of both men’s and women’s work.  One of the first areas to be industrialized was textile manufacturing, a primary responsibility for women in subsistence production. The finished yarn and cloth were sent to the factories, which produced the final product.

Lily Martin Spencer (1822–1902), United States; Patty-cake, 1855 –1858 ; oil on canvas, 24 x 20 in. 8 cm); Museum Purchase: Bequest of Mr. 214 . , .  .  Her work was that of pure affection, with no expectation of reward and no ambition. Women were able to maintain this superior morality only by keeping busy at uplifting tasks. Fortunately, housework was viewed as uplifting in that it provided opportunities to exercise one’s judgment and patient self-possession.

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