Sunday, May 22, 2011

News Flash: Gallery of Fashion Is Online!

Gallery of Fashion, October 1794
At this moment I am close to suffering a case of the vapors.

The Gallery of Fashion, volume 1 (Apr. 1794) through volume 9 (Mar. 1803), is online. In huge scans, with all the text. One of the members of the lamodeillustree community on Livejournal made the discovery that Bunka Gakuen University, in Japan, had placed it and other fashion treasures online. Here is the link to the collection at the Bunka Gakuen University Library Digital Archive of Rare Materials. One easy way to find the Gallery of Fashion is to chose "title" from the left navigation bar and then type it in...voile. It's on a short list.

Here for the first time I learned that the Gallery is just fashion, nothing else: no poetry or family advice, cultural notices, or politics. The Gallery had a most interesting way of making itself exclusive: highly priced, it listed its subscribers annually. Here are the first two pages, describing the Gallery's aim in detail.

One comment. Not every scan is crystal clear for some reason. Take the image at the top, from October 1794. If really clear the text under the plate itself would be crisp, and it isn't. Still, many scans are clear, and this is the very first time many of us are going to have seen most of the plates. What wonders await, and what gems the text will give us in the way of names of garments and how they are worn!

Golly, I also noticed other gems in the library. I could be busy for ages here.

Praise ye now the Internet and the generosity of libraries and universities, for they are making literal treasures available to us all. How can we ever thank you? My humble suggestion: support your local libraries and museums!


Margarita said...

You just made me the happiest woman in the world! Thanks for the link, for sure I will enjoy it.


Madame Berg said...

I think I just died a little... Thank you so much for sharing!

ZipZip said...

You are most welcome! The credit actually goes to one of the folks on Modeillustree, who tracked it down. Let's pass the word, though, for I think I just found Ackermann's on that site too...the full magazine. Can you imagine?

Very best,