Mannequin D’Artiste, Mannequin Fetiche Musee Bourdelle until July 12th, Paris

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Tonight one of the three curators, Jerome Godeau, musee Bourdelle, gave a guided tour of the Mannequin D'Artiste, Mannequin Fetiche exhibition and it was beyond fascinating. On exhibit were mannequins from the XVIIIe century up until today. The exhibition ended  with one by  Jake and Dino Chapman. In the curation were articulated dolls from the windows of Siegel, paintings by Gainsborough, Courbet, Burne-Jones, Kokoschka, Beeton, de Chirico, Annigoni, drawings by Salviati, de Millais, pages of an Encyclopedia, photographs by Bellmer, Man Ray, List and Denise Bellon…the exhibition was years in the making and is totally transporting. This is the first exhibition that exposes the relationship between the artist-mannequin. There are over 160 works of art coming from public and private collections in both France and abroad.

In the end of the XVIIIe century Paris was the center for the fabrication of mannequins which were reproduced to closely resemble the human body. By the end of the XIXe and XXe century the mannequin became the same as the work of art and the artists played with their presence in a way that was both ludique,  erotic and surrealistic. It was a pleasure for athe artist to work with mannequins that could hold a pose indefinitely without complaining. The wooden figures were articulated and their poses made them react like humans so much so that  it was hard to depict the real from the false in many of the paintings and some of the artists played with theat fact and revealed, if you were really looking, that in fact this was not a human. The exhibition traces the saga of the artists mannequin through nine acts from the Renaissance to now.

The three curators are: Jane Munro, Amelie Simier and Jerome Godeau, from musee Bourdelle who gave us this intensely intriguing guided tour.

Pictured above:

1. Romano Alberti "Il Nero de Sansepolcro" middle of the XVIe century. courtesy of Patricia Wengraf Ltd, London

2. Thomas A. Edison 1847-1941, Poupee phonographe Edison 1890-1900 private collector from Norway, I loved the story of this talking doll that was the first of its kind and a total failure as children were scared of her.

3. Unknown from Germany, Gliederpuppe, around 1550 from a private collector in London 

4. Unknown, Italy Mannequin neoclassique around 1810 Accademia Carrara, Bergame 

5. Unknown, Mannequin "Enfant n. 98" from the middle of the 19th century from Hamilton Kerr Institute, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge: photo Chris Titmus

6. Alan Beeton 1880-1942 No title. Reposing 11 around 1929

Musee Bourdelle

18 rue Antoine-Bourdelle – 75015

Highly recommended by A Shaded View on Fashion



Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.