Nouveau Risqué: A Perspective on Women and Progress


January 24- March 17, 2013

SUArt Galleries

Nouveau Risqué: A Perspective on Women and Progress, an exhibition that investigates the impact that work, recreational activities and independent living had on women during the turn of the 19th to 20th century.  The exhibition will feature more than 70 original objects, including color lithography posters from the Arts and Crafts movement, accompanied by examples of furniture, lamps, vases, clothing and other accessories.

The guest curators for this exhibition are students enrolled in the Syracuse University Museum Studies Advanced Curatorship class, under the guidance of Professor Edward Aiken. The works in the exhibition are drawn from a variety of Central New York lenders, including the SU Art Collection, The Stickley Museum, Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection and Research Center, Dalton’s American Decorative Arts, the Cortland County Historical Society and Syracuse University Special Collections Research Center.

The exhibition will run Jan. 24- March 17, 2013, in the Shaffer Art Building.  Gallery Hours are Tuesday- Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Thursdays 11:a.m. – 8 p.m.  The SUArt Galleries will host a free opening night reception from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24. Patrons are welcome to view the exhibition until the gallery closes at 8 p.m. The reception is open to the public.

Select programming associated with the exhibition includes two Lunchtime Lectures, the first on Wed., January 30 at 12:15 p.m. with a tour of the exhibition.  The second will be on Wed., Feb. 27 at 12:15 p.m. where Sarah Lanigan, Director of the Stickley Museum and graduate of the Museum Studies program, will discuss the Stickley objects on loan, as well as the Stickley Museum and its connection with Central New York.    The events are free and open to the public. Complete information and related programming is available by visiting the SUArt Galleries website at

Nouveau Risqué explores the idea of the ‘new woman’ through the avenues of cutting-edge design reform theories, styles such as Japonisme, and movements such as  Arts and Crafts, Aesthetic, and Art Nouveau, while using iconic lithographic posters of the time as a backdrop.  In addition, these posters advertised the vibrant and independent femme nouveau and femme fatale who were headlining theaters and cabarets in Paris and ultimately broke barriers of “proper” behavior.

Nouveau Risqué will display the eclectic styles and innovative designs and ideas of the turn of the 20th century artist. These international style movements have particular importance to Central New York. While being a center for the Arts and Crafts movement, this area was also a hotbed for women’s rights.   When advertising began to use women as marketing tools, to appeal to both women and men, the heightened interest in women helped to advance their freedom and evolved into today’s society. While still fighting for equality, we can see the long way we have come.  Using decorative arts, publications, graphic arts, fine art, furniture, fashion, and film aids in the creation of a snapshot as possible of modern life over one-hundred years ago.


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