Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


The Gift of Beauty

[Grainy photo mine; Vogue is open to Whistler's Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl ; peacock paper via Paper Source.]

Last week I announced that another V & A organized exhibition is coming to San Francisco: The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 1860–1900 will be on view at the Legion of Honor beginning February 18, 2012. And today, when I opened the December Vogue, I spied an Aesthetic-inspired spread with Hamish Bowles's commentary on the 19th-century artistic movement. So, predictably I'm afraid, here are my three related gift suggestions.

Ultimate: Tuck two tickets to San Francisco along with Museum passes inside Bowles's Vogue story. Wrap with symbolic peacock paper. (Well over a century ago, the stylized feather became an emblem of Aestheticism. As the V & A points out, because of Liberty's strong ties to the Aesthetic Movement, most of us today associate peacock feathers with Arthur Silver's iconic fabric for the London store but to early Victorians the motif screamed Aestheticism.)

Very Nice: Bundle the December Vogue with a copy of the exhibition catalogue.

Budget-Friendly, Fun, and Inspired: The December Vogue with an iTunes gift card for the The Cult of Beauty App for iPad. I bought it. Totally worth the $3.99. For me, highlights include: a video with curator Stephen Calloway and Financial Times style editor Damian Foxe supervising a fashion shoot in the Morris Room; the Exhibition Audioguide narrated by Rupert Everett; and the Audiographs of three pivotal Aesthetic Women -- model Jane Morris, poet Elizabeth Siddal, and actress Ellen Terry.

Hopefully many of the V & A's Aesthetic-inspired gift shop wares, like the feathers portfolio or sketch pen with designs adapted from Aubrey Beardsley drawings, will be available at the Legion of Honor winter 2012.


Virginia Country House said...

What a fantastic idea. Thank you for the inspiration.

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

Funny to see this post because I was just thinking that there has been a mini resurgence of the aesthetic movement. I saw a Michelle Dumas (?) painting recently that reminded me of several Millais paintings.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

That feather portfolio is so very pretty (and perfect for Peacock Pavilions!)

Hope you are well, Courtney. Happy Thanksgiving.

Style Court said...

Happy Thanksgiving!