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History of a ShiverThe Sublime Impudence of Modernism$
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Jed Rasula

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199396290

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199396290.001.0001

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Afternoon of a Faun

Afternoon of a Faun

Pictorialism, Dance, and the American Arcady

Chapter:
(p.165) 5 Afternoon of a Faun
Source:
History of a Shiver
Author(s):

Jed Rasula

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199396290.003.0006

This chapter focuses on a singular American fixation on mythical Arcadia that swept the nation in the fin de siècle and persisted even after the Great War. Extending from poetry to the barefoot dancing of Isadora Duncan and the costume dances of the Denishawn school, the American Arcady was marked by Panhellenic fantasies that inspired the widespread civic pageantry movement as an exercise in nationalist community building. Another key vehicle of Arcadian reverie was the pictorialist movement in photography, concentrated in the journal Camera Work, where it became somewhat indiscriminately affiliated with ultramodernism in art and literature generally. The chapter concludes with a look at Camera Work’s disavowal of pictorialist standards of beauty, presaging an incentive to reclaim the artistic potency of ugliness.

Keywords:   Arcadia, civic pageantry, dance, Camera Work, pictorialism, photography

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