Art Historian Alison McQueen to Discuss French Fashion of the 1800s text

Marist college


March 29, 2018 — Internationally known art historian Alison McQueen will deliver the talk “What Will I Wear? Fashion and Choice for France’s Empress Eugénie.” This event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Monday, April 16, 5:00pm, in the Hancock Center at Marist College, room 2023.

McQueen is Professor of Art History and Director of the School of the Arts at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. She has published extensively on Nineteenth-Century French Art and culture.  Her most recent book is Empress Eugénie and the Arts: Politics and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century.


image of Art Historian Alison McQueen


McQueen’s lecture will focus on fashion, art and Empress Eugénie, who was empress of the French from 1853 to 1870 during the Second Empire, a period of great economic prosperity and social change. McQueen notes the decisions Eugénie made around clothing and accessories resonated with meaning, from the kind of lace she chose for her wedding dress to the types of materials and designs she selected for the gowns she wore to public events. That meaning was shaped by politics and complicated by her personal background as a Hispanic woman.  Her fashions were scrutinized and sometimes criticized.  She wore complicated, layered crinoline dresses and helped the couturier Worth establish his international fame.  She also commissioned clothing from female designers and raised her hemline to make her hiking clothing more comfortable. Empress Eugénie is a significant if neglected figure for the history of fashion in nineteenth-century France.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Art and Digital Media and the Fashion Program.

 About Marist

Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 381 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (9th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Marist educates approximately 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees.

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