1916-1918 / Brush and ink with watercolor and shell gold over a 19th-century French lithographic illustration; laid down on canvas / 19 1/2”x12 7/8” / National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
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Previous November 30 posts:
Early last century, when the sight of a woman in trousers could still cause a flap, the spectacle of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven must have aroused hairy panic.
With her five stray dogs trailing behind her on a gilded leash, she would walk regally through Washington Square Park, wearing a short Scottish kilt, a brassiere made from two tomato cans tied together with green string and, hanging from her neck, a wooden birdcage — with a live, chirping canary.
A Dada poet and collagist, artists’ model and troublemaker, she was called by those who knew her simply “the Baroness.” In the late 1910’s and early 1920’s, the Baroness reigned among the intellectual avant-garde who laughed at sexual taboos and made art their revolution. But in the wildly colorful hothouse of Greenwich Village bohemia, the Baroness was the most exotic blossom of them all. “She is not a futurist,” Marcel Duchamp said. “She is the future.”
The Dada Baroness~
Did Marcel Duchamp steal Elsa’s urinal?~