Early 19th Century Ackermann Illustrative Plates Collide With Contemporary Fashion:
Lasell University Students Explore Intrinsic Links Between History and Modern Design
Object ID:
Ackermann, Rudolph
July 1, 1822
Object Details:
This Ackermann illustration depicts a Regency lady sitting on a divan with a lute on her lap, wearing a long white morning gown and frilly white bonnet. Ruffles and ribbons embellish this design which is accented with subtle red detailing at the high neckline, waist, and shoes. These delicate features are telling of the romantic influences that were popularized in fashion, where imagination and emotion prevailed. Idealized femininity is exemplified through an innocent and relaxed appearance conveyed within a luxurious environment that promotes the pristine serenity of artistic leisure during the Neoclassical era.18

Compare to this record: Hand Fan
2000.130.87.1 Front
Cultural Connections:

Rudolph Ackermann's publication not only sold fashion to women, but he also sold lifestyle. The arts were an important aspect of a leisurely life during the Regency era, particularly in the form of music. The lute that the lady in the Ackermann print holds is a contemporary nod toward the popularity of the same instrument from Ancient Greece and its presence in Greco-Roman art and culture. The mid-19th century fan carries on this reference regarding Ancient Greece and the tranquility of music, by displaying ladys dressed in Grecian garb while playing contemporary instruments. Both artifacts depict an alluring environment that promotes artistic endeavors as a fashionable pastime within a life of luxury.

18 Franklin, Harper, "1820-1829," Fashion History Timeline, May 27, 2020. https://fashionhistory.fitnyc.edu/1820-1829/.
Click to Enlarge
2013.4.66 (2)2013.4.66 (2)