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20 North Main St (also enter on 224 Benefit Street) Providence, RI 02903

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a resource about art and its making

Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion

  • TL20-2013-2

Doran Wittelsbach, San Francisco, 2009. Rose Callahan photographer. © Rose Callahan. Courtesy of the artist.

Closing soon! Sunday, April 28 through Sunday, August 18, 2013

Chace Center Galleries

In a groundbreaking exhibition—drawn from our collection and loans from other national and international organizations and private individuals—the RISD Museum celebrates the dandy, tracing the variety of ways in which this personality has blazed through two centuries and investigating where he resides today.

Rather than following strict definitions, Artist/Rebel/Dandy features myriad manifestations of the dandy’s style and persona, from the discreet sophistication and consummate elegance of Beau Brummell (1778–1840) to the romantics and revolutionaries of today—including Rick Owens, Patti Smith, Ouigi Theodore, and Waris Ahluwalia.

The deft workmanship and particular style of a tailor or designer features alongside representations of the personalities who wore these garments—as seen in portraits, caricatures, fashion plates, fashion photography, and media representations. Likewise, representations of dandies—from George IV to Oscar Wilde and Iké Udé, and from Lord Byron to Sebastian Horsley and Sruli Recht—are grounded in the concrete and tactile nature of the clothing itself.

Artist/Rebel/Dandy is accompanied by an illustrated book (Yale University Press, 2013), with essays by exhibition curators Kate Irvin and Laurie Brewer, fashion historian Christopher Breward, and Barnard College English Professor Monica L. Miller; a preface by menswear designer Thom Browne; and “musings” on artist-dandies by 15 contributors, including Glenn O’Brien (Beau Brummell), Patti Smith (Charles Baudelaire), Merlin Holland (Oscar Wilde), Horace Ballard (W. E. B. DuBois), and Scott Schuman (Luciano Barbera).

View exhibition

Save the Date – Design The Night: Last Chance

The Museum marks the final days of this sumptuous show with a free Design the Night celebration on Thursday, August 15, 5-9 pm. Photographer Corey Grayhorse, local gourmet food trucks, a dandy film, and activities for all ages are on tap, enticing visitors to dine, drink, and dip into creative endings—and possibly new beginnings. Self-proclaimed “Black country soul rocksteady music group” Boo City wraps up the night with a special concert on the Chace Center Plaza.

Artist/Rebel/Dandy is supported by the Coby Foundation, Dr. Joseph A. Chazan, Jake Kaplan’s Jaguar, Brooks Brothers, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Granoff, Ms. Karen Hammond and Mr. Michael Quattromani, Ms. Carol Nulman, Mr. Mark Pollack, the RISD Museum Associates, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Green, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Metcalf, Ms. Helene Miller and Mr. James Kase, Ms. Melanie Mitchell and Mr. Stephen Key, Mr. and Mrs. Alan Nathan, Dr. and Mrs. William Tsiaras, Ms. Sherri Donghia and Mr. Roger Eulau, and Ms. Sally Lapides and Mr. Art Solomon.


“Elegant new exhibition … irresistible … every section contains gems.” — Wall Street Journal

“It explores dandyism through the ages, linking to the cutting edge of men’s fashion and style.” — Jacki Lyden, NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered

“A celebration of sharp dressers, this exhibit mixes drawings, garments, photographs and paintings to illustrate the many ways men have fashioned a unique style, from the elegance of Beau Brummell (1778-1840) to today’s revolutionaries.” — New York Times

“Dandies’ Delights” — New York Times

“Your summer 2013 pilgrimage” — GQ

A ‘Must-See Fashion Exhibition of 2013” — Artinfo

“At once expansive and focused, erudite and charming.” — Style.com

“There’s more to true dandyism than exotic plumage. Artist/Rebel/Dandy … emphasizes the wit and whimsy of peacocks past and present.” — W

Artist/Rebel/Dandy is one of the best shows the RISD Museum has done in years.” — Providence Journal

“A smart, sumptuous exhibit, one of the best shows in the region this year.” — Providence Phoenix


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