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Job: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Proponents of the Art Nouveau movement of the late 1800s sought escape from the limitations of past traditions, and they achieved it by creating a new style. By applying this style to all forms of creativity, they hoped to eliminate the separation between art and craft. Alphonse Mucha did just that by treating the poster, humbly temporary and commercial, like a canvas. Unlike the woman in Chéret's Pippermint poster, Mucha's female figure is more symbolic than seductive. She rests in a circle representing harmony, surrounded by a mass of curving hair. For many who came upon this poster in the streets, this may have been their first experience seeing fine art elements outside of a place of worship. The Job cigarette paper being advertised also represents literal escape. Despite Mucha's use of an idealized female in this poster, respectable women of the nineteenth century did not smoke. This pleasure belonged to men, who could use it as an excuse to retreat into smoking rooms and the company of male friends.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: September 28, 2011