Frye Lecture: "Decadant Art as Politics in Fin-de-Siècle Central Europe" 

Naomi Hume (Associate Professor of Art History, Seattle University)
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 6:30pm
Frye Art Museum
704 Terry Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104 - Google Map

Decadence suggests decay or deterioration from a previous state of vitality. Starting in the 1870s, critics called artistic aestheticism decadent, dismissing artists who merely pleased the senses rather than edifying the mind.  But sensuality could be political in turn-of-the-century Central Europe.  This talk will consider how painters in Munich, Vienna and elsewhere challenged social mores with such decadent themes as sexuality, sickness, morbidity and madness, commonly thought of as signs of civilization’s decline.

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