Indepth Arts News: |
"Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America, 1870-1930"
2000-06-11 until 2000-09-04
Clark Art Institute of Art
USA United States of America
Harem girls in the bath house and hookah smokers in the café, spice merchants calling in the bazaar
and turbaned warriors camped at the oasis: These are among the stereotypes of an imaginary Orient
that American artists and entrepreneurs have conjured up for a broad public.
The rich history of this American Orientalism will be the subject of Noble Dreams, Wicked
Pleasures: Orientalism in America, 1870-1930, a traveling exhibition organized by the Sterling and
Francine Clark Art Institute, on view there from June 11 to September 4. Far broader than any
previous museum show devoted to this topic, Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures breaks new ground
in drawing on the expertise of scholars specializing in Islamic art and culture to look at the
Orientalist attitudes in American art. Led by Holly Edwards, author of The Genesis of Islamic
Architecture in the Indus Valley, the curatorial team traces America’s images of the exotic and erotic
Middle East from the high-art era of John Singer Sargent’s Fumée d’ambre gris to the popular-art
era of Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik.