Fashion History and Modern Art

This course explores the intersecting vectors of fashion, art and modernity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (roughly, 1865-1965).  Making use of primary sources -- from couture clothing to period fashion journals and relevant works of art on campus and in Bay Area museum collections -- students will examine the historical foundations of the fashion system in France and the United States, enabling them to approach and understand the contemporary nexus of art, fashion, branding and celebrity culture from an informed and critically engaged perspective. 

Reading knowledge of French would be helpful but is not required.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Nancy Troy

Victoria and Roger Sant Professor in Art

Nancy J. Troy is Victoria and Roger Sant Professor in Art and Chair of the Art & Art History Department at Stanford University. In addition to The De Stijl Environment (MIT Press, 1983), she is the author of Modernism and the Decorative Arts in France: Art Nouveau to Le Corbusier (Yale University Press, 1991), Couture Culture: A Study in Modern Art and Fashion(MIT Press, 2003), and, most recently, The Afterlife of Piet Mondrian(University of Chicago Press, 2013). In this book about Mondrian after his death in 1944, Troy examines the trajectories of the artist's work and legacy as they circulated through the realms of elite and popular culture, and she explores the ways in which the dominant historical narrative of Mondrian and his work has been shaped by art-market forces.

Professor Troy received her PhD from Yale University in 1979, and thereafter taught at The Johns Hopkins University (1979-83), Northwestern University (1983-93), and the University of Southern California (1994-2010). A past president of the National Committee for the History of Art, she was Editor-in-Chief of the flagship art history journal, The Art Bulletin, from 1994 to 1997. She has been awarded many fellowships, most notably from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Getty Research Institute, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts.

At Stanford, Professor Troy teaches courses on modern European and American art, architecture and design; cubism; modern art and fashion; art, business and the law; the art market, and topics generated by the collections and exhibitions of the Cantor Arts Center and the Art and Architecture Library.