Modernism, Exclusivity, and the Sophisticated Public of Harper's Bazaar (UK)
This article explores the reciprocal relationship between modernism and Harper’s Bazaar (UK) during 1929-35. In its early years this commercial fashion magazine exploited modernism’s perceived exclusivity and highbrow status to flatteringly construct its aspirational readers as culturally sophisticated. Whether printing modernist texts or artworks or parodying their experimental style, early Harper’s Bazaar (UK) promoted the reception of modernist writers and artists as high cultural celebrities, whose presence in the magazine enhanced its cultural value. While insisting on the exclusivity of modernist art and literature, Harper’s Bazaar (UK) simultaneously facilitated the mainstreaming of modernism by commodifying modernist texts and artworks and teaching its readers how to approach them. During the early 1930s, this article argues, Harper’s Bazaar (UK) helped to establish early narratives of modernism’s origins and development while marketing modernism as a desirable, high-end cultural product to its fashion-conscious audience.
Citation : Wood, A. (2016) Modernism, Exclusivity, and the Sophisticated Public of Harper's Bazaar (UK). Modernist Cultures, 11 (3), (Autumn 2016).
ISSN : 2041-1022
Research Group : English Research Group
Research Institute : Institute of English
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities