Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Parasol

Designer:
Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Date:
summer 1937
Culture:
French
Medium:
cotton, wood
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955
Accession Number:
2009.300.1224
Not on view
The butterfly was the Surrealist symbol for change, particularly the change from ugly to beautiful. As the unlovely caterpillar changes into the brilliant colorful butterfly, so Schiaparelli's designs could transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Many of her clients were women who did not possess the accepted standard of beauty, but rather a more striking sort of chic, such as the Duchess of Windsor and Millicent Rogers, who owned this parasol. This design features a lively butterfly print on a quirky asymmetric canopy that expresses the wide array of types and colorations of butterflies, inspired by Surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst and Man Ray. Schiaparelli shared many Surrealist views with these artists and often used her designs as a means to express these views. For her summer 1937 collection, Schiaparelli featured the butterfly print on parasols, silk evening dresses (see 2009.300.1347a, b) and her new waltz-length evening dresses.
Marking: Label: "Schiaparelli/21. place vendôme/Paris/143962"
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