Journal Article

Art, Life and the Fashion Museum: For A more Solidarian Exhibition Practice



This article departs from the century-long understanding that fashion connects ‘life and art’, an understanding once advocated by Hans Siemsen in his avantgarde journal Zeit-Echo, to discuss how the museum constitutes an important space, or arena, where this connection is taking place. The museum as we know it is a space dedicated to displaying objects of art – and to some degree, of everyday life objects – and as such it constitutes a space for the linkage between the aesthetic and the profane, between art and life. However, as will be argued, as a space that has increasingly become dedicated to fashion – as a cultural, social and not least economic phenomenon – the museum does not embrace its full potential in displaying and problematizing fashion’s close and real relation to actual life, and especially, the very lives that produce it. The museum and its curatorial practices, it will be argued, ought to strive less to offer its audiences spectacular displays of extravagant designer fashion – and instead dare to deal with the urgent quest for and necessity of a reformed fashion industry in which textile and garment workers can actually lead safe and liveable lives.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Journal of Fashion and Textiles.
  • Published:
  • Language:

About the Author

Louise Wallenberg

I am Professor of Fashion Studies at the Centre for Fashion Studies at IMS and I hold a PhD in Cinema Studies from Stockholm University (2002). My research has so far focused on issues dealing with gender, sexuality, class and ethnicity in cinema ... Read more


Wallenberg, L. (2020). Art, Life and the Fashion Museum: For A more Solidarian Exhibition Practice. Journal of Fashion and Textiles.