ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  book reviews, articles

  Das Journal des Luxus und der Moden, Kultur um 1800, hgg. Angela Borchert, Ralf Dressel, Heidelberg 2004, 340 p., text in German, illustrated in black and white, abstracts in German and English

Universitätsverlag Winter GmbH Heidelberg:

  This book edits the contributions of the meeting in June 2000: "das Journal des Luxus und der Moden" of the "DFG-Sonderforschungsbereichs 482, Ereignis Weimar-Jena. Kultur um 1800". The articles by Susanne Holmes and Ralf Dressel which belong to the separate project B4, on "Friedrich Justin Bertuch", were added.
Main subject of the contributions is the periodical, edited under several names, the best known among them being: "Journal des Luxus und der Moden" (JLM).

The contributions are:

- Reiner Flik: Kultur-Merkantilismus? Friedrich Justin Bertuchs "Journal des Luxus und der Moden" (1786.1827)

  After a discussion of the relationship of luxury to fashion, this contribution concentrates itself on the results of extensive research in the Goethe-and-Schiller Archive in Weimar and on the analysis of Bertuch's programatic writings. Bertuch derives his economic concepts from mercantilism, as his enterprises before the founding of the JLM show. In the organisation of the 'Modejournal-Sozietät' Bertuch combines his interest to present models of foreign products that can be copied with the marketing of products, incl. local ones from Weimar. In 1790 the 'Landes-Industrie-Comptoir' founded by Bertuch took over the marketing of the JLM and the far-reaching trade that ensued from the JLM. The wide distribution of the JLM and the extremely high profit of up to forty per cent illustrate Bertuch's successful management concept.

- Gabriele Mentges: Konsum und Zeit; zur Archäologie des Modejournals am Beispiel des Trachtenbuchs von Matthäus Schwarz

  The article considers the cultural conditions for the construction of a fashion journal such as that of J.F. Bertuch. The main argument stresses time as the most important category and uses a book of clothes from the Renaissance, compiled by Matthäus Schwarz, a bourgeois who lived in Augsburg from 1496 to 1574 as an example. The booklet is a collection of 137 drawings, which illustrate his personal consumption of dress. At the same time, it is an account of Schwarz' biography: starting with his parents and covering certain stages of his life from birth, illness to old age. The relationship between his body and dress and between the male subject and the world runs as main theme trough all these images. By this it is shown how his body is narrowly connected with the life of commodities (dress) and thus to the economic order of consumption. His live-story is resumed in the balance of the permanent changing of dress, which turns into his subjective measure of time. It is the time of fashion.

- Angela Borchert: Ein Seismograph des Zeitgeistes; Kultur, Kulturgeschichte und Kulturkritik im "Journal des Luxus und der Moden"

  Like a seismograph of the spirit of the times, the JLM incorporates the newest discourses on culture, cultual history, cultural criticism and cultural theory. Thus the journal does not limit itself between 1786 and 1805 to publishing evidence of the fashion and luxury of the present, but also regularly includes different representations of luxury and fashion of the past. From a late Enlightenment understanding of culture, luxury and fashion, Bertuch develops plans to write cultural history as a philosophical history. A history of make-up, a comparison of fashions in 1700 and 1800 in both text and image, and Boettger's attempt, to disseminate classicist ideals for the everyday exemplarily illustrate how cultural history in the JLM marries the traditional and the innovative. While Goethe's and Schiller's cultural criticisms only serve as a point of reference, cultural theory published in the journal by amongst others Herder revalorizes the JLM around 1800.

- Karin A. Wurst: Was "Geist oder (...) Sinne lebhaft beschäftigt"; einige Ueberlegungen zum Unterhaltungsbegriff im "Journal des Luxus und der Moden"

  Entertainment as a part of leisure as it was depicted in the JLM represents an important part of the cultural tools with which the bourgeoisie expressed its status and self-definition around 1800. The forms of entertainment play a role in the internal differentiation within the bourgeoisie by offering complex means of distinction. At the same time, the desire for entertainment becomes a motor of cultural consumption. Characteristic for the pleasurable forms of everyday culture are three elements: a dependence on fashion, dilettantism (a form of cultural participation for the bourgeoisie that does not require professional and disciplinary training), and the use of cultural practices as designations of status. The elements associated with the culture of every-day life can thus become signals giving expression to the transformation of the bourgeois lifestyle in the process of modernization.

- Ralf Dressel: Literaturkritik im "Journal des Luxus und der Moden"; ihre Form und Funktion innerhalb des Zeitschriftenkonzepts

  This essay examines the literary criticism published in the JLM with regards to its ability to present readers with key conceptions of cultural developments within a national and international framework (literary history, form and function of literature in socienty, bourgeois public sphere, patriotism and nationhood). As key points the respective forms and thematic orientations of literary criticism are considered in the context of a changing concept of the journal. Several areas of research result from developments over forty years: What does the JLM contribute to the aesthetic education and self-cultivation of its public? How does the dissemination of literature shape a more and more historical consciousness of national and European culture? And what positions does the JLM take in view of the literature of Weimar Classicism? Each of these concerns is considered in different sections.

- Susanne Holmes: "Aphroditens holden Kindern"; Formen und Funktionen von Antikerezeption im "Journal des Luxus und der Moden"

  The JLM takes up antique authors, subjects, and motives in the shape of texts and figures. This reception of antiquity cannot be equated with the reply of the contemporary representatives of Weimar Classicism to the 'Querelle des anciens et des modernes' in order to revive antiquity as an example of aesthetics, but it is a sign of the ongoing bourgeois search for identity. By shifting the literary reception of antiquity to a dialect of knowledge, the bourgeoisie expresses a certain level of knowledge and refinement that integrates the members of this class and distinguishes them from other classes. The analysis of different forms of the reception of antiquity shows that the JLM aims at demonstrating a humanist standard of knowledge as well as at educating its readers to become bourgeois subjects.

- Astrid Ackermann: Mode und Nation im "Journal des Luxus und der Moden" und in vergleichbaren europäischen Zeitschriften

  Despite its fundamentally international orientation, the JLM repetedly made reference to the German nation. The ideas associated with this appear, above all, in the understanding of the nation as a community of consumers and as a moral community. These aspects are united specially in the propagation of a traditional national costume and in the boycott of foreign goods and a national taste. National consciousness, the moulding of a national identity for women, and opportunities for women to become nationally involved also are expressed in corresponding English, French and Dutch periodicals. In notions of the relationship between the sexes, of the woman's role, of patriotic conduct, of national virtues and of national fashion and taste, feminine (and masculine) ideals take on national connotations.

- Annemarie Kleinert: Die französischsprachige Konkurenz des "Journal des Luxus und der Moden"

  Part of the everyday occupations of the editors of the JLM was to look at French publications. Very often, they copied contributions and engravings from French magazines. There were quarrels with the editor of the first French fashion journal, which appeared from 1785 to 1793 under different titles. Later, with other French editors, they had better relationships. This was partly due to German correspondents in Paris. The periodical that was most copied was the Parisian Journal des Dames et des Modes (1797-1839) which also had an edition in Frankfurt, Germany.

- Renate Müller-Krumbach: "Da ich den artistischen Theil ganz zu besorgen habe"; die Illustrationen für das "Journal des Luxus und der Moden" von Georg Melchior Kraus

  The contribution of Georg Melchior Kraus to the JLM is far greater than scholarship has previously considered. Kraus is not only part owner of the journal due to his contribution of fifty per cent to the capital. He is also the highest paid illustrator and a text author, who co-directs the sections on fashion according to his intentions. Until 1795 he supplies almost all the fashion-plates. The engravings are produced from his drawings, printed in intaglio, and illuminated under his supervision. During his travels to Frankfurt am Main in 1788 and to upper Italy in 1795, he not only sent his fashion drawings for the JLM to Weimar, but also commentaries on the drawings, some of which were printed as is, for the JLM to Weimar.

- Susanne Müller-Wolff: Ueber Englische Gärten, französische Landsitze und den "Park bey Weimar"; die Gartenkunst im "Journal des Luxus und der Moden"

  In their contributions to the subject of gardening, the editors of the JLM pursue different goals. They wished to familiarize a broad circle of readers with the fundamental principles of landscape gardening through the descriptions of different European gardens. They also presented individual elements of landscape gardening in different articles, in order to suggest to the reader how to create their own English garden. Aside from taste education and concrete instructions, the journal informed about major garden theoretical writings and contemporary aesthetic debates in England. The editor, Bertuch, expressed his own experiences and point of view in several contributions on the subjec of landscape gardening. Surprisingly, the landscape garden that is contemporaneously developed in the Ilm valley in Weimar, is not much present in the articles, which is all the more unexpected, since Bertuch was responsible for the work in the park for years, and was closely connected to the development of the park. Here Beruch's own intention, to establish through the JLM a diverse bourgeois culture distinct from courtly culture, comes to the fore. Beyond a commitment to aesthtic education, commercial interests play a central role especially in the advertisements found in the JLM: The taste education of the reader with regards to the art of gardening is accompanied by a professional marketing of many art works for the development of a garden, as well as by graphic images of the Weimar landscape garden.

- Paul Ziche: "Auf eine wohlfeile und bequeme Art einen anschaulichen Begriff von einer Wissenschaft zu geben"; Beschreibung im "Journal des Luxus und der Moden", in der Mechanik und der Wissenschaft um 1800

  The JLM features several descriptions and illustrations of technical apparatus, intended for practical use, enhancing the luxury and the aesthetic quality of one's home. The form of description chosen in the JLM allows a comparison with similar descriptions provided by mechanics and scientists, and also a comparison of the fashion descriptions in the JLM with descriptions in natural history, i.e. an advanced area of scientific research around 1800. These comparisons show that the descriptions of technical apparatus in the JLM require considerable scientific knowledge for a proper appreciation; the form of description adopted in natural history texts, on the other hand, becomes understandable as addressing itself towards both a larger audience and to specialists at the same time. In concentrating on the form of description, it therefore becomes possible to analyze the intended readership of the JLM and the literary form of a particular subclass of the contributions in the JLM, and to place the JLM within a broader scientific culture.

- Catriona Macleod: Skulptur als Ware; Gottlieb Martin Klauer und das "Journal des Luxus und der Moden"

  The following study examines the ambivalent role of neoclassical sculpture as it goes on to the marketplace of fashion as a commodity through the pages of the JLM. The career of Weimar court sculptor Gottlieb Martin Klauer (1742-1801) is exemplary for this development, and is reconsidered here in its position between aura and reproduction, art and technology, monumentality and miniaturisation.

- Daniel Purdy: Die Modernität von Bertuchs Klassizismus

  Bertuch develops a modern concept of functionality in two contexts: the description of the utilitarian values of new, particularly English products and the representation of the functionalism of classicist architecture. He attempts to combine fashion and architecture, in order to construct an integrated space for a new type of public sphere made up of consumers. In comparison to Goethe's and Herder's neo-classicist theories, this endeavour appears more modern than that anti-ornamental aesthetic of Weimar classicism. The world of consumption that Bertuch propagates anticipated the simple and machine-made interiors by Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier.

- Literature and Bibliography

- Illustrations

- Abstracts



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