History of Modern France

The Third French Republic 1870-1940. Part 5

30 June 2021

The Paris avant-gardes before and during the “Années folles,” 1909-1925

with Sylvie Koneski

Bakst Nizhinsky on the program cover for the Afternoon of the Faun, 1912

During the “Années folles,” Paris remained the center of all new artistic movements, including literature, fashion, dance and music. The city was “a magnificent fairground”. Creators broke away from expected norms of expression and sought to shock and startle the public.

 

Among the representative characters were the poets Apollinaire and Cendrars, Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, the fashion designers Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel and Josephine Baker and the American jazz musicians who arrived in France with WWI. Our lecture will focus on the interrelationships between the poetry, fashion, dance and music of the era. We will see how by breaking with traditional barriers between media and between high and low culture the early modern era in Paris invented an entirely new world.

Josephine-baker (1906-1975)