Looking and behaving: Sartorial politics and Jewish men in fin-de-siècle Vienna

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Critical Studies in Men's Fashion, 2018, 5 (1 & 2), pp. 5 - 23
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Kaplan, JC; Looking_and_behaving_Sartorial.PDFPublished Version2.08 MB
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The contribution of Viennese Jews to the cultural milieu of the Austrian capital at the fin de siècle is undisputed. Jewish women and men contributed to the social artistic, economic and philosophical centrality of Viennese culture. But what did Jewish urban, middle-class men wear and in what ways was it significant. This article examines the sartorial habits of two Viennese cultural and literary icons, Stefan Zweig (1881–1942) and Peter Altenberg (1859–1919), and considers how men’s fashions in Vienna during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries both facilitated and negated the assimilatory aspirations of the city’s middle-class Jewish population. A comparison of visual and literary accounts of Jewish acculturation and assimilation will offer a further understanding of the manifestation of visual ‘Jewishness’ and the heterogeneous Jewish identities present in Vienna during the period.
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