The Collection

Use the field below to browse the Currier & Ives Collection at Springfield Museums

Image for Dolly Varden

Dolly Varden

Woman facing left looking forward. Proper left hand in green glove raised to chin; proper right hand in green glove holding walking stick. Large red bow above bustle on dress. From the Inventory Listing of Sidney A. Alpert "Dolly Varden/ 1872 - S "

 

This portrait features Dolly Varden, a character in the 1840 serial novel, Barnaby Rudge written by Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870). Dolly is a vain young woman with an affinity for flowered dresses. Her style was so noteworthy that a version of the muslin dress was named after her. The dress featured a skirt made with a bright floral-patterned fabric.   Currier & Ives recorded and heavily influenced popular culture. They featured different styles of dress in their prints and subtley commented on the wearer’s moral character.  In this image, Dolly flirtatiously peers over her shoulder as she raises her hand in the air. This particular look was associated with superficiality and respectable women would have been discouraged from following the trend.  

The Currier & Ives portrait features Dolly Varden, a character in the 1840 serial novel, Barnaby Rudge written by Charles Dickens (1812-1870). Dolly was a vain and flirtatious young woman with an affinity for flowered dresses. Her style was so noteworthy that a version of the muslin dress, with a skirt made of bright floral-patterned fabric, was named after her. Currier & Ives documented and heavily influenced popular culture, illustrating different styles of dress that subtly commented on the wearer's moral character. In this image, Dolly coyly peers over her shoulder as she raises her hand in the air. This particular look was associated with superficiality and respectable women would have been discouraged from following the trend. 

Date: 1872

Artists: Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives
Date of Artists: American, 1813-1888 and American, 1824-1895
Medium: Hand-colored lithograph
Measurements: 10 x 14 inches
Access Number: 2004-D03-088
Gift of Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert supplemented with Museum Acquistions Funds

Users, log in to add this piece to your personal lightbox

Return To Search Results