Contemporary Satire of Oakes Smith's lecture on Dress and Beauty


The attached image, "Halloo!  Turks in Gotham," was one of a series of images entitled Bloomerism in Practice by "W.A." published in 1851.  Oakes Smith's first lecture, focusing on the subject of Dress and Beauty, was delivered in June, 1851 at Hope Chapel.

The image is now part of the Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection owned by Smithsonian Institution.  It is copied from Carl Bode's Midcentury America (1972). 

The caption reads "Mrs. Turkey, having attended Mrs. Oaks-Smith's Lecture on the Emoancipation Dress, resolves at once to give a start to the New Fashion and in order to do it with more Effect, she wants Mr. Turkey to join her in this bold Attempt."

Bode's description of the image reads in part

 [Oakes Smith] has completely converted the New York matron who prances before us, and the matron in turn has converted her complaisant husband and her little boy.  She wears Turkish harem dress (or what the author thought was Turkish harem dress) while her husband wears bloomers.  Invented at the start of the [50s] decade by. . . Amelia Bloomer, they were worn in public only by the most advanced females.  Mrs. Turkey and her little boy smoke Turkish cigars of course, though her husband merely sniffs the smoke.  Their sex roles are, inevitably, reversed.  Mrs. Turkey has a pair of daggers and perhaps a pistol stuck in her belt.  Mr.  Turkey goes armed only with a fork and spoon and carries a cooking pot. 


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