Costume Institute

Dolan, The Met & The Politics of Carnival

The question begs to be asked: What is the point of Cardinal Dolan? Whatever vocation he might once have espoused has dissolved in the acid of celebrity. He is an embarrassment to his office, and a disincentive to every serious-minded, diligent working priest in his archdiocese. Let him retire to the Hamptons, or South Beach, some glittering water hole where he can do what he is best at—glad-handing. He is an episcopal show-boater, the grinning face of a hierarchy desperate for the moment’s approval. Continue Reading
Detail of mourning dress (1902-04). ©The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Since social propriety demands that wives wear mourning for their husbands, it is fair that they be reimbursed for their mourning clothes . . . . Since she is legally required to wear mourning but not pay for its cost, it the responsibility of the husband’s heir to provide her with mourning. —From a lawsuit, 1757. Quoted by Philippe Aries, The Hour of Our Death.
My mourning has been quite an inconvenience to me this summer. I had just spent all the money I could afford for my summer clothes, and was forced to spend $30 more for black dresses.
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