Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Art of Frank Benson, from Victoria Magazine July 1992

Eleanor, by Frank Benson 1862-1951
For more paintings by Frank Benson, go to Lovely Whatevers

There is an old saying that "good art imitates nature." In this case, the grand daughters and great-grand daughters of artist Frank Benson, pose to imitate his good art, dressed in similar clothing, which was widely available in the early 1990's.
Posing as Eleanor, approximately 100 years later, for the cover of Victoria Magazine, 1992

"Sunlight" from Lovely Whatevers
Frank Benson painted pictures of his daughters when the family vacationed in a country spot near a lake.

One of Frank Benson's great granddaughters posing his painting in 1992

Above, Frank Benson's painting of one of his daughters on the left; imitated below by one of his descendants.
You can see more art by Frank Benson and read about his family on a website written by one of his granddaughters here
All photos are from the July 1992 issue of Victoria Magazine.
Please feel free to continue posting anonymously if you prefer!
These paintings show women with a background of nature, dressed not to defy it but to compliment it. I do so wish the younger women would think of lakes and skies and apple blossoms, white picket fences, and beautiful homes, when they choose their clothing. I know that there is not much available "on the rack" or cheaply, but their mothers can surely pay dressmakers or trade services of some kind, and have good clothing made. In a future post, I will put patterns up that I have found easy, alongside paintings that inspired the look.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting these. I adore these clothes. I, too, have kept almost every issue of Victoria and constantly peruse the issues in hopes of trying to duplicate the looks.

Anonymous said...

I love the photograph posed like "Sunlight"!! I would absolutely adore having an outfit like that!!

~ Karen ~

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

It just amazes me when I see artwork and movies showing how ladies dressed in past times.

Then I drive through the University and see what young "ladies" dress like today. It is appalling.

Anonymous said...

It would be so helpful if you could post some easy pattern suggestions. By easy, I mean basic things like jumpers, pull on skirts and pull-over dresses for girls. It would be great if they were patterns that could be easily obtained online or at places like Wal-Mart, JoAnn's, etc. I am looking for womens medium and child's 6x sizes in particular, dresses and skirts. Thank you!

- Karen I

anglow said...

"In a future post, I will put patterns up that I have found easy, alongside paintings that inspired the look."

I am SO looking forward to that post! Thank you so much for all you do.

Anonymous said...

I just want to let you know how much these posts have done for me lately. I am one of those older women, and have unfortunately seen myself in several of the comments regarding what not to look like. It is actually a blessing to me to be made aware of some overlooked aspects of my appearance, e.g., elbows, feet, knees, veiny legs, etc. I also needed to be reminded about the need to look feminine and dignified. Though I have never gone for an immodest look, I had fallen lately into the mannish dressing, mostly because I have gained weight and been discouraged about my looks.

So, yesterday, I finally went out and purchased a new bra, one that fits me and gives me good support. What a difference! And today I went to church dressed in a white cotton skirt (old, but still nice), a pink top and a gauzy pink over jacket-like garment. I wore my new purchase underneath, along with panty hose and a panty girdle-type device, and a slip. I've got to tell you, I felt like a queen!

I desperately need new clothes, but money is an issue and I do not know how to sew. I am hoping to visit a couple of thrift stores this week, because as a reader pointed out, there may be some older cast-offs there that fit the bill quite well.

Thanks again! I feel a feminine revolution brewing!

Anonymous said...

Oh how wonderful!

I was inspired by you Lady Lydia so I've just purchased some old Victoria magazines (from 1991) off of E-bay. (o:

Marqueta (Mar-kee-ta) G. said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I love that issue of Victoria! I felt very touched by how much Frank Benson loved his children. He wanted to immortalize them enjoying the beautiful outdoors. If only every father felt that way about his children!

I was married in my great-grandmother's wedding dress from 1910, which I would like to re-create in muslin from one of Jennie Chancey's patterns, and wear it for special occasions.

Thank you, dear one, for your feminine encouragement!



Anonymous said...

oh , goody! I can't wait for that next post.

Emily said...

How well I remember that issue of Victoria! I cut out the picture of Frank Benson's "Eleanor" painting, framed it, and hung it on the bedroom wall in my apartment. That was the summer we were married - the very next month in fact. Fast forward to 2005....we bought our first home, and the picture moved with us. It still hangs on the wall in our bedroom reminding me of days gone by when feminine fashions were the norm and women dressed in such a way as to draw the eye and cause admiration and nods of respect rather than gasps of shock and open leers. There is an art to dressing properly that we need to model and pass down to our daughters. It's time for a revolution.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, keep going with encouraging the younger women.

I was reading your blog a while back and noticed you were talking about Laura Ashley clothing in the late 80's early 90's. Do you think there was sort of a revival at that time for dressmakers and clothing designers to be designing such beautiful modest clothing.

I think Daisy Kingdom clothing was also out at this time. We certainly need another revival, not just of modesty but of whole hearted devotion to God.

Lydia said...

There were a lot of wonderful designers at the time, and Victoria magazine helped popularize feminine, modest clothing. Not everything in that magazine was great, as it was completely contradictory in some of the advertising. The fashion designers like Nancy Johnson, Jessical McClintock, Laura Ashley, Daisy kingdom, Storybook, and wooden soldier were wonderful There were sleeves and collars and gathers and a lot of material in the skirts. Lots of petticoats and petticoat blouses, jumpers and prairee skirts. Cattle Kate had patterns for western wear. I do not know what happened, but it seemed like the seventy-five percent off designers could not wait to get rid of the pretty colors and the rose chintz fabrics and the wonderful cottons and wovens. We barely had time to enjoy the styles before we turned around and there were those crazy fashions that made women look like clowns. One in particular was a kind of materinity top with leggings, in lime green.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite patterns for both girls and ladies is the square necked dress from . I usually lower the waist on the ladies dress so it isn't empire ( I know that is in style, but it always makes me think of maternity clothing of the past- funny, because modern expectant mothers are often seen in skintight knit shirts) and the sleeves can be changed as well for different looks. With a slightly puffed sleeved and sash attatched at the front, it looks remarkably like the Laura Ashley "classic" dress that was made each season in different fabrics.

The Lady of the House said...

Thank you, as always, for the trip down memory lane. I remember receiving that magazine in the mail on a hot Kentucky day. How lovely it was. I remember imagining myself the girl on the cover and trying (in vain) to style my own blond hair the way the cover model did.

I love it when you post from Victoria. I pored over those magazines so often as a girl that now, as mother and wife 15 years later, I can still remember viewing the same pages you post.

We were not rich by any means, but our family is old Kentucky blood and I always was surrounded with refinement and the ways of the past. Although our family is modern, our reverence for the past and the beauty of the past is strong.

Elizabeth said...

Hey! I love the old Victoria Magazine. Sure wish they made it like that anymore (is the new version still for sale...I haven't seen it.

Lovely photographs.

I just returned from my vacation to Virginia and NC and have uploaded the photos taken at Mt. Vernon, George Washington's home. Oh, how beautiful is the garden there!

When you have time, stop on by.
God bless,

Briana said...

I am really looking forward to hearing about the patterns that you use. I am looking to make myself some new clothes soon. I am always inspired by the pictures you post of the clothing in the Victoria magazines. They are all so beautiful!!!!
I wish women still dressed like that today.

Anonymous said...

I think you can google Victoria Magazine and order a subscription of the new Victoria online. It is still good, but not as good as the one from the 80's and 90's. Still...well worth subscribing to, as is Southern Lady and Tea Time.

Julieann said...

What beautiful pictures, I loved the past and the presant poses, that truly was awesome to see.

Happy Wednesday.