Saturday, July 26, 2008
Summer Reading-Building community
I shifted away from the world of Marie Antoinette this summer and spent a little time reading an account of Lousia May Alcotts life with her dramatic father Bronson Alcott. The book is called Eden's Outcasts and was written by John Matteson. Alcott the only true transcendentalist was a mentor of sorts to Emerson and Thoreau. There is the most interesting account of his time as the founder of a Utopian community Fruitlands-where all commerce was looked down upon. The community was so rigorous as to make their own clothes of handmade cloth. The description of the working costume was that the men wore knitted leggings and tunics to plow the fields. I found this really interesting as I have been researching the artists/designers Natalie Chanin, Morgan J. Puitt and Andrea Zittel. These woman that have set up Utopian home sites, built creative communities AND established a rigor of fashion and clothing that sounds much like Mr. Alcott's. More on these connections this week.