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Baroness Elsa: Gender, Dada, and Everyday Modernity -- A Cultural Biography
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Baroness Elsa: Gender, Dada, and Everyday Modernity -- A Cultural Biography

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  64 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874--1927) is considered by many to be the first American dadaist as well as the mother of dada. An innovator in poetic form and an early creator of junk sculpture, "the Baroness" was best known for her sexually charged, often controversial performances. Some thought her merely crazed, others thought her a genius. The editor Margaret Anderson ...more
Paperback, 562 pages
Published August 29th 2003 by Mit Press (first published 2002)
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Texastandsalone
Jun 03, 2008 Texastandsalone rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Texastandsalone by: Lauren DeLand
This book rekindled my love of history and reading. The Baroness is a common thread in the lives of so many mind-blowing artists yet remains unfairly obscure. This woman has given me a great deal; entertaining stories of fist fights with old W.C. Williams not being the least.
Rj
Jan 27, 2015 Rj rated it it was amazing
Tonight after picking up the book again I have found myself enthralled by the mastery with which Gammel creates a portrait of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (who Gammel refers to simply as the Baroness) and her world. The life of someone as unique as the Baroness is difficult under the best of circumstances but given her penchant for "living" her art rather than creating objects of art, it is amazing how Gammel has taken what must be relatively sparse historical material and crafted such a beautif ...more
Tara
Aug 23, 2016 Tara rated it really liked it
Shelves: yikes
If you can imagine enjoying an overly-academic examination of deviant sexual behavior and dry distance from creative exploration then give this a read. Despite being utterly stunned by the Baroness's ability to challenge modern gender identities and create herself as a performance and visual artist and as a dada author, & her massive but forgotten contributions to the avant garde movement, I had to put it down for now. It's a textbook. But wow what a legacy!
Astral
Apr 21, 2012 Astral rated it it was amazing
Tomato can bras,teaspoon earrings black lipstick... yeah whatever that's so lady gaga right? WRONG! This is the ORIGINAL mother of DADA! Elsa von Freytag was rocking this look in the early 1920s. This is a MUST read for ANY artist. Here is where it all started, this woman was a walking work of art. Gammel opens up a porthole in time and leads us through a roaring chaotic tour of the Baroness Elsa, the woman from the future.
Nadia
Apr 12, 2015 Nadia rated it it was amazing
The best art history book I have read (and I have read hundreds). Why have we not heard of Baroness Elsa until now? And too much about Marcel Duchamp and 'his' (lie) most famous work Fountain? http://www.scottishreviewofbooks.org/...
Annie Garvey
It took me a long time to read this book. I felt the author was jamming Elsa into the role of feminist genius. She might have been both, but I think Elsa was really just a uniquely free spirit who was a pain in the ass.

This book is beautifully designed by Jean Wilcox.
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Shelves: history, art
It is wonderful to see the Baroness is finally being taken seriously as the artist she was.
Andrea Rexilius
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Irene Gammel is a literary historian, biographer, and curator. Gammel teaches at Ryerson University in Toronto. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Modern Literature and Culture and is the Director of the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre.

Gammel holds a PhD (1992) and MA (1987) in English from McMaster University, and a Staatsexamen’s degree from the Universität des Saarlandes in Ge
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