"It is clear what American consumers of the 1940s and 1950s had to gain from a dreamworld Montmartre, from a paradise of sexual and expressive freedom, artfully disguised as high culture. In this fascinating work, we finally learn what its inventors took to be paradise - the liberty and the beauty that glimmered at the very top of the butte for the artists who created the symbols of Montmartre in the first place." - from the Foreword by Karal Ann Marling
From the Back Cover
Located on the fringes of Paris, Montmartre attracted artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Steinlen, and Jules Chéret. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the artists in the quarter began to create works blurring the boundaries between fine art and popular illustration, the artist and the audience, as well as class and gender distinctions. The creative expression that ensued was an exuberant mix of high and low-a breeding ground for what is today termed popular culture. The carefully interlocked essays in Montmartre and the Making of Mass Culture demonstrate how and why this quarter was at the forefront of such innovation. The contributors bring an unprecedented range of approaches to the topic, from political and religious history to art historical investigations and literary analysis of texts. This project is the first of its kind to examine fully Montmartre's many contributions to the creation of a mass culture that reigned supreme in the twentieth century.