Sunday, January 31, 2010

Martha Banta on Protective Disguise

From Martha Banta, Imaging American Women: Idea and Ideals in Cultural History (NY: Columbia University Press, 1987), pp. 221-222—

By the close of the nineteenth century new forms of protective, ceremonial disguise had come into play—methods for altering appearance that concealed identities and revealed presences, and that acted to repress particulars of individuality in order to emphasize associations with type. Some of these forms became means for self-protection. One such was the technique of camouflage that found favor in the art world prior to its adoption by the military during World War I.