In the cabaret class lines blurred. Members of higher classes wiggled into Montmartre to witness the raucous neighbourhood. They’d take part in the debauchery at a cabaret for a night. And then return to their own respectable homes.
Parisians could let their hair down at the cabarets in Montmartre. Upper-class Parisians dipped their toes into these freeing waters. Whether it was seeing sexy Can-Can dancers or raucous songs. Cabarets daringly made fun of bourgeoisie institutions. And they ate it up.
A few weeks ago I went to the Harry Ransom Center in Austin. They have an excellent section dedicated to new acquisitions. (And boy does it acquire.) I saw an Aubrey Beardsley piece from afar and went to look at it. But it wasn’t Beardsley’s.
Ah, this one takes me back. My favourite professor got in touch with me recently and inspired me to revisit this subject. Also, I’m going to see Theophile Steinlen’s cats in Richmond soon. You know the sign by Steinlein. But do you know it’s history? It’s vast, it’s strange, and it’s often overlooked.