Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


French Studies

Second Department

European Studies

Reader 1

Eric Haskell

Reader 2

Ronalee Brosterman

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Rights Information

© 2012 Katharine Hutchins


This thesis, which studies the effect Loïe Fuller had on artists at the turn of the 20th century, redefines her role in art and society. An American dancer born in 1862, Fuller is often hailed as one of the forefathers of modern dance and a technological engineer, but she is too rarely shown in control of how the audience perceived her. This work gives an overview of Art Nouveau and the Universal Exposition of 1900 in Paris in which she performed. It closely examines her impact on painters, illustrators, and lithographers: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Will Bradley, and Jules Cheret. It also studies her influence on sculptors: Raoul Larche, Agathon Léonard, and Pierre Roche; architect Henri Sauvage, and writer Stéphane Mallarmé. In this work, Fuller is not solely presented as the physical embodiment of Art Nouveau but as an active shaper of artistic movements of her time. It portrays her as active rather than passive.