Theodore Fried: Beyond the Still Life

Theodore Fried: Beyond the Still Life

Fried was born just after the turn of the 20th century, to an upper-class Hungarian family. Along with the Victorian social conventions he would have learned in childhood was a custom that has fallen out of practice today: the practice of sending specific messages with flowers.

Currently making a comeback in the 21st century, the language of flowers was a Victorian custom by which, in a society that refrained from direct speech and obsessed with detail and subtlety, a message or sentiment that was not so easily expressed in words could be conveyed in a floral arrangement. In other words, sending a flower arrangement was the same as sending a text message to someone today.

What messages could Fried’s still life paintings convey?

Visit the exhibition, on view May-August 30, 2015, at the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art.

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