George Barbier, “Eventails,” from his Le bonheur du jour, ou les grâces à la mode, ca.1924. The Charles Rahn Fry, Class of 1965, Pochoir Collection, Graphic Arts Collection.

In 1997, John Bidwell (former curator of graphic arts) arranged the acquisition of the Charles Rahn Fry Collection, holding significant work by artists who specialized in the pochoir technique, preeminently Robert Bonfils, Georges Lepape, and George Barbier.

Bidwell wrote, “The definitive commentary on the elegant excesses of the postwar period is George Barbier’s Le bonheur du jour, ou les grâces à la mode (ca. 1924), a hymn to modern luxury, glorifying the pursuit of pleasure amidst splendid surroundings stocked with precious trifles. The Fry copy includes a proof of the “Eventails” plate with a completely different color scheme, apparently rejected by Barbier because he wanted richer tones and greater contrast in this group portrait of theatergoers, sporting an assortment of delicately tinted ostrich-feather fans, clearly intended more for plumage than for comfort.”

For a longer description of the collection, see http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visualmaterials/pulc/pulcv59n_1.pdf