Spring Sale at Bendel's
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Shopaholics rejoice! Its time to give those wallets a break and indulge in some super savings at the Spring Sale at Bendel’s.

Well, maybe you shouldn’t put that wallet away too quick; Bendel’s is known to cater to a wealthy and elite clientele, which is probably why Stettheimer chose this store for her subject matter. I have often heard that people tend to paint what they know, and a life of opulent bliss was what Stettheimer knew well. From a wealthy family of German international bankers, Florine never had to work a day in her life and chose instead to pass her time painting the high life.

It was the 1920’s and the time of female liberation. Women had just secured the right to vote, dress how they pleased, and blaze their own path. With women ditching ankle length dresses and constraining corsets for the sexier flapper dresses and bobbed hair, the department stores must have done a killing.

In this painting, Stettheimer gives us a glimpse of the chaotic world of avant-garde shopping in New York. You get a sense she’s judging the women desperately clawing at the designer duds. Seems Stettheimer was a bit jaded with the antics of the super wealthy. Is all they do shop? Even the adorable little pooch in the bottom left corner cares about labels. He’s rocking a monogramed sweater with Stettheimer’s initial on it.

Though this painting may depict a materialistic nightmare, we're quite lucky that it’s still around for our viewing pleasure. Stettheimer requested that when she died, all of her art be destroyed. Luckily, her sister decided to donate her work to museums around the country instead. Just think, if this painting had destroyed like she asked, how would we ever know what people with too much time and money did to pass the day?