Fashioning Consumers: Ackermann’s Repository of Arts and the Cultivation of the Female Consumer
Serena Dyer argues that the Anglo-German Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions, and Politics (1809–29) provides evidence of a decisive and conscious acknowledgement of the power of print to promote commerce and to establish the figure of the female consumer. In part through the fashion plate, periodicals were an indispensable tool for female readers looking to hone their economic skills and make spending decisions as responsible British subjects. Although it had wide interests, the Repository stands out for its patriotic promotion of British manufacture, prominently promoted through a series of woodcuts celebrating British manufacture and industry that framed actual fabric samples. Instead of simply encouraging a blind, novelty-based desire for the latest items, women’s periodicals such as the Repository acted to provide women with market knowledge, and to keep them commercially active. The women’s periodical aimed to mould women into urbane, economically dynamic, market-aware, discerning, and knowledgeable consumers.
Citation : Dyer, S. (2018) Fashioning Consumers: Ackermann’s Repository of Arts and the Cultivation of the Female Consumer. In: J. Batchelor, J. and Powell, M.N. (eds.), Women’s Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain: 1690-1820s: The Long Eighteenth Century. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 474-487.
Research Institute : Institute of Art and Design
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Design