Photograph, portrait of Ellen Terry
Frederick Hollyer (1837-1933)
Given by Eleanor M. Hollyer, 1938
This photograph shows the actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928), one of the most celebrated and loved actress of her day. She was a famous devotee and advocate of aesthetic dress.
Aesthetic dress was popular in the 1880s and 1890s, particularly amongst artistic and literary circles. Those who supported it repudiated tight corsetry and cumbersome petticoats in favour of looser, less restrictive clothes. In this photograph, Ellen Terry is not wearing a bustle even though exaggerated bustle pads were worn for most of the 1880s.