Exhibition | Women of Achievement in the Early American Republic

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 27, 2012

From the exhibition website:

A Will of Their Own: Judith Sargent Murray and Women of Achievement in the Early Republic
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 20 April — 13 September 2012

John Singleton Copley, "Judith Sargent Murray,"
1770–72 (Terra Foundation for American Art)

At the time of the American Revolution with Great Britain, women did not share the same status or rights as men. They could not vote or hold political office, enjoyed few property rights, were not equal in marriage, and had limited access to educational opportunities. As the debate about liberty and the rights of men took center stage during the Revolution, some women began to question their position in American society. Whereas many believed that women’s primary responsibility was to raise their children to be productive, moral citizens, some women began to argue for certain legal and economic rights and to pursue various professional careers. The Revolution created new opportunities for women to do work outside the home and to voice their opinions and concerns in public. Given the racial and class divisions that existed during the period, however, not all women were permitted to step forward in this manner. The eight women who are highlighted here did not produce a collective movement for women’s rights, but they were important in sowing the seeds for future progress. While the nature of their achievements differed, each demonstrated through their work that women possessed a will
of their own.

New Title | Quatremère de Quincy’s ‘Letters to Miranda and Canova’

Posted in books by Editor on April 27, 2012

From The Getty:

Antoine Quatremère de Quincy, introduction by Dominique Poulot, translation by Chris Miller and David Gilks, Letters to Miranda and Canova on the Abduction of Antiquities from Rome and Athens (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2012), 208 pages, ISBN: 9781606060995, $50.

In the 1790s and early 1800s, the art world experienced two big events: First came the military confiscation of masterpieces from Italy and northern Europe in order to build a universal museum in Paris’s Louvre. Then famous marble sculptures were prised from the Parthenon and sent to London. These events provoked reactions ranging from enthusiastic applause to enraged condemnation.

The French art critic, architectural theoretician, and political conservative Quatremère de Quincy was at the center of the European debates. In his pamphlet Letters to Miranda, he condemns the revolutionary hubris of putting “Rome in Paris” and urges the return of the works. In the Letters to Canova, however, Quatremère celebrates the British Museum for making the Parthenon sculptures accessible. Quatremère’s writing was highly controversial in its time. This book offers the first English translation of the two series of letters, as well as a new critical introduction.

Antoine Quatremère de Quincy (1755–1849) was a French archaeologist, architectural theoretician, arts administrator, and influential writer. Dominique Poulot is professor of the history of art at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Chris Miller is a translator specializing in the fine arts. David Gilks is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London.

New Title | ‘The Goldfish in the Chandelier’

Posted in books by Editor on April 27, 2012

From The Getty:

Casie Kesterson with illustrations by Gary Hovland, The Goldfish in the Chandelier (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2012), 32 pages, ISBN 9781606060940, $18.

A different kind of adventure story, The Goldfish in the Chandelier takes place just outside of Paris in the early 1800s. Uncle Henri is stuck. He has been commissioned to design a chandelier for a great house in Paris, but he can’t figure out what form it will take. His young nephew, Louis Alexandre, comes to the rescue with some dazzling ideas—inspired by Alexander the Great and the first hot-air balloon flights over Paris—that surprise them both. Together, they use a lot of imagination to create something that never existed before—something new, unexpected, and very beautiful.

This delightful story was inspired by the Gérard-Jean Galle chandelier, one of the most popular pieces in the J. Paul Getty Museum’s impressive collection of French decorative arts. An information page about the chandelier is included in the back of the book. For children ages 7 to 10.

Gérard-Jean Galle, ca. 1818 (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum)

Formerly on staff at the Getty Research Institute, Casie Kesterson currently is a consultant specializing in matters relating to the history of collecting art. Gary Hovland’s illustrations have appeared in such nationally and internationally known publications as the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. His illustrations for If the Walls Could Talk: Family Life at the White House (Simon & Schuster, 2004) won a Toy Portfolio Platinum Book Award in 2005.

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