IFA’s Rendez-Vous Seminars, March and April 2014

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on February 24, 2014

Rendez-vous: An International Seminar on French Art, 18th–20th Centuries

Rendez-vous is a seminar on French art (18th–20th centuries) held monthly throughout the 2013–14 academic year at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. International scholars are invited to present their research in an informal and creative setting for approximately 30 minutes, followed by an open discussion with students and colleagues. Rendez-vous focuses on French art in the broadest sense: ‘French’ is interpreted in an extensive way, including global exchanges, political dimension and colonial history, and ‘Art’ includes painting, architecture and sculpture, but also material and visual culture. Rendez-vous offers an occasion to learn about current innovative research by international and engaging scholars. The seminar aims to open up an exchange of methodologies, thoughts and ideas in a participatory atmosphere.

Rendez-vous is organized by Noémie Etienne, IFA/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (2013–15). These lectures begin at 12:30pm in the Loeb room at the Institute of Fine Arts. They are open to the public, but RSVPs are required.

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Frédérique Baumgartner | Women Artists in Hubert Robert’s Views of the Louvre’s Grande Galerie
Institute of Fine Art, New York University, Friday, 14 March 2014

Hubert Robert (1733–1808), one of the most versatile artists of his generation, managed to combine the careers of a painter and museum curator during the French Revolution. Using his painter’s talent to express his curatorial vision, Robert painted numerous views of the Louvre’s Grande Galerie, which opened to the public for the first time in 1793. This paper examines the place that Robert attributed to women artists in these views, in light of the rules and regulations that he and other Louvre curators were in the process of developing for this new public space. In doing so, it aims to assess how the Revolution’s gendered discourse pervaded the construction of the museum space and the degree to which Robert’s representation of women artists in the Grande Galerie challenged this discourse.

Frédérique Baumgartner is a lecturer and the director of MA in Art History in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 2011 and was a Postdoctoral Mellon Fellow at Columbia in 2011–13. Her research focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art, with a particular emphasis on the convergence of art and politics. Her current book project, stemming from her dissertation, examines the politicization of the art of Hubert Robert during the French Revolution in relation to notions of cultural experience.

Open to the public, RSVP required. For reservations click hereOpen Link in New Window

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Jessica Fripp | Caricature and Rebellion in Rome in the Eighteenth Century
Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Winning the Prix de Rome was the capstone in an aspiring artist’s career in eighteenth-century France. But alongside the professional training a stay in the Eternal City offered, studying abroad also provided artists an opportunity to escape the hierarchy and competition of the Royal Academy and forge friendships with other young artists from all over Europe. This paper examines the effect of these new networks on artistic practice in Rome. It focuses on a group of caricatures produced by the French painter François-André Vincent, the French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Stouf, and the Swedish sculptor Johan-Tobias Sergel. These caricatures were copied, etched, and exchanged between the artists represented in them, and served to define these artists as a group of friends. Fripp argues that caricature was a form of representation well-suited to memorializing the homosocial bonds formed in Rome, and an act of rebellion for these young artists as they transitioned from students to full-fledge artists.

Jessica Fripp is a Post Doctoral Fellow in Material and Visual Culture at Parsons the New School for Design. She received her MA from Williams College and a PhD from the University of Michigan with a dissertation entitled  “Portraits of Artists and the Social Commerce of Friendship in Eighteenth-Century France.” Her work examines the intersection between visual culture and sociability in the eighteenth century, focusing on the role art played in creating, defining, and sustaining personal relationships.

Open to the public, RSVP required. For reservations click hereOpen Link in New Window

Design History 27 (March 2014)

Posted in journal articles by Editor on February 24, 2014

A selection of offerings from the latest issue of Design History:

Design History 27 (March 2014).

Julie Bellemare, “Design Books in the Chinese Taste: Marketing the Orient in England and France, 1688–1735,” pp. 1–16.

1.coverThis article examines design books replicating Asian and Asian-inspired imagery in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England and France. Often created to provide craftsmen with new sets of decorative patterns, the designs compiled in these books served to imitate a range of new manufactured products imported from Asia, for which local demand was growing at a steady pace. Design books provide a particularly fruitful entry point into the European conception of the ‘orient’ by synthesising exotic images from a variety of pictorial sources into convenient formats. The present discussion focuses on two specific books: A Treatise of Japaning and Varnishing, by John Stalker and George Parker, published in London and Oxford in 1688, and Livre de desseins chinois, tirés d’après des originaux de Perse, des Indes, de la Chine et du Japon by Jean-Antoine Fraisse, which appeared in Paris in 1735. Using these case studies, I argue that not all patterns found in design books were intended to be replicated on real objects; some also circulated independently as images available to a broader consumer base than previously thought. I examine the books’ contents, publishing history and the marketing strategies employed for reaching wide audiences and generating a desire for the ‘orient’.


• Deborah Sugg Ryan, Review of Tatiana C. String and Marcus Bull, eds., Tudorism: Historical Imagination and the Appropriation of the Sixteenth Century (2011); and Andrew Ballantyne and Andrew Law, Tudoresque: In Pursuit of the Ideal Home (2011), pp. 97–101.

• Susan House Wade, Review of Liza Antrim, Family Dolls’ Houses of the 18th and 19th Centuries (2011), pp. 103–04.

• Galen Cranz, Review of Anne Massey Chair (2011), pp. 104–06.

• Dominique Grisard, Review of Chris Horrocks, ed., Cultures of Colour: Visual, Material, Textual (2012), pp. 106–08.

C F P :  S P E C I A L  I S S U E S

Beyond Dutch Design: Material Culture in the Netherlands in an Age of Globalization, Migration and Multiculturalism, p. 114.

Articles due by 1 December 2014 (more…)

New Book | The Duchess’s Shells

Posted in books by Editor on February 24, 2014

Due out in April from Yale UP:

Beth Fowkes Tobin, The Duchess’s Shells: Natural History Collecting in the Age of Cook’s Voyages (London: The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2013), 328 pages, ISBN: 978-0300192230, $55.

9780300192230Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, the 2nd Duchess of Portland (1715–1785), was one of the wealthiest women in eighteenth-century Britain. She collected fine and decorative arts (the Portland Vase was her most famous acquisition), but her great love was natural history, and shells in particular. Over the course of twenty years, she amassed the largest shell collection of her time,  which was sold after her death in a spectacular auction.

Beth Fowkes Tobin illuminates the interlocking issues surrounding the global circulation of natural resources, the commodification of nature, and the construction of scientific value through the lens of one woman’s marvelous collection. This unique study tells the story of the collection’s formation and dispersal—about the sailors and naturalists who ferried rare specimens across oceans and the dealers’ shops and connoisseurs’ cabinets on the other side of the world. Exquisitely illustrated, this book brings to life Enlightenment natural history and its cultures of collecting, scientific expeditions, and vibrant visual culture.

Beth Fowkes Tobin is a professor of English and
women’s studies at the University of Georgia.

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