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

Guest Editors: Javier Gimeno MartÍnez and Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz, MA, VU University Amsterdam

This special issue aims to reflect on the origins and conceptualizations of Dutch Design in times of globalization, migration and multiculturalism. As a discursive construction, the term ‘Dutch Design’ refers to the corpus of artefacts construed as ‘typically’ Dutch and as ‘Design’ by a homonymous discourse. One of its distinguishing characteristics is the implicit reliance on essentialist theories of national culture. These accounts usually start from a pre-established set of factors supposedly constitutive of Dutch cultural identity—e.g. Calvinism, the artificially constructed and densely populated Dutch landscape, the political Polder Model, openness—and proceed to examine only artefacts that are arguably products of this narrowly defined Dutch culture: those considered e.g. conceptual, unconventional, sustainable, and sober.

Consequently, the canonical discourse is unable to correspond to Dutch Design’s empirical cultural and material diversity. On the one hand, despite the fact that the Netherlands is a diverse, multicultural country in many levels, the canonical discourse nevertheless advances from the presupposition of a homogenous ‘native’ society. On the other hand, Dutch Design has become disconnected from geographical and national boundaries, including foreign designers and designs both at home and abroad. Thus, in an age of globalization, migration and multiculturalism, the history of design in the Netherlands must reach beyond romantic but ultimately incongruous and anachronistic notions of traditional communities.

However, as historians Siep Stuurman and Maria Grever have noted, exchanging the established canon for a ‘multicultural’—or as may be the case, a ‘vernacular’ one—does not provide a suitable alternative since the addition of previously excluded subjects and objects to “the same grand narrative” mostly works to reinforce it. Accordingly, this SI does not offer a counter-canon, but welcomes contributions from a variety of backgrounds proposing critical revisions of Dutch Design while exploring its transnational material and social entanglements.

Please forward enquiries to Javier Gimeno Martínez (j.c.gimenomartinez@vu.nl) and Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz (j.ozoriodealmeidameroz@vu.nl). Submissions should be in the form of full papers of up to 6,000 words that adhere to the guidelines of the Journal of Design History, along with an abstract of 300–400 words and a brief biography of the author(s) up to 250 words. They should be submitted in the first instance via email to j.c.gimenomartinez@vu.nl and j.ozoriodealmeidameroz@vu.nl before 1 December 2014. Papers for special issues are subject to the usual double-blind refereeing and selection procedures of the Journal of Design History.

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