New Book | Chinoiserie in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Stacey Sloboda, Chinoiserie: Commerce and Critical Ornament in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014), 272 pages, ISBN: 978-0719089459, £70 / $105.
In a critical reassessment of chinoiserie, a style both praised and derided for its triviality, prettiness and ornamental excesses, Stacey Sloboda argues that chinoiserie was no mute participant in eighteenth-century global consumer culture, but was instead a critical commentator on that culture. Analysing ceramics, wallpaper, furniture, garden architecture and other significant examples of British and Chinese design, this book takes an object-focused approach to studying the cultural phenomenon of the ‘Chinese taste’ in eighteenth-century Britain. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the critical history of design and the decorative arts in the period, and students and scholars of art history, material culture, eighteenth-century studies and British history will find a novel approach to studying the decorative arts and a forceful argument for their critical capacities.
Stacey Sloboda is Associate Professor of Art History at Southern Illinois University.
C O N T E N T S
Introduction: Reassessing Chinoiserie
1. Making China: Circulation, Imitation and Innovation
2. Buying China: Commerce, Taste and Materialism
3. Commerce in the Bedroom: Sex, Gender and Social Status
4. Commerce in the Garden: Nature, Art and Authority
Conclusion: Style and the Global Marketplace