New Book | Rococo Echo

Posted in books by Editor on December 11, 2014

The latest volume of SVEC:

Melissa Lee Hyde and Katie Scott, eds., Rococo Echo: Art, History and Historiography from Cochin to Coppola (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2014), 398 pages, ISBN: 978-0729411585, £65 / €82 / $102.

coverIntermittently in and out of fashion, the persistence of the Rococo from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first is clear. From painting, print and photography, to furniture, fashion and film, the Rococo’s diverse manifestations appear to defy temporal and geographic definition. In Rococo Echo, a team of international contributors adopts a wide lens to explore the relationship of the Rococo with time.

Through chapters organised around broad temporal moments—the French Revolution, the First World War and the turn of the twenty-first century—contributors show that the Rococo has been viewed variously as modern, late, ruined, revived, preserved and anticipated. Taking into account the temporality of the Rococo as form, some contributors consider its function as both a visual language and a cultural marker engaged in different ways with the politics of nationalism, gender and race. The Rococo is examined, too, as a mode of expression that encompassed and assimilated styles, and which functioned as a surprisingly effective means of resisting both authority—whether political, religious or artistic—and cultural norms of gender and class. Contributors also show how the Rococo, from its birth in France, reverberated through England, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the South American colonies to become a pan-European, even global movement. The Rococo emerges from these contributions as a discourse defined but not confined by its original historical moment, and whose adaptability to the styles and preoccupations of later periods gives it a value and significance that take it beyond the vagaries of fashion.

Melissa Lee Hyde is Professor of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art at the University of Florida, and her work focuses on gender and visual culture in France. She is writing a monograph on Marie-Suzanne Roslin and is co-authoring a book with Mary D. Sheriff on women in French art.
Katie Scott is a professor at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She has written widely about the Rococo in relation to issues of class, race and gender and is currently writing a book on the origins of intellectual property in France before the 1793 Act of the Rights of Genius.

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Foreword. Rococo Echo: Style and Temporality, Katie Scott

I. Rococo Revivals: The Nineteenth Century
1. The Uncomfortable Frenchness of the German Rococo, Michael Yonan
2. Rococo Republicanism, Elizabeth Mansfield
3. Scavenging Rococo: Trouvailles, Bibelots and Counter-Revolution, Tom Stammers
4. Vive l’amateur! The Goncourt House Revisited, Andrew McClellan
5. Pierrot’s Periodicity: Watteau, Nadar and the Circulation of the Rococo, Marika T. Knowles
6. Remembrance of Things Past: Robert de Montesquiou, Emile Gallé and Rococo Revival during the Fin de Siècle, Meredith Martin
7. Irregular Rococo Impressionism, Anne Higonnet

II. Rococo: The Eighteenth Century
8. Was There Such a Thing as Rococo Painting in Eighteenth-Century France?, Colin B. Bailey
9. ‘A Wild Kind of Imagination’: Eclecticism and Excess in the English Rococo Designs of Thomas Johnson, Brigid von Preussen
10. Out of Time: Fragonard, with David, Satish Padiyar
11. Rococo and Spirituality from Paris to Rio de Janeiro, Gauvin Alexander Bailey

III. New Rococo: The Twentieth Century and Beyond
12. Sedlmayr’s Rococo, Kevin Chua
13. Warhol’s Rococo: Style and Subversion in the 1950s, Allison Unruh
14. The New Rococo: Sofia Coppola and Fashions in Contemporary Femininity, Rebecca Arnold
15. Post-Colonial Rococo: Yinka Shonibare MBE Plays Fragonard, Sarah Wilson
16. The Rococo Revival and the Old Art History, Carol Duncan
Afterword. The Rococo Dream of Happiness as ‘a Delicate Kind of Revolt’, Melissa Lee Hyde

List of illustrations
Select bibliography

Details for ordering a copy are available (as a PDF file) here»

Exhibition | The Jason Tapestries

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 11, 2014


Creusa Consumed by the Poisoned Robe [detail], French, 1789. After a cartoon by Jean François de Troy, woven by Royal Gobelins Manufacture, signed “Audran 1789.” Wool, silk, and linen (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum).

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Press release (25 November 2014) from the Wadsworth:

The Jason Tapestries
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut 28 November 2014 — April 2015

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will display rarely-exhibited tapestries from the eighteenth century in its soaring Morgan Great Hall during the final phase of the museum’s five-year, $33 million renovation. The large, intricate tapestries—which depict the saga of Greek hero Jason—will be on view through April 2015, at which point the Great Hall will be transformed in preparation for the September 19, 2015 grand reopening of the Morgan Memorial Building. The Jason Tapestries are enormous in size—ranging in height up to 14 feet, and in width up to 24 feet—presenting a challenge for curators in exhibiting them on a regular basis.

“The sheer magnitude of these stunning woven treasures, when paired with their fragility, prevents the museum from showing them as frequently as we would wish,” said Susan L. Talbott, Director and C.E.O. “The changing of the guard in our magnificent Morgan Great Hall presented us an ideal window in which to share these masterpieces with our visitors, and it is our hope that everyone will take advantage of this marvelous opportunity.”

The Jason Tapestries series was donated to the Wadsworth Atheneum in 1946. It consists of four tapestries from an original set of seven, which narrates the saga of Jason, well known to French contemporaries through the book Metamorphosis by Ovid. The tapestries depict Jason’s voyage with the Argonauts, the capture of the Golden Fleece (a symbol of kingship), and their subsequent return to Greece. Jason appears as a tragic hero—youthful, brave and clever—whose entanglement with the sorceress Medea will assure him the Fleece, but will also lead to the annihilation of his family.

From the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries—the great period of tapestry weaving— popes, kings, and aristocrats alike competed for these luxurious pieces. Much more labor intensive and expensive to produce than paintings and sculpture, tapestries served as portable sources of wealth, and were given as precious diplomatic gifts. Manufactories used the finest materials, such as silk threads that were often combined with silver and gold. The mythological (or historical and biblical) narratives depicted were often used to glorify heroic acts of the past and present.

The story of Jason was one of the most popular tales to illustrate in tapestries of the late eighteenth century, the time of the Ancien Régime in France. In 1743, King Louis XV commissioned a seven-part Jason and Medea series for the Throne Room at Versailles, arguably the most prestigious room in France. Jean François de Troy (1679–1752) provided sketches that were later translated into life-size preparatory drawings and subsequently woven into tapestries at the Gobelins workshop. Other versions of this series were given as precious gifts by the French crown, and today belong to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Royal Collections in Sweden, the Palazzo Reale in Milan and Windsor Castle in England, among others.

About Morgan Great Hall

Hartford native J. Pierpont Morgan, one of America’s richest men and greatest art collectors during the Gilded Age, donated the land and money to build the Beaux-arts Morgan Memorial. He also had a special interest in tapestries, and when the Great Hall opened in 1915, he loaned ten of them to adorn its walls. The space soon became known as ‘Tapestry Hall’. Morgan and his contemporaries saw themselves as the offspring of the old European aristocracy, who hung tapestries in the Great Halls of their country houses to demonstrate their power and influence, as well as to keep out the cold. The Wadsworth Atheneum will celebrate the centennial of the Morgan Memorial and its Great Hall in 2015; following the exhibition of The Jason Tapestries, Morgan Great Hall will be installed with masterworks from the museum’s permanent collection of European art, to open September 19, 2015, as part of the unveiling of the restored building.

Call for Essays | Equestrian Cultures, 1700–Present

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 11, 2014

From H-ArtHist:

Edited Collection of Essays: Equestrian Cultures, 1700–Present
Proposals due by 28 February 2015

Pictured in wonderfully textured shades of sepia, the horses of Roberto Dutesco’s photographic Sable Island series are beautiful, larger than life, and undeniably Other. They come alive on the walls of urban art galleries, and in doing so they both reaffirm and unsettle our conceptions of what it means to be ‘horse’. Liminally situated between rural and urban, domestic and wild, aesthetic object and independent subject, Dutesco’s Sable Island horses are both eminently real beings with their own experiences of worlding, and representations that speak to Western, hegemonic discourses of the nonhuman. What is ‘horse’? How have they been represented within literature and the arts? What is their relationship to humans, and how has their presence altered human society over time? These questions, along with the complex instability of the equine nonhuman, are the subject of this essay collection. We invite papers that explore the role and representation of horses in human culture from 1700 to the present in a wide array of geographies and contexts, and from multiple disciplinary perspectives within the humanities. Papers that explore horses in non-Anglocentric equestrian cultures are especially welcome. (more…)

Fellowships | Lichtenberg-Kolleg Early Career Fellowships

Posted in fellowships by Editor on December 11, 2014

Lichtenberg-Kolleg Early Career Fellowships, 2015–17
Applications due by 2 March 2015

The Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, invites applications for up to 12 Early Career Fellowships.

e13166abe5c32871bd56e1f19f4e8595Opening its doors in 1737 Göttingen quickly established itself as one of Europe’s leading Enlightenment universities. Named after one of the most important and versatile representatives of the Gottingen Enlightenment, the Lichtenberg-Kolleg is an interdisciplinary research institute with a strong focus not only on the Enlightenment(s), but also on ‘bridges’ between the human and natural sciences and on the study of religion. For the period October 2015 to July 2017 we are inviting early career scholars to join one of the research teams for the study of either:
• Globalising the Enlightenment: Knowledge, Culture, Travel, Exchange and Collections, or:
• Human Rights, Constitutional Politics and Religious Diversity, or:
• Primate Cognition: Philosophical, Linguistic, and Historical Perspectives.

The University of Göttingen is an equal opportunities employer and places particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply as they are underrepresented in this field. Disabled persons with equivalent aptitude will be favoured. All Fellowships are open to candidates who have received a doctorate within the last 6 years. The deadline for applications is 2nd March 2015.

Details are available here»

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