New Acquisition | MFA Acquires Extraordinary Desk and Bookcase

Posted in museums by Editor on December 31, 2015

Press release via Art Daily (30 December 2015). . .

Desk and bookcase, mid-18th century, Mexico. Inlaid woods and incised and painted bone, maque, gold and polychrome paint, metal hardware (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).

Desk and bookcase, mid-18th century, Mexico. Inlaid woods and incised and painted bone, maque, gold and polychrome paint, metal hardware (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has acquired a rare and important desk and bookcase (mid-18th century, Mexico) from the Ann and Gordon Getty Collection. Originally made in Puebla de los Ángeles, this work is a remarkable piece of furniture that displays influences from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The striking geometric exterior looks toward Europe with its wood-and-bone Mudéjar designs—a Hispano-Moresque style popular during the era. Opening the doors reveals a dramatic interior of chinoiserie-style painting in gold on a red background. The inside recalls early colonial mapping traditions of Nahuatl-speaking artists, showing views of an extensive hacienda in Veracruz drawn in an indigenous style. The estate, once owned by a wealthy Spaniard, was the site of one of the earliest free African settlements in Mexico; the maps may depict descendants of these early African slaves or free blacks. This truly global mix of sources extends to the object’s material: the red background is likely maque (from the Japanese word for lacquer, maki-e), a resin created using local materials in the style of Asian painting.

The work is among the most rare pieces of furniture currently on view in the exhibition, Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia, the first major, pan-American exhibition to examine the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas (on view through February 15).

Desk and bookcase mid 18th century Inlaid woods and incised and painted bone, maque, gold and polychrome paint, metal hardware *Ann and Gordon Getty Collection *Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Desk and bookcase, mid-18th century, Mexico. Inlaid woods and incised and painted bone, maque, gold and polychrome paint, metal hardware (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Exhibition | Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015

Posted in books, exhibitions by Caitlin Smits on December 30, 2015


Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 10 April — 21 August 2016
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, 3 December 2016 — 12 March 2017
Saint Louis Art Museum, 25 May — 17 September 2017


The Macaroni ensemble: Man’s Three-piece Suit, ca. 1770. Sword with Chatelaine, late 18th century. Men’s Pair of Shoe Buckles, late 18th century (LACMA)

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 explores the history of men’s fashionable dress from the eighteenth century to the present and re-examines the all-too-frequent equation of ‘fashion’ with ‘femininity’.

Beginning with the eighteenth century, the male aristocrat wore a three-piece suit conspicuous in make and style, and equally as lavish as the opulent dress of his female counterpart. The nineteenth-century ‘dandy’ made famous a more refined brand of expensive elegance which became the hallmark of Savile Row. The mid-twentieth-century ‘mod’ relished in the colorful and modern styles of Carnaby Street, and the twenty-first century man—in an ultra-chic ‘skinny suit’ by day and a flowered tuxedo by night—redefines today’s concept of masculinity.

Drawing primarily from LACMA’s renowned permanent collection, Reigning Men makes illuminating connections between history and high fashion. The exhibition traces cultural influences over the centuries, examines how elements of the uniform have profoundly shaped fashionable dress, and reveals how cinching and padding the body was, and is, not exclusive to women. The exhibition features 200 looks, and celebrates a rich history of restraint and resplendence. 

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and made possible by Ellen A. Michelson. Additional support is provided by the Wallis Annenberg Director’s Endowment Fund.

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From Prestel:

Sharon Sadako Takeda, Kaye Durland Spilker, and Clarissa Esguerra, with contributions by Tim Blanks and Peter McNeil, Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 (New York: Prestel, 2016), 272 page, ISBN: 9783791355207, $55 / £35. 


This fully illustrated book accompanies one of the most comprehensive exhibitions dedicated solely to three centuries of men’s fashion. The fashionable male may be making a comeback, but early fashion trends centered around what men—not women—were wearing. This intriguing book traces the history of men’s fashion since the 18th century, when young Englishmen imitated foreign dress and manners after touring the European continent. This phenomenon is only one of many explored in sections titled ‘Revolution/Evolution’, ‘East/West’, ‘Uniformity’, ‘Body Consciousness’, and ‘The Splendid Man’. In addition to numerous illustrations of extant menswear, the book captures the 19th-century dandy, a more restrained brand of expensive elegance which became the hallmark of Savile Row; the post-WWII mod, who relished the colorful styles of Carnaby Street; and the 21st-century man—ultra-chic in a sleek suit by day, wearing a flowered tuxedo by night. Reigning Men illuminates connections between history and high fashion, traces cultural influences over the centuries, examines how uniforms have profoundly shaped fashionable dress, and reveals that women aren’t the only ones who cinch and pad their bodies.

Sharon Sadako Takeda is Senior Curator and Head of the Costume and Textiles Department at the Los Angles County Museum of Art. Kaye Durland Spilker is Curator, and Clarissa Esguerra is Assistant Curator of the Costume and Textiles Department at the Los Angles County Museum of Art. They are the authors of Fashioning Fashion: European Culture in Detail, 1700–1915 (Prestel, 2010).

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Thomas John Bernard, . . . a theatrical costume designer, worked with the curators and conservators of the Costume and Textiles Department at LACMA to draw these patterns approximating the design of garments in the collection.

PDF documents with annotated patterns are available here»

New Book | Von der Kunst des sozialen Aufstiegs

Posted in books by Caitlin Smits on December 29, 2015

From ArtBooks.com:

Almut Goldhahn, Von der Kunst des sozialen Aufstiegs: Statusstrategien und Kunstpatronage der venezianischen Papstfamilie Rezzonico (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 2016), 408 pages, ISBN: 978-3412503529, $135.

9783412503529.jpgAls Angehörige der ‘nobilità nuova’ hatten es die Rezzonico schwer, sich innerhalb des oligarchischen Systems der Adelsrepublik Venedig zu behaupten. Schon früh orientierten sie sich daher nach Rom, um parallel zur angestrebten Etablierung der Familie in Venedig eine familiäre Verankerung an der Kurie voranzutreiben. Dieses zweigleisige Modell sollte sich schließlich als tragfähig erweisen: 1758 wurde Clemens XIII. Rezzonico zum Papst gewählt. Über einen Zeitraum von 150 Jahren zeichnet das Buch den Aufstieg der Rezzonico von einer venezianischen Kaufmannsfamilie zu einer römischen Papstfamilie nach. Dabei werden die generationen- und systemübergreifenden Etablierungsstrategien der Familie offengelegt und mit ihrer Kunstpatronage abgeglichen, die gezielt zur visuellen Manifestierung ihres sozialen Status eingesetzt wurde. (Studien zur Kunst, 37).

Almut Goldhahn ist Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin in der Photothek des Kunsthistorischen Instituts in Florenz – Max Planck Institut.

Rijksmuseum Research Fellowship Programme, 2016–17

Posted in fellowships by Editor on December 29, 2015

The Rijksmuseum Fellowship Programme, 2016–17
Applications due by 13 March 2016

The Rijksmuseum operates a research Fellowship Programme for outstanding candidates working on the art and history of the Low Countries whose principal concern is object-based research. The aim of the programme is to train a new generation of museum professionals: inquisitive object-based specialists who will further develop understanding of art and history for the future. The focus of research should relate to the Rijksmuseum’s collection, and may encompass any of its varied holdings, including Netherlandish paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, drawings, photography and historical artefacts. The purpose of the programme is to enable applicants to base part of their research at the Rijksmuseum, to strengthen the bonds between the universities and the Rijksmuseum, and to encourage the understanding of Netherlandish art and history. The programme offers students and academic scholars access to the museum’s collections, library, conservation laboratories and curatorial expertise.

Please review the eligibility, funding and application requirements by visiting the Rijksmuseum website. For the 2016–2017 academic year, candidates can apply for:
•    Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for art historical research
•    Johan Huizinga Fellowship for historical research
•    Migelien Gerritzen Fellowship for conservation research
•    Manfred & Hanna Heiting Fellowship for photo-historical research

The closing date for all applications is 13 March 2016, at 6:00 p.m. (Amsterdam time/CET). No applications will be accepted after this deadline. All applications must be submitted online and in English. Applications or related materials delivered via email, postal mail, or in person will not be accepted. Selection will be made by an international committee in April 2016. The committee consists of eminent scholars in the relevant fields of study from European universities and institutions, and members of the curatorial staff of the Rijksmuseum. Applicants will be notified by 1 May 2016. All Fellowships will start in September 2016. Further information and application forms are available here.

New Book | Louis XIV Outside In

Posted in books by Caitlin Smits on December 28, 2015

From Ashgate:

Tony Claydon and Charles-Édouard Levillain eds., Louis XIV Outside In: Images of the Sun King Beyond France, 1661–1715, (Farnham: Ashgate), 231 pages, ISBN: 978-1472431264, $125. 

9781472431264Louis XIV—the ‘Sun King’—casts a long shadow over the history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe. Yet while he has been the subject of numerous works, much of the scholarship remains firmly rooted within national frameworks and traditions. Thus in France Louis is still chiefly remembered for the splendid baroque culture his reign ushered in, and his political achievements in wielding together a strong centralised French state; whereas in England, the Netherlands and other protestant states, his memory is that of an aggressive military tyrant and persecutor of non-Catholics. 

In order to try to break free of such parochial strictures, this volume builds upon the approach of scholars such as Ragnhild Hatton who have attempted to situate Louis’ legacy within broader, pan-European context. But where Hatton focused primarily on geo-political themes, Louis XIV Outside In introduces current interests in cultural history, integrating aspects of artistic, literary and musical themes. In particular it examines the formulation and use of images of Louis XIV abroad, concentrating on Louis’ neighbours in northwest Europe. This broad geographical coverage demonstrates how images of Louis XIV were moulded by the polemical needs of people far from Versailles and distorted from any French originals by the particular political and cultural circumstances of diverse nations. Because the French regime’s ability to control the public image of its leader was very limited, the collection highlights how—at least in the sphere of public presentation—his power was frequently denied, subverted, or appropriated to very different purposes, questioning the limits of his absolutism which has also been such a feature of recent work.

Tony Claydon is Professor of Early Modern History at Bangor University, Wales. He is author of several books including, William III and the Godly Revolution; (with Ian McBride) ed., Protestantism and National Identity: Britain and Ireland, c.1650–c.1850; William III: Profiles in Power; and Europe and the Making of England, 1660–1760.

Charles-Édouard Levillain is Professor of History at the Université Paris VII Denis Diderot, France. A historian of early modern Britain and Europe, he works primarily on Anglo-Dutch politics in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. He is author of Vaincre Louis XIV: Angleterre-Hollande-France: Histoire d’une relation tiangulaire (1665–1688) (Champ Vallon, 2010); and Un glaive pour un royaume: La querelle de la milice dans l’Angleterre du XVIIe siècle (Honoré Champion, 2014).

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List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Louis XIV Upside Down? Interpreting the Sun King’s Image, Tony Claydon and Charles-Édouard Levillain
1  Image Battles under Louis XIV: Some Reflections, Hendrik Ziegler
2   Francophobia in Late-17th-Century England, Tim Harris
3  ‘We Have Better Materials for Clothes, They, Better Taylors’: The Influence of La Mode on the Clothes of Charles II and James II, Maria Hayward
4  The Court of Louis XIV and the English Public Sphere: Worlds Set Apart?, Stéphane Jettot
5  Popular English Perceptions of Louis XIV’s Way of War, Jamel Ostwald
6  Louis XIV, James II and Ireland, D.W. Hayton
7  Lampooning Louis XIV: Romeyn de Hooghe’s Harlequin Prints, 1688–89, Henk van Nierop
8  Foe and Fatherland: The Image of Louis XIV in Dutch Songs, Donald Haks
9  Amsterdam and the Ambassadors of Louis XIV 1674–85, Elizabeth Edwards
10  Millenarian Portraits of Louis XIV, Lionel Laborie


Call for Papers | Between Revolution and Reaction: French Art

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 28, 2015

Details of this graduate student colloquium are available at H-ArtHist:

Between Revolution and Reaction: French Art in the European Context, 1750–1830
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, 1 June 2016

Proposals due by 15 February 2016

Due to political and social Umwälzungen/alterations, between ca. 1750 and 1830 political key notions and aesthetic conceptions of the modern era changed considerably. It therefore seems legitimate to consider the decades around 1800 as an epoch-making turn. The colloquium offers insights into current research concerning French art of this period. It focuses on the dynamics between revolution and reaction as well as on functions of the cultural policy during the French revolutionary period and on the establishment of new artistic pictorial/Zeichen- and symbolic systems.

The half-day colloquium offers six doctoral students the possibility to present their dissertation project in a paper that should not be longer than 10 minutes. Papers and discussions can be in German, French, and English. Speakers residing outside Munich will receive a lump sum of 200,- euro covering travel expenses. Applications containing a short cv and an abstract of the paper (not to exceed 3000 signs in length) must be sent to frz1800@zikg.eu by February 15, 2016.

Organized by Iris Lauterbach and Christine Tauber, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich

Exhibition | From Poussin to Monet: The Colors of France

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 27, 2015


Jean-Siméon Chardin, Les Tours de Cartes (Card Tricks), ca.1735, oil on canvas, 31 x 39 cm
(Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland, NGI.478)

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Press release (via Art Daily) from the Bucerius Kunst Forum:

From Poussin to Monet: The Colors of France
Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen, 22 March — 6 September 2015
Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, 10 October 2015 — 17 January 2016

In the seventeenth century, French painting began to set the standards for all of Europe. Values in France during the Enlightenment began to shift toward a bourgeois society where painters were exposed to new themes and new artistic experiments. The French Revolution, the prototype of all struggles for liberation, marked a new era that became deeply entrenched in the development of French painting. The exhibition From Poussin to Monet: The Colors of France focuses on the effect that this dramatic social upheaval had on art.

During Poussin’s time, an argument broke out regarding the role of color in painting. Sensory experience and subjective perception became increasingly important until color was freed entirely by the Impressionists at the end of the nineteenth century. Paul Cézanne viewed nature as an arrangement of planes of color. Paintings no longer told a narrative; instead they gave to see. Color no longer depicted light; it became light. The exhibition demonstrates France’s path to modern art with paintings and drawings by Poussin, Watteau, Chardin, Delacroix, Corot, Courbet, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh and others.

In cooperation with the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, and the Collection Rau for UNICEF at the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck in Remagen, Germany, where the exhibition ran from March 22 to September 6, 2015 under the title Revolution of Image: From Poussin to Monet.

Exhibition | Works from the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 26, 2015


François Boucher, The Triumph of Venus, 1740, oil on canvas, 130 x 162 cm
(Nationalmuseum, Stockholm)

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Press release (24 December 2015) from The Morgan (with information for the show at the Louvre available here):

Paintings and Drawings from the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm (title forthcoming)
Musée du Louvre, Paris, 20 October 2016 — 16 January 2017
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, 5 February — 14 May 2017

Seventy-six masterpieces of painting and drawing from the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm will make a rare appearance in New York beginning February 5, 2017 at the Morgan Library & Museum. The Nationalmuseum is Sweden’s largest and most distinguished museum, and it is lending to the Morgan outstanding works by Dürer, Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, Antoine Watteau, and François Boucher, among many celebrated artists. It is the first collaboration between the two institutions in almost fifty years.

“We are delighted to host this exhibition of treasures from the Nationalmuseum of Stockholm,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “The selection of paintings and drawings is of extraordinary quality. Fine examples of work from the Italian, French, and Northern European schools are represented, with a group of sixty master drawings forming the heart of the show. We are deeply grateful to the museum’s director general Berndt Arell and his curatorial staff for making this collaboration possible.”

The exhibition will run through May 14, 2017 and continues a tradition at the Morgan of presenting drawings and other work from some of Europe’s most august institutions. Over the last several years, the Morgan has featured critically acclaimed shows from the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre, and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich.

The Nationalmuseum’s core holdings were assembled by Count Carl Gustav Tessin (1696–1770), a diplomat and one of the great art collectors of his day. The son and grandson of architects, Tessin held posts in Vienna, Berlin, and Paris, where he came into contact with the leading Parisian artists of the time and commissioned many works from them. By the time he left Paris in 1742, he had amassed a truly impressive collection of paintings and drawings.

Among the fourteen paintings in the exhibition are three commissioned by Tessin and exhibited at the 1740 Parisian Salon. These include Boucher’s Triumph of Venus, Jean-Baptiste Oudry’s Dachshound Pehr with Dead Game and Rifle, and a Portrait of Count Tessin by Jacques-André Joseph Aved, in which the collector is shown among his art, books, and medals. The group of paintings will also include six works by Jean-Siméon Chardin.

The drawings in the exhibition include works by Italian masters such as Domenico Ghirlandaio, Raphael, Giulio Romano, and Annibale Carracci. Northern European artists are represented by Dürer, Hendrik Goltzius, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, and Anthony van Dyck, among others. The French drawings begin with Primaticcio and practitioners of the Fountainebleau school and include works by Jacques Callot and Nicholas Poussin, as well as Count Tessin’s French contemporaries, Boucher, Chardin, and Antoine Watteau.

In the years following his return from France, Tessin encountered financial difficulties and was forced to sell much of his collection, with many of the finest works being acquired by the Swedish royal family. After the Count’s death, Swedish King Gustav III purchased most of his remaining works. Tessin’s holdings thus formed the nucleus of the Royal Museum of Sweden when it was created in 1794. It was later renamed the Nationalmuseum.


New Book | The Forge of Vision: A Visual History of Modern Christianity

Posted in books by Editor on December 24, 2015

From the University of California Press:

David Morgan, The Forge of Vision: A Visual History of Modern Christianity (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2015), 407 pages, ISBN: 978-0520286955, $40 / £28.

9780520286955Religions teach their adherents how to see and feel at the same time; learning to see is not a disembodied process but one hammered from the forge of human need, social relations, and material practice. David Morgan argues that the history of religions may therefore be studied through the lens of their salient visual themes. The Forge of Vision tells the history of Christianity from the sixteenth century through the present by selecting the visual themes of faith that have profoundly influenced its development. After exploring how distinctive Catholic and Protestant visual cultures emerged in the early modern period, Morgan examines a variety of Christian visual practices, ranging from the imagination, visions of nationhood, the likeness of Jesus, the material life of words, and the role of modern art as a spiritual quest, to the importance of images for education, devotion, worship, and domestic life. An insightful, informed presentation of how Christianity has shaped and continues to shape the modern world, this work is a must-read for scholars and students across fields of religious studies, history, and art history.

David Morgan is Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies. He is the author of The Embodied Eye: Religious Visual Culture and the Social Life of Feeling and The Sacred Gaze: Religious Visual Culture in Theory and Practice, and coeditor of the journal Material Religion.

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List of Illustrations


I  Word and Image
1  The Shape of the Holy
2  The Visible Word

II  The Traffic of Images
3  Religion as Sacred Economy
4  The Agency of Words
5  Christianity and Nationhood
6  The Likeness of Jesus
7  Modern Art and Christianity


Selected Bibliography

2015 Georgian Group Architectural Awards

Posted in on site by Editor on December 23, 2015

Landmark Trust Belmont 3(1)

Richard Samuel Coade, Belmont (Lyme Regis, Dorset), 1785, the home of Eleanor Coade; appropriately the house showcases the eponymous artificial stone she pioneered.

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The 2015 Georgian Group Architectural Awards were announced earlier in December. This year two joint winners share the award for Restoration of a Georgian Interior: the private apartment at Sir John Soane’s Museum and the Soane Tribune at Wotton House. The award for Restoration of a Georgian Building in an Urban Setting recognizes Belmont House in Lyme Regis (hooray for Eleanor Coade and the eponymous artificial stone she pioneered!). CH

From The Georgian Group:

Belmont House in Lyme Regis is a 1785 maritime villa looking out over the Cobb. John Fowles wrote The French Lieutenant’s Woman here. By the time he died it was in a bad state, the gardens overgrown and the structural condition of the building poor. The Landmark Trust acquired it and took the decision, at once brave and controversial, to restore it to the form known by Mrs Coade, creator of the artificial stone that bears her name. That involved demolishing what was left of the substantial Victorian and later extensions in order to make it a villa in the round. The project has been informed by meticulous building analysis and documentary research and the building is now again a thing of real beauty, a delightful monument to one of the great female entrepreneurs of the Georgian period.

The full list of awards is available here»

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