Conference | Architect-Designed Objects, 1650–1950

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on September 23, 2016


Designed by Robert Adam, made by Thomas Chippendale, The Dundas Sofa, commissioned 1764, made 1765, gilt pine and beech, with later silk upholstery (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

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From the MFAH:

A Sense of Proportion: Architect-Designed Objects, 1650–1950
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 24 September 2016

Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts, presents its biennial symposium. This edition focuses on objects that are the embodiments or extensions of an architect’s ideas or aesthetic. Scholars discuss objects made for particular spaces, objects used to explore new design sources, and objects intended to be part of an integrated space.

The keynote address will presented by Adriano Aymonino, coordinator of undergraduate programs, department of art history, University of Buckingham. Dr. Aymonino’s main academic interest is the reception of the classical tradition in the Early Modern period, with a particular focus on Britain. He is working on a revised edition of Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny’s Taste and the Antique and on a project tracing the impact of antiquarian publications on 17th- and 18th-century European art and architecture. Aymonino obtained his PhD at the University of Venice and has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and at the Getty Research Institute.

Ticket information is available here»

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10:00  Welcome by Christine Gervais (director, Rienzi; curator, decorative art)

10:15  Keynote Address
• Robert Adam (1728–1792) and the Sources of the ‘True Style of Antique Decoration’, Adriano Aymonino (University of Buckingham)

11:30  Coffee Break

12:00  Session A
• Baroque Furnishings: Aesthetics and Design in Giacomo Amato’s Graphic Oeuvre (1643–1732), Sabina de Cavi, professor (University of Córdoba)
• Marvelous Volumes: Artistry of the 18th-Century British Designer’s Manuscript, Elizabeth Deans (assistant director, Smithsonian-George Mason University)

12:45  Lunch Break

1:50  Session B
• Jean-Démosthène Dugourc’s 1787 Model for a Jewel Cabinet and the Stakes of Royal Furniture Design in Pre-Revolutionary France, Iris Moon (visiting assistant professor, Pratt Institute)
• The Furniture Design Legacy of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Serena Newmark (doctoral student and English-language children’s programs assistant, Museum August Kestner)

2:35  Coffee Break

3:05  Session C
• The Quality of Calmness and Clarity: Heinrich Tessenow’s Search for Objectivity in the Design of Furniture and Household Goods, Jurjen Zeinstra (doctoral student and associate professor, University of Technology)
• Transitional Moments: Architectural Hardware, Marcel Breuer, and the Bauhaus in America, Robert Wiesenberger (doctoral student and curatorial fellow, Harvard Art Museums)


New Book | Oriental Interiors

Posted in books by Editor on September 23, 2016

From Bloomsbury:

John Potvin, ed., Oriental Interiors: Design, Identity, Space (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), 296 pages, hardback ISBN: 978-1472596642, $115 /  paperback ISBN: 978-1472596635, $30.

9781472596659Since the publication of Edward Said’s groundbreaking work Orientalism 35 years ago, numerous studies have explored the West’s fraught and enduring fascination with the so-called Orient. Focusing their critical attention on the literary and pictorial arts, these studies have, to date, largely neglected the world of interior design. Oriental Interiors is the first book to fully explore the formation and perception of eastern-inspired interiors from an orientalist perspective.

Orientalist spaces in the West have taken numerous forms since the 18th century to the present day, and the fifteen chapters in this collection reflect that diversity, dealing with subjects as varied and engaging as harems, Turkish baths on RMS Titanic, Parisian bachelor quarters, potted palms, and contemporary yoga studios. It explores how furnishings, surface treatments, ornament and music, for example, are deployed to enhance the exoticism and pleasures of oriental spaces, looking across a range of international locations. Organized into three parts, each introduced by the editor, the essays are grouped by theme to highlight critical paths into the intersections between orientalist studies, spatial theory, design studies, visual culture and gender studies, making this essential reading for students and researchers alike.

John Potvin is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at Concordia University, Montreal, where he teaches on the intersections of art, interior design and fashion. He is the author of Bachelors of a Different Sort: Queer Aesthetics, Material Culture and the Modern Interior in Britain (Manchester University Press, 2014), Giorgio Armani: Empire of the Senses (Ashgate, 2013), and Material and Visual Cultures Beyond Male Bonding (Ashgate, 2008). He is also editor of The Places and Spaces of Fashion (Routledge, 2009) and co-editor of Material Cultures, 1740–1920: The Meanings and Pleasures of Collecting (Ashgate, 2010) and Fashion, Interior Design and the Contours of Modern Identity (Ashgate, 2010).

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Introduction: Inside Orientalism: Hybrid Spaces and Modern Interior Design, John Potvin

Section I: Modes of Display and Representation
Introduction to Section I
1  The Emptiness of Western Aesthetics Versus the Aesthetics of Eastern Intimacy: A Reading of Interior Spaces and (Colonial) Literary Impressionism in E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, Victor Vargas (Cogswell Polytechnic)
2  The Exhibitionary Re-production of ‘Islamic’ Architecture, Solmaz Mohammadzadeh Kive (University of Colorado)
3  Promoting the Colonial Empire through French Interior Design, Laura Sextro (University of Dayton)
4  Orientalism and David Hockney’s Male-positive Imaginative Geographies, Dennis S. Gouws (Springfield College and the Australian Institute of Male Health and Studies)
5  The Excessive Trompe l’Oeil: The Saturated Interior in Tears of the Black Tiger, Mark Taylor (University of Newcastle) and Michael J. Ostwald (University of Newcastle)

Section II: Gendered and Sexual Identities
Introduction to Section II
6  On Oriental Interiors in Eighteenth-Century British Women Writers’ Novels, Marianna D’Ezio (Luspio University for International Studies of Rome)
7  Bachelor Quarters: The Spaces of Japonisme in Nineteenth-Century Paris, Christopher Reed (Pennsylvania State University)
8  Coming Out of the China Closet?: Performance, Identity and Sexuality in the House Beautiful, Anne Anderson (Exeter University and Kingston University)
9  Orientalism, Collecting and Shame: Inside Rolf de Maré’s Hildesborg Estate, John Potvin (Concordia University)

Section III: Spaces and Markets of Consumption
Introduction to Section III
10  Paradise in the Parlour: Potted Palms in Western Interiors, 1850–1914, Penny Sparke (Kingston University)
11  Traveling in Time and Space: The Cinematic Landscape of the Empress Theatre, Camille Bédard (McGill University)
12  Oriental Spaces at Sea: From the Titanic to the Empress of Britain, Anne Massey (Middlesex University)
13  Posturing for Authenticity: Embodying Otherness in Contemporary Interiors of Modern Yoga, Lauren Bird (Queen’s University)






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