At Colnaghi | Vanitas

Posted in Art Market by Editor on October 31, 2016


Bolognese School, after engravings produced by Jan Wandelaar, Front and Back Views of a Skeleton with Clara the Rhinoceros,
ca. 1750, oil on slate.

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Now on view at Colnaghi’s new London gallery:

Colnaghi, London, 6 October — 4 November 2016

Vanitas is the term given to artworks on the theme of the fragility of man and his desires in the face death, which itself could be understood simply as the end to life or, by believers, as the passage from the material world to the hereafter. The genre became particularly popular with the production of still-lifes featuring skulls and other human remains in the seventeenth century, but obsession with death and decay was already widespread in the fifteenth century, as it was in Roman times. It continued well into the eighteenth century and beyond and has been forcefully expressed by contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst and Guido da Pascale (who produced one of the terracotta sculptures in the show).


Vanitas Wig in Bust, Italian School, possibly Roman or Neapolitan, first half of the 18th century, terracotta, 85 x 54 x 30 cm.

The word vanitas itself is Latin for ’empty’. In the medieval and early modern periods, it was associated above all with Ecclesiastes 12:8 (which many people knew from the Latin Vulgate Bible), “Vanitas vanitatum dixit Ecclesiastes omnia vanitas” (“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”). Skulls and skeletons expressed most directly the concept of memento mori or “remember you must die,” an expression reminding victorious Roman generals that they too were mortal. They also cast bronze skeletal Larva Convivialis, giving them to revelers at feasts and banquets. Other common vanitas subjects were rotten fruit, withering flowers, bubbles, and candles (all reminders of the fragility and brevity of life), hourglasses (marking time), and musical instruments and expensive trinkets (symbols of the futility of sensuous pleasure). These appeared in dozens of late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century paintings by artists such as such as Jacques de Gheyn (1565–1629), Jan Vermeulen (active 1638–1674), and Antonio de Pereda (ca. 1611–1678). For early modern Christians, these reminders of mortality warned against the worldly excesses of the present, inviting the beholder to turn to God and prepare the soul for the hereafter.

In Italy—from where many of the pieces originate—meditation on vanitas preoccupied Baroque artists and writers so greatly that death seemed everywhere. It was as if—according to Pierrobert Scaramella and Alberto Tenenti—life were lived over a gigantic cemetery, reflected in the building of innumerable churches as ossuaries and the rediscovery of practices and cults of Purgatory. Alfonso Maria de Liguori’s L’Appareccho all morte, published in 1758, became the most widely read Italian manual about preparing for death. Now, however, the theme of vanitas became increasingly sardonic and satirical. A Remondini engraving from the second half of the eighteenth century depicts a ‘double macabre portrait’: a gentlewoman, encircled by the classic vanitas objects, is portrayed with full breasts and rich clothes but in the place of her face is a skull; the same woman shows the spectator a male portrait, probably her husband, another skull but this time wearing a fashionable powdered wig. The illustration is entitled Omnia vana and written beneath it is “Così ti convin dir come diss’io, anni fugaci età caduca a Dio [“So you should say as I say, fleeting years, age is immaterial to God”].

• Pierroberto Scaramella and Alberto Tenenti, Humana Fragilitas: The Themes of Death in Europe from the 13th Century to the 18th Century (Bergamo: Ferrari Editrice, 2002).
• Alberto Veca, Vanitas: Il Simbolismo del Tempo (Bergamo, 1981), p. 164.






Journal18, #2 Louvre Local (Fall 2016)

Posted in journal articles by Editor on October 31, 2016

The second issue of J18 is now available.

Journal18, Issue #2: Louvre Local (Fall 2016)
Issue Editor: Hannah Williams, Queen Mary University of London

issue2_coverIn issue 2, Journal18 delves into the fascinating but little known period of the Louvre’s eighteenth-century history. Now one of the world’s best-known museums, the Louvre was once a vast artistic center of a different kind. Even before Louis XIV moved the French Court from the Louvre to Versailles in 1682, the Louvre had already become a focus of creative, cultural, and intellectual energy in Paris, as artists and artisans of all trades—from watch-makers to history painters—were given lodgings and studio space in the same wings and corridors that accommodated cultural institutions like the royal academies. As the Louvre expanded over the eighteenth century, the palace and its surrounding streets came to be dominated by this growing community of artists, artisans, men of letters, and their aristocratic patrons, inhabiting this space and living out their daily lives together.

Exploring this Louvre ‘neighborhood’, issue 2 asks: who lived in the palace? Who belonged and who didn’t? What activities took place in this domestic, professional and royal setting? What collaborations and interactions transpired in its rooms and corridors? How were spaces used? What objects resided here? And how was the building itself made and re-made, discussed and debated, recorded and narrated?

At a moment when art history has become more and more global, this issue takes an intentionally local look, encouraging a more intimate approach to social histories of eighteenth-century art. Investigating the Louvre’s role in the art world of early modern Paris, the authors of Louvre Local make geographically and anthropogically inflected explorations in pursuit of a deeper understanding of life in the palace and the new art-historical narratives that such insights bring. Contributions to this issue include full-length articles as well as shorter ‘vignettes’, which metaphorically open a window through which to glimpse a snapshot of life in the Louvre. The issue also features a review of the recent landmark publication, L’Histoire du Louvre.


• David Maskill, The Neighbor from Hell: André Rouquet’s Eviction from the Louvre
• Noémie Etienne, A Family Business: Picture Restorers in the Louvre Quarter
• Jacqueline Riding, An Englishman in Paris: Joseph Highmore at the Académie Royale
• Mark Ledbury, Art versus Life: A Dissenting Voice in the Grande Galerie


• Pierre-Édouard Latouche and Jean-François Bédard, A Plan of the Louvre’s Cour Carrée and the Making of the Architecture Française
• Esther Bell, A Curator at the Louvre: Charles Coypel and the Royal Collections
• Anne Higonnet, Through a Louvre Window


• Dominique Poulot, Coda: L’Histoire du Louvre en perspective



New Book | Witchcraft and Folk Belief

Posted in books by Editor on October 30, 2016

From Palgrave Macmillan:

Lizanne Henderson, Witchcraft and Folk Belief in the Age of Enlightenment Scotland, 1670–1740 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 382 pages, ISBN: 978-0230294387, $110.

51p4eqqz3vlTaking an interdisciplinary perspective, Witchcraft and Folk Belief in the Age of Enlightenment represents the first in-depth investigation of Scottish witchcraft and witch belief post-1662, the period of supposed decline of such beliefs, an age which has been referred to as the ‘long eighteenth century’, coinciding with the Scottish Enlightenment. The late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries were undoubtedly a period of transition and redefinition of what constituted the supernatural, at the interface between folk belief and the philosophies of the learned. For the latter the eradication of such beliefs equated with progress and civilization, but for others, such as the devout, witch belief was a matter of faith, such that fear and dread of witches and their craft lasted well beyond the era of the major witch-hunts. This study seeks to illuminate the distinctiveness of the Scottish experience, to assess the impact of enlightenment thought upon witch belief, and to understand how these beliefs operated across all levels of Scottish society.

Lizanne Henderson has been a lecturer and cultural historian at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow since 2004. She is Editor of Review of Scottish Culture and has published on the Scottish witch-hunts, folk belief, ballads, critical animal studies, Scottish diaspora, polar explorers, and the transatlantic slave trade. Her books include Fantastical Imaginations: The Supernatural in Scottish History and Culture (2009) and, with Edward J. Cowan, Scottish Fairy Belief: A History (2001), and A History of Everyday Life in Medieval Scotland, 1000–1600 (2011).

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List of Illustrations, Figures, and Tables
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Following the Witch
1  Fixing the Limits of Belief
2  The Idea of Witchcraft
3  Demons, Devilry, and Domestic Magic: Hunting Witches in Scotland
4  Darkness Visible
5  Bemused, Bothered, and Bewildered: Witchcraft Debated
6  ‘Worshipping at the Altar of Ignorance’: Some Late Scottish Witchcraft Cases Considered
7  The Survival of Witch Belief in South West Scotland: A Case Study
8  The Persistence of Witch Belief





Display | Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 29, 2016

Five-piece garniture saved from the fire at Clandon Park.

Five-piece vase set, porcelain, China, ca. 1690, H: 26.9 cm; rescued from Clandon Park, Surrey, the night of the fire, 29 April 2015 (The Mrs. David Gubbay Collection, Clandon Park, Surrey, National Trust, 1440409.1-5 / National Trust Images/ James Dobson).

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Now on view at the V&A:

Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 11 October 2016 — 30 April 2017

This ground-breaking display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, organised in collaboration with the National Trust, explores the phenomenon of matching sets of vases and garnitures. In the 1650s, assembled sets of Chinese porcelain beakers, bottles, bowls, and jars—often in odd numbers—were used in elite European interiors as an integral part of the decorative scheme— displayed on chimney-pieces, cupboards, tables, or over doors. Specifically for the display, a mid-seventeenth-century garniture in the French taste has been recreated from Chinese porcelain of the 1630s. When imports of Chinese porcelain officially ceased between 1657 and 1683, European potters at Delft and Nevers copied the exotic Asian forms but unified the elements with matching patterns to form sets of from three to eleven vessels. In the Netherlands, merchants also ordered jars and beakers from Japan, and, in England, sets were ordered from London silversmiths. In France, merchants in luxury goods applied matching metal mounts to form sets from assembled objects and vessels. When the export trade resumed in the 1680s, ornamental jars and beakers with matching patterns were produced in Jingdezhen specifically for the West. The fashion continued throughout the 1700s, with almost every ceramic manufactory producing examples. It came to its conclusion during the Arts and Crafts period, when the singular vase became the rage and sets were broken up and dispersed.

A day-long symposium on ceramics and interiors is planned for 17 March 2017. The display, publication, and symposium are generously sponsored by The Headley Trust.

Patricia Ferguson’s blog entry on the display is available here»

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Patricia Ferguson, Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses (London: V&A Publishing, 2016), 64 pages, ISBN: 978-1851779000, £10.

9781851779000This exquisite book brings together some of the National Trust’s most important sets of garnitures, showing them in their historic context and drawing on their rich narratives. Following an introductory essay, the catalogue records the 15 garnitures in the display borrowed from 13 National Trust properties: Blickling, Norfolk; Dunham Massey and Tatton Park, Cheshire; Nostell Priory, Yorkshire; Ickworth, Suffolk; Kingston Lacy, Dorset, Stourhead, Wiltshire, Saltram, Devon, Clandon Park, Surrey, Scotney Castle and Knole, Kent; Petworth, West Sussex; and Upton House, Warwickshire (with more information here). The entries are richly supported by engraved sources, paintings and photographs of vase sets and garnitures in situ. As many have never been published before, the publication will be an important souvenir of a unique exhibition.

Patricia F. Ferguson, an adviser on ceramics to the National Trust, has been researching their ceramics collection for a publication on elite ceramic patronage in Britain. She has an MA in Chinese ceramics from the School of Oriental and African Studies and works as a curatorial consultant in the Asian department of the V&A.

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This 4-minute film showcases rare surviving examples of vase sets and ceramic ornaments from National Trust houses being displayed on furniture and in period rooms at the V&A that would have been typical at the time of their manufacture. Reino Leifkes, curator of ceramics at the V&A, discusses this ceramic phenomenon and its rise to the height of fashion.






Exhibition | Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 29, 2016

The Emma Hamilton exhibition opens next week in Greenwich, with walking tours part of the programming:

Walking Tour | The Life of Emma Hamilton
London, offered 18 November and 3 December 2016, 11am–1pm

Take a walk around St. James’s and Mayfair for glimpses into Emma Hamilton’s life. Celebrity, mistress and muse, Emma was an extraordinary woman. In this guided walk, we’ll be looking at her life, her love affair with Nelson, and her connections to London Society. Adults £20 / members £16.

More information is available here»

Exhibition | 1,000 m2 of Desire: Architecture and Sexuality

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 28, 2016


From the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona:

1,000 m2 of Desire: Architecture and Sexuality
1.000 m2 de Desig: Arquitectura i Sexualitat / 1.000 m2 de Deseo: Arquitectura y Sexualidad
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, 25 October 2016 — 19 March 2017

Curated by Adélaïde de Caters and Rosa Ferré

The exhibition looks at the way Western society has planned, built, and imagined spaces for sex from the 18th century to the present day. With some 250 exhibits, including drawings and architectural models, art installations, audiovisuals, books, and other materials, the exhibition explores the power of spaces as the driving force of desire and shows how architecture has been a tool that controls behaviour and creates gender stereotypes in our patriarchal society.

coberta_cataleg_1001m2_desig_castIt presents some of the projects that have subverted traditional models and advocated utopias of sexual cohabitation or private spaces designed solely for pleasure. It looks afresh at the proposals of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, Charles Fourier, De Sadeand Guy Debord, the radical architecture of the 1960s and 1970s, Carlo Mollino, Adolf Loos, Nicolas Schöffer, Wilhelm Reich, Playboy architecture, and works by contemporary architects and artists.

1000m2 of Desire underpins the need to reappraise, for contemporary times, the validity and interest of some of the radical, speculative projects that seem to speak directly to us today, even though some of them date back more than 200 years. It invite us to consider how sexualities are constructed in accordance with specific cultural codes subject to norms that govern bodies and discourses and the nature of the space of desire and pleasure in our society. The exhibition highlights the way certain forms of resistance to established norms have largely originated from informal architecture and the appropriation of places. It shows how architectural practice has been dominated by men until very recently and, as a result, how spaces designed for pleasure have been imagined from male desires and fantasies. Architecture as the physical design of a space and setting makes up a substantial part of our sexual fantasies. Many of the exhibits have never been created before and are constructed through language or the projected image.

The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections—sexual utopias, libertine refuges, and sexographs—and includes several independent spaces that act as ‘mini exhibitions’, each one curated by different specialists: a recreation of Nicolas Schöffer’s Centre for Sexual Leisure (Eléonore de Lanvandeyra Schöfferand Guillaume Richard), a reading room containing libertine novels (Marie-Françoise Quignard), an installation dedicated to Playboy Magazine and its architecture (Beatriz Colomina and Pep Avilés), and an archetypal 1970s’ porn cinema (Esther Fernández). It also presents William Kentridge’s new installation Right into Her Arms, which the South African artist created for his production of Alban Berg’s Lulu.

Sexual Utopias (18th–20th Centuries)

The exhibition begins with some of the speculative projects by architects, thinkers, artists and communities who have sought to have an impact on sexual behaviour by monitoring spaces. It examines the sexual utopias of the 18th century such as the temple of pleasure, the Oikema, imagined by the architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux; the Parthenions, which Restif de la Bretonne organised according to detailed rules in his treatise on prostitution, Le Pornographe; and Charles Fourier’s settings for erotic and gastronomic orgies. Fourier’s proposal reveals an imagination, a radicalism and extreme relevance with the phalanstery as the engine of a utopian community governed solely by its inhabitants’ desires. The exhibition also features one of the Marquis de Sade’s cabinets which reveals how he constructed his narrative utopia of excess through his passion for architecture and the performing arts.

Reformist or subversive, these sexual architectures of the 18th and early 19th centuries are contrasted and establish a certain continuity with more contemporary utopias from the modus vivendi of hippy communities to the radical architecture of the 20th century: Ettore Sottsass, the Archigram and Superstudio groups, Rem Koolhaas/OMA, Haus-Rucker-Co and Ricardo Bofill’s Taller de Arquitectura.

The exhibition also seeks to put the spotlight on the visionary work of Nicolas Schöffer who was closely associated with the Situationists and part of the French radical architecture movement in the 1960s. He designed a utopian city, the Ville Cybernétique (1955–69), which contained its own Centre for Sexual Leisure. A vast installation recreates this space made up of sex, volts, dancing cybernetic sculptures, and perfume.

Libertine Refuges (18th–20th Centuries)

This section explores the power wielded by spaces as driving forces of desire and analyses the nature of private realms conceived entirely as settings for pleasure, from the French aristocracy’s petites maisons of the 18th century, with their rooms, décor, and specialist furnishings, to the bachelor pads suggested by Playboy Magazine. It shows the role of architecture as a sensorial experience in seduction strategies and how sophistication in the design of constructional and mechanical devices can fire the erotic imagination.

Architecture and storytelling worked osmotically during the 18th century in a game of mutual fascination. The exhibition presents the architecture of two iconic novels in this regard, La Petite Maison (1758) by Jean-François de Bastide and Point de Lendemain (1777) by Vivant Denon.

The reading room containing libertine novels is presented in this section of the exhibition. Devised by the specialist Marie-Françoise Quignard, it features novels by Nerciat, Crébillon, Servigné, Choderlos de Laclos, and De Sade, among others. The libertine novel, related to the materialistic philosophy of the day, has a single objective: to celebrate desire and the enjoyment of the body. Entering the libertine’s chamber is like entering an imaginary world where the characters are subjected to all the fantasies of desire. It is also like stepping into the atmosphere of enclosed places: into boudoirs, convent cells or brothels where we follow the narrator, the clandestine observer, while the story unfolds.

The exhibition devotes a whole section to Playboy, curated by Beatriz Colomina. The magazine defined a new identity for men that included how they should dress, what they should listen to, drink and read, as well as the environment they ought to live in as well as the furnishings and interior décor. From Frank Lloyd Wright to Mies van der Rohe and including John Lautner and Ant Farm, alongside designs by the Eames, George Nelson, Eero Saarinen and Harry Bertoia, architecture and design are presented as tools capable of altering a code of conduct. As a media machine that had an enormous impact by treating women and buildings as objects of fantasy and desire, Playboy made a significant contribution to the transformation of ‘intimacy’ into a public spectacle. This section reproduces Hugh Hefner’s legendary bed (in contrast to the traditional double bed invented in the 18th century which remains the dominant setting for our sex lives today). According to another of the leading specialists in the Playboy phenomenon, Beatriz Preciado: “The round, revolving bed, connected to a radio-cum-phone-cum-hi-fi system, was used as a place for orgies as well as an office for Hefner who ran his business for years in his pyjamas and without leaving the house. The bed has become a true multimedia platform, the direct predecessor of our laptop computer and a media extension of our libido, as well as a new centre of production and consumption.”

The exhibition also reveals that the architecture of the Modern Movement is a project based on masculinity, which underplays its erotic dimension. Beatriz Colomina sums it up by saying “women are the ghosts of modern architecture.” Adolf Loos designed a bedroom for his wife, Lina, as if it were a fur-lined case and dreamt up a Parisian house for Joséphine Baker. The exhibition also presents the enigmatic and sensualised home interiors designed by Carlo Mollino, and, as a counterpoint to these intimate spaces, the home of Rudolph Schindler in California, which features an experimental programme for two couples living together, with outdoor beds/sleeping baskets.

Sexographs (20th–21st Centuries)

Following in the wake of Guy Debord’s Situationism, the exhibition presents a number of maps of contemporary passions through pieces by architects and artists (such as Bernard Tschumi, ecoLogicStudio [Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto], Jean-Didier Bergilez, Danli Wang, Pol Esteve, Marc Navarro and Ania Soliman). It reveals public spaces coded for sex, among them parks, streets, and public toilets. The exhibits in this section include two impressive series of photographs: The Valley by Larry Sultan and The Park by Kohei Yoshiyuki.

The screening room was one of the spaces transformed by the discourses of the sexual revolution of the late 1960s. It was a space that embraced an increasing sexualisation until the advent of the first legal porn films. The so-called ‘porn chic’ that emerged in the United States in the 1970s opened up spaces for the consumption of pornography to the female gaze and envisaged an experience of collective viewing that continued until the mid-1980s, when video technology moved porn into people’s homes. The exhibition features an archetypal porn cinema of the 1970s, where clips from legendary X-rated films will be shown, curated by Esther Fernández,

We will see how venues for sexual encounters (from luxury resorts to brothels, whorehouses-cum-hotels on highways, bathhouses and gay dark rooms, discotheques and bars, oubliettes and BDSM spaces, as well as sex shops) are all highly ritualised social systems. They are domains in which initiation and transgression act as the driving force of desire: a particular type of lighting, smells and music are part of this informal architecture. They are designed for and, at the same time, govern particular practices. They are all spaces of representation that reflect group mythologies.

But what are the spaces for sex today? Undoubtedly cyberspace, with internet porn and encounters apps for every taste, is growing in importance. Now that we are fully steeped in the technological utopia, artists, such as Yann Mihn, are engaged in a search for telepathic ecstasy. Mihn is working on the prototype of a machine that will enable total immersion in virtual reality and stimulation (teledildonics), his “NooScaphe-X1 Cybersex immersion engine”.

In Hacer el amor en abstracto: la arquitectura de la cultura de baile, the architect and artist Pol Esteve examines the spatial experience of discotheques and raves and the way in which a combination of technologies such as stroboscopic lights, music and drugs can produce orgasmic effects and a displaced sexuality.

Ingo Niermann proposes a community of sex volunteers with his platform of an army of love, thearmyoflove.net, who will create situations and spaces of satisfaction for those who are ‘usually excluded’, people with physical problems or with a body that does not match conventions of attractiveness.

Desire in the 21st century is the desire of others expressed through recognition and in the competition for representation. From the selfie to Instagram, we are compelled to look sexy and happy; the internet makes the laborious construction of the image of our private lives compulsory. Do sexual images on the web represent or replace relationships by sublimating them? Is the hypersexualisation of society, as it is represented by the media, substituting actual sexual life? Society seems to have plunged into a narcissistic depression in which the internet functions as a masturbatory machine. In the Western context, in which permissiveness is no longer transgression but the norm, what role does space play in reviving transgressive eroticism, in re-eroticising society?

This project explores the interstices of freedom in certain non-normative spaces for desire, such as the queer movement, and the way these constitute revolutionary resistance to commodified scenarios and to the control of increasingly all-encompassing social structures.

Adélaïde de Caters, Rosa Ferré, Beatriz Colomina, Marie-Françoise Quignard, Pol Esteve, Ester Fernández Cifuentes, Ingo Niermann, Fulvio Ferrari, and Rem Koolhaas, 1,000 m2 of Desire: Architecture and Sexuality / 1.000 m2 de Desig: Arquitectura i Sexualitat / 1.000 m2 de Deseo: Arquitectura y Sexualidad (Barcelona: CCCB and Direcció de Comunicació de la Diputació de Barcelona, 2016), 200 pages, ISBN: 978-8498037500 (Català / English), ISBN: 978-8498037517 (Castellano / English), 20€.

S E L E C T E D  O B J E C T S

The exhibition has received loans from prestigious international institutions, including FracTurbulence Orleans, the MoMA Architecture Department New York, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), the Biblioteca Nacional de España (BNE), and from the collections of the architects who have taken part in the project and given generously of their time.

Architectural Originals
• Drawings by Jeremy Bentham and his Panopticon
• The Campo Marzio by Giovanni Battista Piranesi
• Drawings by Jean-Jacques Lequeu, Pierre-Adrien Pâris, Charles Fourier, Ettore Sottsass, Superstudio, Archigram, Madelon Vriesendorp, Ant farm, Douglas Darden, Coop Himmelb(l)au, and Haus-Rucker-Co, among others

Original Photographs
• Polaroids by Carlo Mollino
The Valley series by Larry Sultan
The Park series by Kohei Yoshiyuki

Centre for Sexual Leisure (CLS) with original works by Nicolas Schöffer
METAfolly Pavilion by ecoLogicStudio
Right into Her Arms, a new work by William Kentridge for the exhibition
In front of the Green Door by Johannes Wohnseifer
Hacer el amor en abstracto: la arquitectura de la cultura de baile by Pol Esteve
Army of Love, Ania Soliman
Playboy installation with a reproduction of Hugh Hefner’s bed
• Reproduction of Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone

Maquettes and Models
• Reproduction of the city of the Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans and the Oikema Temple of Pleasure
• Reproduction of the room in the Château de Silling where stories are told in The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade
• Models of the Playboy Townhouse and of Hugh Hefner’s private jet Big Bunny
• Model of the Villa Rosa by the Coop Himmelb(l)au

Treatises on Architecture
• Fransesco Colonna, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili ou Le Songe de Poliphile (first edition published in Venice in 1499)
• Jacques-François Blondel, De la distribution des maisons de plaisance et de la décoration en général (1737–38), 2 volumes
• Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, L’architecture considérée sous le rapport de l’art, des mœurs et de la législation (1804), 2 volumes
• Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières, Le génie de l’architecture, ou L’analogie de cet art avec nos sensations (1780)

Libertine Books
• Crébillon, Le Sofa, 1742
• Boyer d’Argens, Thérèse philosophe, 1748
• Julian Offray de la Mettrie, L’art de jouir, 1751
• Jean-Baptiste-Marie Guillard de Servigné, Les sonnettes ou Mémoires du marquis D**, 1751
• Marquis de Sade, La philosophie dans le boudoir, 1795
• Marquis de Sade, Histoire de Juliette, 1797

Prints from the 18th and 19th Centuries
Rebus sur l’Amour by Stefano Della Bella (18th century)
Le Phallus phénoménal and Le Roi Phallus malade et défait reçoit la visite de ses médecins by Dominique Vivant Denon, 1793–94
•  Works by unknown artists and printmakers, such as Portes et fenêtres (19th century)
Le verrou and Les heureux hasards de l’escarpolette by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Audio-Visual Materials
• Documentaries on Bentham’s Panopticon and hippie communes by Andrés Hispano and Félix Pérez Hita
• Virtual 3D reproduction of the house designed by Adolf Loos for Joséphine Baker
Playboy’s Progress, an animated work by Olivier Otten
• Documentaries by Ant Farm, Haus-Rucker-Co and Superstudio
• Films such as Un chant d’amour by Jean Genet and Army of Love by Ingo Niermann

Exhibition | Emperors, Scholars, and Temples

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 27, 2016


Emperors, Scholars, and Temples: Tastemakers of China’s Ming and Qing Dynasties
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, 12 August 2016 — 9 July 2017

Coat, early 18th century, Chinese. Brocade, 54 x 81 inches (Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art)

Coat, early 18th century, Chinese. Brocade, 54 x 81 inches (Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 35-184/1)

During the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, the arts of China reached full maturity. Painting, calligraphy, porcelain and textiles flourished, and new styles and techniques emerged. The imperial court, scholars, and temples supported this profusion of creativity, each establishing distinctive, yet overlapping artistic styles. Emperors held court in the Forbidden City in Beijing in unparalleled splendor. Courtiers, empresses, and concubines wore extravagant garb and beautiful jewelry. Across the empire, an educated class of scholars pursued elegant and cultured lifestyles. Buddhism was also an inspiration for the arts. Thousands of ornate temples stored precious relics and images of Buddhist deities. Presenting rarely seen objects from the Nelson-Atkins Chinese collection, the exhibition explores currents of taste during this five hundred-year period.



Aimee Marcereau DeGalan Appointed Curator at The Nelson-Atkins

Posted in museums by Editor on October 27, 2016

Press release (25 October 2016) from The Nelson-Atkins:

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City has hired Dr. Aimee Marcereau DeGalan as the Louis L. and Adelaide C. Ward Senior Curator of European Art. Marcereau DeGalan comes to the Nelson-Atkins from The Dayton Art Institute (DAI), where she was Chief Curator and Curator of European Art.

Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, photo by Chris Dissinger.

Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, photo by Chris Dissinger.

“The timing of this important addition to our staff could not be better,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “Aimee’s scholarship will be immediately called upon as we prepare to open the Bloch Galleries in the spring, and she will continue the important work that has begun on our catalogue of French paintings.”

A specialist in British and French 18th- and 19th-century art, Marcereau DeGalan will lead the European Arts division, which includes the departments of Ancient Art, European Paintings & Sculpture and Architecture, Design and Decorative Arts. She will pursue senior-level research exhibition and catalogue projects, and be responsible for acquisitions, interpretation and presentation of the European collections.

“Aimee’s experience at institutions of varying scale and type has been excellent training for the job at the Nelson-Atkins,” said Catherine Futter, Director of Curatorial Affairs. “A 2014 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellow, she has worked across many disciplines to engage a wide range of audiences and is also an amazing leader.”

Marcereau DeGalan was hired at the DAI in 2012 as Curator of Collections and Exhibitions. Previously, she held curatorial posts at the Fleming Museum of Art at the University of Vermont, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and The Detroit Institute of Arts. While in Dayton, Marcereau DeGalan raised major funds for conservation treatments to seven significant European paintings, accessioned more than 400 objects, regularly brought scholars into the museum to advise on its different collections, and presented 24 exhibitions during her tenure. Importantly, she worked to broaden the DAI’s engagement with the Dayton community.

“The DAI will forever be grateful for Aimee’s meaningful contributions to the museum and the community,” says Dayton Art Institute Director and CEO Michael R. Roediger. “During her time at the museum, she has led the Curatorial Department and the Collections Committee, been a valued member of the museum’s leadership team, and been an integral part of the development of the museum’s Centennial Plan. The Dayton Art Institute can be proud that one of our own is moving on to such a prestigious organization.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the curatorial team at the Nelson-Atkins,” said Marcereau DeGalan. “It has long been an institution I have admired not only for the scope and depth of its collections, but also for its commitment to research, scholarship, and to broadening its reach within the regional community and on the national and international stage.”

Marcereau DeGalan will begin her position on November 1st.

Aimee Marcereau Degalan completed her PhD in 2007 with Anne Helmreich at Case Western Reserve University with a dissertation entitled “Dangerous Beauty: Painted Canvases and Painted Faces in Eighteenth-Century Britain.”


HGSCEA Essay Prize for Emerging Scholars

Posted in graduate students, opportunities by Editor on October 27, 2016

From H-ArtHist:

Historians of German, Scandinavian, and Central European Art
Fifth Annual Essay Prize for Emerging Scholars

Nominations due by 19 December 2016

Submissions are now being accepted for the fifth annual HGSCEA Emerging Scholars Publication Prize, an award of $500 given to the author of a distinguished essay published the preceding year on any topic in the history of German, Central European, or Scandinavian art, architecture, design, or visual culture. Submissions, which must be in English and may be from electronic or print publications, must have a publication date of 2016; authors must be either current PhD students or have earned a PhD in or after 2012 and must be members of HGSCEA at the time of submission. The recipient of the Prize and one honorable mention will be chosen by the members of the HGSCEA Board and announced at the HGSCEA dinner reception during the College Art Association annual conference. Nominations and self-nominations are welcome; submissions should include a copy of the publication and a CV and should be sent by electronic attachment to the HGSCEA president Marsha Morton (mortonmarsha10@gmail.com) before December 19, 2016.

Conference | Decor and Architecture in the 17th and 18th Centuries

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 26, 2016

From H-ArtHist (25 October 2016). . .

Decor and Architecture in the 17th and 18th Centuries
University of Lausanne, 24–25 November 2016

During the early modern period, décor was considered to be one of the most fundamental elements of architecture. Thanks to décor, architecture could elevate itself beyond simple masonry and claim a superior status. Décor was thus defined as a necessary prerequisite for architecture, rather than a marginal component. However, despite its privileged status, many authors mistrusted it, fearing the harmful effect which an uncontrollable proliferation of ornament would surely have on architecture. This conference aims to question how the relations between décor and architecture were defined and implemented in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Our perception of these relations has often been informed by teleological approaches: indeed, the radical ideas conveyed by certain 20th-century texts, which define décor as an unnecessary bi-product of architecture, have acted as a distorting prism. The history of art, for its part, has often separated décor-related studies from architecture-related ones, suggesting a de facto rupture between these fields and potentially biasing our understanding of the artistic production of the Early Modern Period by reducing its scope. As various case studies have shown, the conditions to which the invention of a décor was subjected varied greatly from one building to another. The architects’ prerogatives differed according to the circumstances and constraints imposed on them: while some were largely involved in the invention of the décor, others delegated its conception to artists or workmen.

Scientific Organisers
Matthieu LETT (université de Lausanne, université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
Carl MAGNUSSON (The Courtauld Institute of Art, université de Lausanne)
Léonie MARQUAILLE (Université de Lausanne)

Scientific Committee
Marianne COJANNOT-LE BLANC (université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
Alexandre GADY (université Paris-Sorbonne)
Dave LÜTHI (université de Lausanne)
Christian MICHEL (université de Lausanne)
Werner OECHSLIN (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)
Antoine PICON (Harvard University)
Katie SCOTT (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

T H U R S D A Y ,  2 4  N O V E M B E R  2 0 1 6

9.30  Accueil des participants

9.45  Introduction by Matthieu LETT, Carl MAGNUSSON, Léonie MARQUAILLE

10.15  1. Les artistes au service de l’architecte? (Président: Christian Michel, Université de Lausanne)
• Sébastien BONTEMPS (Bibliothèque nationale de France), Invention, fonction(s) et exécution du décor architectural: Paul-Ambroise Slodtz et l’embellissement du chœur de l’église Saint-Merry à Paris
• Hermann DEN OTTER (University of Amsterdam), Changes in the Role of the Joiner in 18th-Century Paris
• Sandra BAZIN-HENRY (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), Le langage architectural des glaces: La part de l’architecte et du miroitier dans l’invention des décors

13.00  Lunch

14.30  2. Le rôle de l’architecte (Président: Alexandre Gady, Université Paris IV Sorbonne)
• Léonie MARQUAILLE (Université de Lausanne), Jacob van Campen, architecte et peintre de la Salle d’Orange à la Huis ten Bosch
• Alexia LEBEURRE (Université Bordeaux Montaigne), « Tout est de son ressort » : l’architecte et la décoration intérieure dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle
• Matthieu LETT (Université de Lausanne), La question de la répartition de l’invention sur le chantier du nouveau palais royal de Madrid, 1735–1790
• Adrian Fernandez ALMOGUERA (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), De Versailles à Pompéi: Continuités, transformations et hybridations dans le décor architectural espagnol à la fin du XVIIIe siècle

F R I D A Y ,  2 5  N O V E M B E R   2 0 1 6

9.30  3. La question de la décoration intérieure (Président: Carl Magnusson, The Courtauld Institute, Université de Lausanne)
• Hendrik ZIEGLER (Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne), La place de la décoration intérieure française dans les récits de voyage d’architectes allemands, 1685–1723
• Jason NGUYEN (Harvard University), Smoke and Mirrors: Architectural Decoration and the Physics of Fire, ca. 1700
• Thomas WILKE, Jacques-François Blondel and the Rules of Interior Decoration
• Paolo CORNAGLIA (Politecnico di Torino), Leonardo Marini, Giuseppe Battista Piacenza and Carlo Randoni: Neoclassical Interior Decoration at the Turin Court, 1775–1793


14.30  4. Les programmes d’embellissement: une nécessaire adaptation du décor à l’architecture? (Présidente: Marie Theres Stauffer, Université de Genève)
• Emmanuelle BORDURE (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), Architecture religieuse et décor sculpté dans le dernier quart du XVIIIe siècle: étude comparative de quatre cas d’églises paroissiales en Ile-de-France
• Léonore LOSSERAND et Alexandra MICHAUD (Université Paris IV Sorbonne), Les embellissements du chœur de Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois: entre architecture et sculpture, 1755–1762
• Tomas MACSOTAY (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), The Rise and Fall of the Décor Economy in Ecclesiastical Interiors in Murcia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands

17.15  Concluding remarks from Christian MICHEL (Université de Lausanne)

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