Online ASECS Session | Rethinking Turquerie

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on October 5, 2020


Rethinking Turquerie: New Definitions and Approaches
ASECS Virtual Session, Tuesday, 13 October 2020, 10am (EDT)

Organized by Ashley Bruckbauer

Attributed to Jules-Hugues Rousseau, Door panel from the ‘Cabinet Turc’ of Comte d’Artois at Versailles, 1781, oil on oak; overall painted surface: 32 × 24 inches (New York: The Met, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1906, 07.225.458a).

A vogue for all things ‘Turkish’ spread throughout Europe during the eighteenth century. Trade and travel between the Ottoman Empire and European states enabled Ottoman goods, including coffee, textiles, and costume albums, to flow into Europe. Likewise, artists living in the Levant, such as Jean-Baptiste Vanmour, produced numerous prints and paintings of Ottoman society for European audiences. Such objects inspired Turkish-themed masquerades in Rome, London, and Paris as well as portraits of European elites dressed à la turque. French nobles built cabinets turcs furnished with divans, sophas, and ottomans, while British and Polish monarchs erected Turkish-style tents and kiosks. Despite its immense popularity, European visual and material culture related to the Ottoman Empire remains underanalyzed. Like other forms of exoticism, turquerie has often been trivialized as a ‘decorative’ style lacking both veracity and substance. This panel aims to critically rethink eighteenth-century objects and images categorized as turqueries. In line with recent reassessments of chinoiserie and the rococo, it seeks to explore new definitions and approaches that recognize the diversity and complexity of these works of art.

Chair: Ashley Bruckbauer (Independent Scholar)
• Jonathan Haddad (University of Georgia), Cooking the Books: The Marquis de Caumont’s Turkish Cauldrons and the Ottoman Incunabula
• Mandy Paige-Lovingood (North Carolina State University), Dislocating Tradition: Eighteenth-Century Artists, Drawing, and Turquerie
• Katherine Arpen (Auburn University), The Hammam as a Model for Public Bathing in Late Eighteenth-Century France

All participants must fill out this form in order to receive the session link and password. Also, for security reasons, your Zoom profile name/phone number must match the name/phone number you register with or you will not be admitted to the session. Registration closes at noon (EDT) on 12 October 2020.

Please email asecs2020virtual@gmail.com with questions. More information on ASECS 2020 Virtual Sessions is available here.


Gothic Architecture and Sexuality in the Circle of Horace Walpole

Posted in books by Editor on October 5, 2020

From Penn State UP:

Matthew Reeve, Gothic Architecture and Sexuality in the Circle of Horace Walpole (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2020), 280 pages, ISBN: 978-0271085883, $75.

Gothic Architecture and Sexuality in the Circle of Horace Walpole shows that the Gothic style in architecture and the decorative arts and the tradition of medievalist research associated with Horace Walpole (1717–1797) and his circle cannot be understood independently of their own homoerotic culture. Centered around Walpole’s Gothic villa at Strawberry Hill in Twickenham, Walpole and his ‘Strawberry Committee’ of male friends, designers, and dilettantes invigorated an extraordinary new mode of Gothic design and disseminated it in their own commissions at Old Windsor and Donnington Grove in Berkshire, Lee Priory in Kent, the Vyne in Hampshire, and other sites.

Matthew Reeve argues that the new ‘third sex’ of homoerotically inclined men and the new ‘modern styles’ that they promoted—including the Gothic style and chinoiserie—were interrelated movements that shaped English modernity. The Gothic style offered the possibility of an alternate aesthetic and gendered order, a queer reversal of the dominant Palladian style of the period. Many of the houses built by Walpole and his circle were understood by commentators to be manifestations of a new queer aesthetic, and in describing them they offered the earliest critiques of what would be called a ‘queer architecture’.

Exposing the role of sexual coteries in the shaping of eighteenth-century English architecture, this book offers a profound and eloquent revision to our understanding of the origins of the Gothic Revival and to medievalism itself. It will be welcomed by architectural historians as well as scholars of medievalism and specialists in queer studies.

Matthew M. Reeve is Associate Professor of Art History at Queen’s University and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.


List of Illustrations
Preface: Medievalism, Modernity, and the History of Sexuality

1  The New Medievalism: Constructing the Gothic in the Circle of Horace Walpole
2  Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill
3  Queer Family Romance in the Strawberry Hill Collection
4  Dicky Bateman and the Gothicization of Old Windsor
5  ‘The Spirit of Strawberry-Castle’: Donnington Grove, The Vyne, and Lee Priory
6  From Strawberry Hill Gothic to the Gothic Revival


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