New Book | Europe Divided: Huguenot Refugee Art and Culture

Posted in books by Editor on January 31, 2022

From the V&A:

Tessa Murdoch, Europe Divided: Huguenot Refugee Art and Culture (London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 2022), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1838510121, £40 / $55.

This richly illustrated book focuses on the extraordinary international networks resulting from the diaspora of more than 200,000 refugees who left France in the late 17th century to join communities already in exile spread far and wide. Indeed, George Washington (along with 20 other presidents) was a descendant of Huguenots. First-generation Huguenot refugees included hundreds of trained artists, designers, and craftsmen. Beyond the French borders, they raised the quality of design and workshop practice, passing on skills to their apprentices, sons, godsons, cousins, and to successive generations, who continued to dominate output in the luxury trades. Although silver and silks are the best-known fields with which Huguenot settlers are associated, their significant contribution to architecture, ceramics, design, clock and watchmaking, engraving, furniture, woodwork, sculpture, portraiture, and art education provides fascinating insight into the motivation and resolve of this highly skilled diaspora. Thanks to a sophisticated network of Huguenot merchants, retailers, and bankers who financed their production, their wares reached a global market.

Tessa Murdoch is research curator of the Gilbert Collection at the V&A.


Author’s Preface

1  The Huguenot Diaspora
2  The Reception of Huguenot Artists, Craftsmen, and Designers in the British Isles
3  The Huguenots as Educators
4  Decorative Painters
5  Huguenot Architects and Engineers
6  Huguenot Metalsmiths
7  Carvers, Gilders, Cabinetmakers, and Upholsterers
8  Huguenot Sculptors in France and Beyond
9  The Taste for Porcelain and Ceramic Manufacture in Britain and Ireland
10  Huguenot Goldsmiths and Silversmiths in the British Isles, 1550–1780
11  Huguenot Watchmakers and Jewellers: The Manufacture and International Market for Luxury Goods
12  Printmakers and Sellers: Design, Ornament, and Reproductive Prints
13  Huguenots and Portraiture: Allegiance, Identity, Loyalty, and Memory

Notes & References

New Book | A Biographical Dictionary of British and Irish Engravers

Posted in books by Editor on January 31, 2022

From Yale UP:

David Alexander, A Biographical Dictionary of British and Irish Engravers, 1714–1820 (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2022), 1120 pages, ISBN: 978-1913107215, $125.

This biographical dictionary of engravers working on copper encompasses both those who produced fine art prints, and also those who engraved book illustrations for medical, technical, and literary works, all of which played a more important part than is usually realised in spreading information in the age of Enlightenment. Some 3,000 biographical entries draw on much unpublished information, researched over four decades, notably records of apprenticeship, genealogy, insurance, and bankruptcy as well as newspaper advertisements and contemporary accounts.

This is the first reference work to cover all engravers working on copper in Britain and Ireland 1714–1820. Many biographical entries describe celebrated engravers producing ‘fine art’ prints of paintings, which spread knowledge about living and dead artists. However, this book also builds up a more complex picture of the occupation of printmaking and includes engravers, many previously unresearched, who engraved ephemeral material, such as trade cards, bank notes, and satirical prints as well as the images that spread knowledge across literary, geographical, historical, topographical, medical, and technical fields.

David Alexander is a historian and honorary keeper of British prints at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and a member of the editorial board of Print Quarterly.

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