New Book | All Walks of Life

Posted in books by Editor on March 28, 2023

From Arnoldsche:

Vanessa Sigalas and Meredith Chilton, eds., with additional contributions by André van der Goes, Jennifer Mass, and Aaron Shugar, and photography by Melissa Shimmerman, All Walks of Life: A Journey with The Alan Shimmerman Collection, Meissen Porcelain Figures of the Eighteenth Century (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2023), 672 pages, ISBN: 978-3897906419, €68 / £75 / $115.

Book coverAll Walks of Life offers a unique opportunity to get to know the eighteenth-century people of Saxony, Paris, London, and St. Petersburg through the Meissen porcelain sculpture of the Alan Shimmerman Collection. Readers will become participants in a tour through Dresden and Meissen with Johann Joachim Kaendler as their guide, with excursions to London, Paris, and St. Petersburg also on the itinerary. Kaendler, along with his fellow modellers and painters at Meissen, captured glimpses of everyday life by paying meticulous attention to the smallest details: the carefully arranged tray of a trinket seller, the personal writing of a love letter, the larding tools of a cook preparing a hare. Whimsical glimpses into the lives of these everyday characters are created by inserting the porcelain figures into their eighteenth-century setting, using period illustrations and engravings as a backdrop.

The outstanding porcelain figures and groups of the Alan Shimmerman Collection form an unrivalled assemblage of the finest creations from one of the most famous porcelain manufactories in the world. The collection, which includes not only the most excellent examples of courtly and commedia dell’arte figures, but also lesser known and under-researched representations of everyday people, presents an aspect of Meissen production missing from many other collections. Alan Shimmerman’s focus on collecting complete series of figures, such as the Criers and Artisans, enables a fresh look at the creation, output, and distribution of Meissen porcelain. The publication includes the first comprehensive large-scale scientific analysis of a major collection of Meissen figures revealing new and unexpected findings.

Vanessa Sigalas is the David W. Dangremond Associate Curator for Collections Research at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. Her research focuses on European decorative arts, especially German porcelain and ivory. She also serves as the Managing Editor of the American Ceramic Circle Journal.

Meredith Chilton, C.M., is an independent art historian and curator who lives in Warwickshire, UK. She is a specialist in European ceramics of the 1700s, court and theatre history, and food and dining culture. Her publications include Harlequin Unmasked (2001), Fired by Passion (2009), and The King’s Peas (2019).

Melissa Shimmerman is a Toronto-based freelance photographer. Specializing in fine art and in commercial and portrait photography, her work is featured in art publications and catalogues for museums, galleries, and private collectors. Her oeuvre includes photography of art by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and the collections of the Gardiner Museum in Toronto.

André van der Goes is a former director of the Museum of Applied Arts, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and lecturer of the History of Art at the Technische Universität Dresden. Since 2012 he has been organizing study tours to museums, collections, and palaces in Dresden and other important European cultural cities for Grand Tour Dresden. His publications principally cover the history of material and nonmaterial culture.

Jennifer Mass is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Cultural Heritage Science at Bard Graduate Center and the President and Founder of Scientific Analysis of Fine Art. She also leads the scientific vetting committee at TEFAF New York and has co-authored several publications on Meissen porcelain colorants and technologies.

Aaron Shugar is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Conservation Science in the Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State College, New York. He received his PhD in Archaeometallurgy from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He has published and conducted extensive scientific analysis on a wide range of art and archaeological materials for over twenty years.

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