Enfilade

New Book | The Server: A Media History

Posted in books by Editor on August 19, 2018

The original German edition Der Diener: Mediengeschichte einer Figur zwischen König und Klient appeared in 2011; the English translation was published in June by Yale UP:

Markus Krajewski, The Server: A Media History from the Present to the Baroque, translated by Ilinca Iurascu (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018), 456 pages, ISBN: 978-0300180817, $50.

Though classic servants like the butler or the governess have largely vanished, the Internet is filled with servers: web, ftp, mail, and others perform their daily drudgery, going about their business noiselessly and unnoticed. Why then are current-day digital drudges called servers? Markus Krajewski explores this question by going from the present back to the Baroque to study historical aspects of service through various perspectives, be it the servants’ relationship to architecture or their function in literary or scientific contexts. At the intersection of media studies, cultural history, and literature, this work recounts the gradual transition of agency from human to nonhuman actors to show how the concept of the digital server stems from the classic role of the servant.

Markus Krajewski is professor of media history at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He is the author of numerous articles and several books, including Paper Machines: About Cards and Catalogs, 1548–1929 and World Projects: Global Information Before World War I, which was awarded the 2007 Prize of the German Society for the History of Medicine, Science and Technology. He also works as a software developer and maintainer of his bibliography software Synapsen: A Hypertextual Card Index (www.synapsen.ch). Ilinca Iurascu is assistant professor of German at the University of British Columbia, specializing in nineteenth-century cultural studies and media theory.

C O N T E N T S

Ilinca Iurascu, Introduction to the English Edition: Jeeves Transatlantic

Introduction: Listen, James

Part One: Objects Assistants, Analog
1  Masters / Servants: Everyone is a Subaltern
2  The Servant as Information Center
3  In Waiting

Part Two: The Interregnum of the Subject
4  Holding the Reins: On Demons and Other Ministering Spirits of Science
5  Channel Service
6  At the Stove

Part Three: Diener, Digital
7  Agents: The Lord of (the) Things

Epilogue: Idle Time

Notes
Bibliography
Index

Exhibition | The Furniture of Isaac Vose

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 19, 2018

Now on view at the Massachusetts Historical Society:

Entrepreneurship and Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose and Thomas Seymour, 1815–1825
Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, 11 May — 14 September 2018

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his local Boston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen.

Robert Mussey and Clark Pearce, Rather Elegant Than Showy: The Classical Furniture of Isaac Vose (Boston: David R Godine, 2018), 312 pages, ISBN: 978-1567926194, $50.

C O N T E N T S

Dennis M. Fiori
Foreword

Robert D. Mussey, Jr.
• Introduction: Isaac Vose Forgotten, Rediscovered
• Early Career and Partnerships, 1788–1819
• Boston’s Classical Style Matures: The Salisbury Group
• The Global Elite: Vose & Son and the World of Imports
• Demanding the Finest
• A Hero Returns, an Era Ends

Clark Pearce
• By These Signs You Will Know Them: Connoisseurship and Construction of Vose Furniture

Appendix 1: Labeled, Signed, and Documented Furniture by Isaac Vose
Appendix 2: Vose’s Partners, Journeymen, Subcontractors, and Apprentices

Index
Colophon

New Book | The Minard System

Posted in books by Editor on August 17, 2018

From Princeton Architectural Press:

Sandra Rendgen, The Minard System: The Graphical Works of Charles-Joseph Minard (Princeton Architectural Press, 2018), 176 pages, ISBN: 978-1616896331, $60.

If you have any interest in information graphics, maps, or history, you know of the seminal flow map of Napoleon’s 1812 march into Russia by Charles-Joseph Minard (1781–1870), made famous by Edward Tufte, and considered to be one of the most magnificent data graphics ever produced. The Minard System explores the nineteenth-century civil engineer’s career and the story behind this masterpiece of multivariate data, as well as sixty of Minard’s other statistical graphics reflecting social and economic changes of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and around the world. These stunning drawings are from the collection of the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris and have never before been published in their entirety.

Sandra Rendgen is an author and editor with a focus on information graphics, interactive media, and the history of information visualization. Based in Berlin, she studied art history and cultural theory and is the co-author of Information Graphics and Understanding the World: The Atlas of Infographics.

Exhibition | Laurent Amiot: Canadian Master Silversmith

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 16, 2018

Now on view at the National Gallery of Canada:

Laurent Amiot: Canadian Master Silversmith
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 11 May — 23 September 2018

Curated by René Villeneuve

Laurent Amiot: Canadian Master Silversmith brings together an exceptional selection of silver pieces from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, as well as from various public and private collections around the world. Considered one of the most influential Canadian silversmiths of the 18th and 19th centuries, Laurent Amiot (1764–1839) completely redefined his craft, turning it into an art form. Visitors to the National Gallery of Canada can explore the brilliance and delicacy of his work through the presentation of nearly a hundred key works, most exhibited for the first time. In addition to religious vessels, accessories, and commemorative and domestic objects, the exhibition features a unique set of preparatory drawings by the artist, as well as several portraits of patrons and paintings providing further context for Amiot’s life and work.

More information is available here»

René Villeneuve, Laurent Amiot: Canadian Master Silversmith (Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, In partnership with the National Gallery of Canada, 2018), 240 pages, ISBN: 978-1773270418, $50. Also available in French.

Laurent Amiot was born in Quebec City in 1764, and after a first apprenticeship stayed in Paris for five years, just before the French Revolution, to perfect his artistic training. He returned to his hometown in the spring of 1787, acquainted with the latest European stylistic trends, mastering the art of composition and possessing a solid technique. He opened a workshop in the Old City the following year, inaugurating a fruitful practice that spans five decades. This illustrated catalog, containing some 80 works on display, is published on the occasion of the presentation of the first retrospective devoted to the artist. Three chapters highlight the fundamental role of Amiot’s contribution to the development of art in Canada. The first two scrutinize his training, his practice, the operation of the workshop, the role of the collaborators and relationships with patrons. The third analyzes the work, trying to advance knowledge of the society in which it blossomed.

New Book | Francesco Solimena (1657–1747)

Posted in books by Editor on August 13, 2018

From ArtBooks.com:

Nicola Spinosa, Francesco Solimena (1657–1747) e le Arti a Napoli (Rome: Ugo Bozzi, 2018), 2 volumes, 1100 pages, ISBN: 978-8870030600, 320€ / $425.

Vol. 1 – dedicato al catalogo ragionato dei dipinti di Solimena (Nicola Spinosa); indici dei nomi e dei luoghi realtivi al volume I. Vol. 2 – dedicato al catalogo ragionato dei disegni di Solimena (Cristiana Romalli); con saggi sull’architettura (Leonardo Di Mauro), sulla scultura e le arti decorative (Gian Giotto Borrelli), su Solimena illustratore (Lorella Starita) e sulla musica al tempo di Solimena (Dinko Farbis); regesto su Solimena pittore a cura di Tiziana La Marca; Bibliografia generale (volumi I e II; indici dei nomi e dei luoghi relativi al volume II).

 

New Book | Human Redemption: The Cycle in the Chiesa Nuova

Posted in books by Editor on August 12, 2018

Published by Gangemi, and available from ArtBooks.com:

Giulia Silvia Ghia, ed., La Salvazione Umana: Il ciclo della Chiesa Nuova in cerca di un mecenate / Human Redemption: The Cycle in the Chiesa Nuova in Search of a Patron (Rome: Gangemi Editore, 2018), 160 pages, ISBN: 9788849236194, $65. Italian and English text.

The majestic cycle of fifteen canvases completing the decoration of Santa Maria in Vallicella was unveiled just prior to the 1700 Jubilee. This church is now owned by the Fondo Edifici di Culto, which safeguards, conserves, and promotes more than 820 religious structures across Italy. Lining the path toward St Peter’s Basilica, its paintings continue to present the world with the precious message of Human Redemption. This book retraces the history, importance, and exceptional beauty of this largely unknown cycle. More importantly it brings attention to the need for its restoration that, now as 320 years ago, requires the support of one or more patrons, inspired by a passion for this story.

C O N T E N T S

• The Cycle of Human Redemption: A Comprehensive Overview
• The Chiesa Nuova before the 1675 Jubilee
• The Decoration of the Chiesa Nuova during the Last Quarter of the Seventeenth Century
• A Study of the Use of Materials, Methods of Realization, and Requirements for the Restoration of the Cycle of Human Redemption

 

Exhibition | Masterpieces of French Faience

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on August 8, 2018

Press release for the exhibition opening this fall

Masterpieces of French Faience: Selections from the Sidney R. Knafel Collection
The Frick Collection, New York, 9 October 2018 — Autumn 2019

Curated by Charlotte Vignon

This fall, an exhibition at the Frick will draw from the holdings of Sidney R. Knafel, who has one of the world’s finest and most comprehensive private collections of French faience. With seventy-five objects, the presentation in the Portico Gallery tells the fascinating and complex history of an aspect of European decorative arts that warrants greater attention. The production of faience, a colorful tin-glazed earthenware, spans a vast history of more than two centuries. The earliest French examples were made in Lyon in the sixteenth century, while works from France’s Golden Age of production were made in Nevers and Rouen in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Production in the eighteenth century expanded to other locations, including Marseille, Moustiers, Sinceny, and Moulins. Comments Charlotte Vignon, the Frick’s Curator of Decorative Arts and organizer of the exhibition, “Faience was largely commissioned by a local regional aristocracy, and the result is another wonderful chapter in the history of ceramics that developed quite apart from the centers of political power and artistic innovation in Versailles and Paris. The Frick has never before exhibited such a large and impressive body of French faience, and we are delighted to illuminate the topic through such a distinguished collection.” The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published in hard and softcover editions by the Frick, in association with D Giles Ltd.

As with other types of earthenware, faience remains porous after firing and therefore must be covered with a glaze. The glazes used include a tin oxide that creates the opaque white surface that covers the color of the underlying clay and also creates a stable surface for painting. The Knafel Collection comprises pieces decorated exclusively with the grand feu (literally, “ high fire”) technique, in which metal oxides are mixed with water and applied to the tin-glazed surface before firing at a temperature of about 1650° F. The palette is necessarily limited to those oxides that can withstand such extreme heat: cobalt (blue), antimony (yellow), manganese (purple and brown), iron (red-orange), and copper (green).

The production of faience in France corresponds to the arrival in Lyon, during the second half of the sixteenth century, of several Italian maiolica potters and painters seeking opportunities outside Italy. This influence is reflected in the French word faience, which derives from the northern Italian city of Faenza, an important center of maiolica production during the Renaissance. French faience draws inspiration from multiple sources, with decoration simultaneously indebted to Italian maiolica, Asian porcelain, and contemporary engravings, while the forms derived mostly from European ceramics and silver.

The function of a piece of French faience depended on the nature of the commission, the patron who first owned it, and its price. During the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, objects in faience were costly and therefore acquired, collected, and gifted exclusively by those at the highest levels of French society. Consequently, earlier pieces from Lyon and Nevers in the Knafel Collection were originally intended only for display, to be admired by their owners and guests. The spread of faience workshops in Nevers, Rouen, and elsewhere in France during the eighteenth century inevitably changed the status of these objects and hence their function. One of the most important changes was the later use of faience as dishware, on which to eat or serve food. To ensure the success of their workshops, French potters—beginning with those in Rouen—closely followed the culinary developments occurring in France at the time. Multiple dishes in different shapes and sizes were created in response to the requirements of the service à la française, which necessitated serving various dishes of a particular course at the same time. As the eighteenth century progressed, faience was increasingly used at all times of the day. In the morning, small faience boxes and jars stored pomades, powders, and other accessories of make up, alongside silver and porcelain vessels on a dressing table for ‘la toilette’.

Charlotte Vignon, Masterpieces of French Faience: Selections from the Sidney R. Knafel Collection (London: D. Giles, 2018), 72 pages, ISBN: 978-1911282310.

 

New Book | Enchanted Islands

Posted in books by Editor on August 7, 2018

From The University of Chicago Press:

Mary D. Sheriff, Enchanted Islands: Picturing the Allure of Conquest in Eighteenth-Century France (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2018), 416 pages, ISBN: 978-0226483108, $55. Also available as an e-book.

In Enchanted Islands, renowned art historian Mary D. Sheriff explores the legendary, fictional, and real islands that filled the French imagination during the ancien regime as they appeared in royal ballets and festivals, epic literature, paintings, engravings, book illustrations, and other objects. Some of the islands were mythical and found in the most popular literary texts of the day—islands featured prominently, for instance, in Ariosto’s Orlando furioso, Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata, and Fénelon’s Telemachus. Other islands—real ones, such as Tahiti and St. Domingue—the French learned about from the writings of travelers and colonists. All of them were imagined to be the home of enchantresses who used magic to conquer heroes by promising sensual and sexual pleasure. As Sheriff shows, the theme of the enchanted island was put to many uses. Kings deployed enchanted-island mythology to strengthen monarchical authority, as Louis XIV did in his famous Versailles festival Les Plaisirs de l’île enchantée. Writers such as Fénelon used it to tell morality tales that taught virtue, duty, and the need for male strength to triumph over female weakness and seduction. Yet at the same time, artists like Boucher painted enchanted islands to portray art’s purpose as the giving of pleasure. In all these ways and more, Sheriff demonstrates for the first time the centrality of enchanted islands to ancient regime culture in a book that will enchant all readers interested in the art, literature, and history of the time.

Eighteenth-Century Studies, Summer 2018

Posted in books, journal articles, reviews by Editor on August 6, 2018

While there’s plenty to relish in the latest issue of ECS, I’m glad to highlight, in particular, this important article by Paris Amanda Spies-Gans. I’ve also listed all three single title book reviews; while none of them deal specifically with the visual arts, it’s easy to see (perhaps particularly with the first two) points of methodological relevancy for art history. CH

Eighteenth-Century Studies 51.4 (Summer 2018)

A R T I C L E S

• Paris Amanda Spies-Gans, “Exceptional, but not Exceptions: Public Exhibitions and the Rise of the Woman Artist in London and Paris, 1760–1830,” pp. 393–416.

From 1760 to 1830, more than 1,300 women exhibited more than 6,000 works of art in London and Paris’ premier art exhibitions—an unprecedented surge in female artistic activity and its public reception. This article traces that transformation, which strikingly mirrors the progress of the French Revolutionary Wars, and contends that the Revolutionary era opened vital opportunities for female artists on both sides of the Channel despite cultural differences. It thus argues for a recasting of period’s historical narrative to integrate women’s omnipresence in the public, professional art world, and a reevaluation of their hitherto dominant categorization as ‘amateur’ artists. It also challenges the historiographical argument that the Revolutionary era was principally a defeat for women in Britain and France.

R E V I E W S

• Kristina Straub, Review of Susan Lanser, The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic, 1565–1830 (The University of Chicago, 2014), pp. 479–82.
• Renee Bryzik, Review of Katrin Berndt, Narrating Friendship and the British Novel, 1760–1830 (Routledge, 2017), pp. 483–85.
• Nancy Vogeley, Review of Jonathan Israel, The Expanding Blaze: How the American Revolution Ignited the World, 1775–1848 (Princeton University Press, 2017), pp. 485–87.

New Book | Visualizing Disease

Posted in books by Editor on August 5, 2018

From The University of Chicago Press:

Domenico Bertoloni Meli, Visualizing Disease: The Art and History of Pathological Illustrations (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2018), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-0226110295, $55.

Visual anatomy books have been a staple of medical practice and study since the mid-sixteenth century. But the visual representation of diseased states followed a very different pattern from anatomy, one we are only now beginning to investigate and understand. With Visualizing Disease, Domenico Bertoloni Meli explores key questions in this domain, opening a new field of inquiry based on the analysis of a rich body of arresting and intellectually challenging images reproduced here both in black and white and in color.

Starting in the Renaissance, Bertoloni Meli delves into the wide range of figures involved in the early study and representation of disease, including not just men of medicine, like anatomists, physicians, surgeons, and pathologists, but also draftsmen and engravers. Pathological preparations proved difficult to preserve and represent, and as Bertoloni Meli takes us through a number of different cases from the Renaissance to the mid-nineteenth century, we gain a new understanding of how knowledge of disease, interactions among medical men and artists, and changes in the technologies of preservation and representation of specimens interacted to slowly bring illustration into the medical world.

Domenico Bertoloni Meli is provost professor of history and philosophy of science and medicine at Indiana University, Bloomington.

C O N T E N T S

Preface

Introduction: Bodies, Diseases, Images
1  Visualizing Disease in the Early Modern Period
2  ‘Sic nata est anatome pathologica picta’: The Diseases of Bones
3  Preserved Specimens and Comprehensive Treatises
4  Intermezzo: Identifying Disease in Its Inception
5  The Nosology of Cutaneous Diseases
6  Morbid Anatomy in Color
7  Comprehensive Treatises in Color
Concluding Reflections

Acknowledgments
Illustration Credits
List of Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index