Enfilade

Online Talks | Riesener at The Wallace

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on October 6, 2020

This fall at The Wallace Collection (the Riesener project has been underway since June 2012 as curators and conservators at The Wallace Collection have worked alongside colleagues from Waddesdon Manor and the Royal Collection to better understand these extraordinary objects).

Alex Collins and Jurgen Huber | Riesener at The Wallace Collection
In conjunction with London Craft Week
Online, Thursday, 8 October 2020, 17.30–18.30 (BST)

Jean-Henri Riesener, along with Thomas Chippendale and David Roentgen, was one of the greatest furniture-makers of the eighteenth century. Born in Gladbeck, Germany, Riesener emigrated to Paris early in his career and became a highly successful cabinetmaker who supplied luxurious furniture to Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, and the French court. Join this free online talk (via Zoom) during London Craft Week 2020 to explore the designs, materials, and techniques Riesener used to create his masterpieces. Please click here to register.

Alex Collins is the former Riesener Project Leverhulme Fellow at The Wallace Collection. Jurgen Huber is Senior Furniture Conservator at The Wallace Collection.

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Helen Jacobsen | Creating a Market: Dealers, Auctioneers, and the Passion for Riesener Furniture, 1800–1882
Seminar in the History of Collecting
Online, Monday, 30 November 2020, 17.30–19.00 (BST)

Jean-Henri Riesener, Secretaire, 1783, 140 × 81 × 42 cm (London: The Wallace Collection).

Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806), cabinetmaker to Louis XVI, was one of the most celebrated cabinetmakers of the French eighteenth century. He was also a phenomenon in the history of British art collecting, becoming a byword in the nineteenth century for all that was admired in French furniture. Before the French Revolution we have no evidence of a British patron, yet just fifty years later collectors like William Beckford, George IV and the 4th Marquess of Hertford had contributed to both his celebrity and the prices his furniture achieved. The nineteenth-century popularity of Riesener furniture was more than just an appreciation of the cabinetmaker’s designs and the quality of their execution; it was driven by a fascination for the ancien régime and romanticized views of the doomed Bourbon Court. It was also an indication of the resourcefulness of the innovative entrepreneurs and dealers in France and England who helped establish Riesener’s reputation in the decades following the Revolution. Through clever marketing techniques and a certain amount of ‘enhancement’, they educated a new generation of buyers and established Riesener’s name alongside that of André-Charles Boulle as being worthy of connoisseurs.

This paper will analyze the rise of Riesener’s celebrity and the dealers who made it happen. It will discuss the sales techniques of the early nineteenth-century auctioneers, the role played by connoisseurs such as Lord Hertford, and the democratization of Riesener furniture through the market for copies and reproductions. It will end with the Hamilton Palace sale of 1882, which opened up yet another new market for Riesener: the Americans.

Helen Jacobsen is Curator of French 18th-Century Decorative Arts at The Wallace Collection.

This seminar series in the History of Collecting was established in 2006 as part of the Wallace Collection’s commitment to the research and study of the history of collections and collecting, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Paris and London. The seminars, which are normally held on the last Monday of every month during the calendar year, excluding August and December, act as a forum for the presentation and discussion of new research into the history of collecting. Seminars are open to curators, academics, historians, archivists and all those with an interest in the subject.

This online seminar is also the first of three evening talks on Riesener held in collaboration with the Furniture History Society. Please click here to register.

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Rufus Bird, Mia Jackson, and Helen Jacobsen | Riesener Masterpieces: Royal Furniture in Britain
Online, Monday, 7 December 2020, 17.30–19.00 (BST)

Three of the most important collections of Riesener furniture in the world are in Britain. In the second talk in our series, speakers from the Wallace Collection, Royal Collection and Waddesdon Manor will discuss some of the 30 pieces in their care. These include celebrated works made for Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVI, and the French royal family that demonstrate the extraordinary levels of skilled craftsmanship achieved in the Riesener workshop and the design sophistication of which Riesener was capable. Our speakers will consider the popularity of French royal furniture in Britain in the 19th century and will illustrate the talk with stunning new photography from all three collections, revealing findings from the collaborative Riesener Project and shedding new light on both Riesener’s techniques and the provenance of some of the furniture.

Rufus Bird is Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art at The Royal Collection. Mia Jackson is Curator of Decorative Arts at Waddesdon Manor. Helen Jacobsen is Curator of French 18th-Century Decorative Arts at The Wallace Collection.

This online seminar is the second of three evening talks on Riesener held in collaboration with the Furniture History Society. Please click here to register.

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Alexander Collins | Mémoires for the Garde-Meuble: Riesener’s Perspective on Royal Furniture
Online, Monday, 14 December 2020, 17.30–19.00 (BST)

Riesener was court cabinetmaker for over ten years, supplying over 700 pieces to the French royal household. The details of these commissions were recorded in the Journal of the Garde-Meuble (the department of the royal household responsible for ordering and managing furnishings), as well as Riesener’s mémoires. These were invoices which contained detailed descriptions of the furniture, as well as the materials and techniques used to make them. Many of Riesener’s invoices survive and can be found in the collections of the Archives nationales and Bibliothèque nationale de France. This final talk in the series will explore a selection of invoices for pieces of royal furniture at Waddesdon Manor and the Royal Collection. They will tell us more about Riesener’s design and workshop processes, as well as the challenges he encountered during exceptionally ambitious projects.

Alexander Collins is the former Riesener Project Leverhulme Fellow at The Wallace Collection.

This online seminar is the third of three evening talks on Riesener held in collaboration with the Furniture History Society. Please click here to register.

 

 

Online ASECS Session | Rethinking Turquerie

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

From ASECS:

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.

 

Online Lecture Series | Collecting Art in Imperial Russia

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on October 3, 2020

From Princeton’s REES program:

Collecting Art in Imperial Russia
Online Lecture Series: Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at Princeton, September 2020 — April 2021

Organized by Basile Baudez (Princeton University), Ekaterina Pravilova (Princeton University), and Catherine Phillips (European University, St. Petersburg)

24 September 2020
Catherine Phillips (European University at St. Petersburg), How to be a European: Collecting Drawings in Imperial Russia

22 October 2020
Wilfried Zeisler (Hillwood Museum), The Yusupovs in Paris: Building a Collection

12 November 2020
Alexei Larionov (The Hermitage Museum and European University at St. Petersburg), From Rudolf II to Catherine II: Goltzius’ Without Bacchus and Ceres, Venus is Chilled and its Iconography

18 February 2021
Guillaume Nicoud (Mendrisio, Archivio del Moderno), The Hermitage, or a ‘Museum’ in 1770 according to Catherine the Great

18 March 2021
Polly Blakesley (Cambridge University), Power and Paint: The Patronage of Women Artists at the Court of Catherine II

8 April 2021
Wendy Salmon (Chapman University), A Tale of Two Collections: The Icons of Nikolai Likhachev and Ilya Ostroukhov

22 April 2020
Roman Grigoriev (The Hermitage Museum and European University at St. Petersburg), Rembrandt in Russia in the 19th Century: Prints and their Collectors

All lectures take place online on Thursdays, beginning at noon and ending at 1:30pm.

Fall Lecture Series | Piranesi Turns 300

Posted in anniversaries, lectures (to attend) by Editor on September 17, 2020

From the series flyer:

Piranesi Turns 300: A Lecture Series
Zoom Presentations, Organized by the University of South Carolina

To commemorate the tricentennial of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s birth on 4 October 1720, the Digital Piranesi at the University of South Carolina is hosting a virtual lecture series in Fall 2020. RSVP to jbritton@mailbox.sc.edu for the zoom link.

Piranesi’s Lost Pages
Heather Hyde Minor (Professor, Art History, University of Notre Dame)
Thursday, 1 October 2020, 10am (EST)

Drawings were a part of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s daily life in his studio. In his hands, scraps of wastepaper became designs for prints, a way to record the action in his workshop, and much more. Piranesi’s scrap paper pile reveals not only a fiercely talented artist at work but a book that went missing, one that he never released for sale. In this talk, we will make our way through the clues these recycled sheets present to find this lost volume.

The Complete Piranesi
Carolyn Yerkes (Professor, Art and Archaeology, Princeton University)
Thursday, 12 November 2020, 2pm (EST)

The Principle of Aesthetic Disinterest: Giovanni Battista Piranesi and the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755
Peter Parshall (formerly Curator, Old Master Prints, National Gallery of Art)
Thursday, 3 December 2020, 2pm (EST)

 

Online Lecture | The Porcelain Collection of the Dukes of Parma

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on July 24, 2020

This Saturday via Zoom from the French Porcelain Society:

Andreina d’Agliano, The Porcelain Collection of the Dukes of Parma
FPS Living Room Lecture, 25 July 2020, 18.00 (BST), please note the new time

Oyster pyramid stand, 1759, Sèvres manufacture (Florence: Palazzo Pitti, Museo delle Porcellane).

The French Porcelain Society continues its series of weekly online lectures with Andreina d’Agliano, who will explore the outstanding collection of eighteenth-century porcelain of the Dukes of Parma. FPS members will receive an email invitation with instructions on how to join the online lecture. If you want to join, please contact us for more details on FPSenquiries@gmail.com. We hope that you can join us!

The porcelain collection of Louis-Philippe and Louise Elisabeth of Bourbon-Parma, daughter of Louis XV, is one of the most interesting princely collections of the eighteenth century. In addition to Meissen and outstanding Sèvres pieces, it also included pieces from other factories such as Chantilly, Berlin, and the Italian Ginori. Today, the original collection is scattered among the ex-Italian royal residences, some still in the Galleria Nazionle of Parma, but mostly divided between the Palazzo Pitti in Florence and the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome, where they were sent from the Parmesan Court residences after the Italian Unification in 1861. This lecture will focus on some of the Meissen and Vincennes-Sèvres porcelain pieces of the Bourbon-Parma collection, and will link them with some documents kept at the Parma Archives as well as with other relevant research.

Online Lecture | Diana Davis on Furniture for the Anglo-Gallic Interior

Posted in books, lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 23, 2020

The Green Drawing Room of the Earl of Essex at Cassiobury, by William Henry Hunt, 1823
(New York: Cooper Hewitt Museum, Thaw Collection, 2007-27-4)

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From the FHS announcement:

Diana Davis, Raiding the Past: Furniture for the Anglo-Gallic Interior, 1800–1865
Furniture History Society Online Lecture, Sunday, 28 June 2020, 19.00 (BST)

In December 1836, the dealer George Gunn advertised his “BUHL and MARQUETERIE FURNITURE, clocks, bronzes, carved salons, consoles, ancient chimnies, tapestry, and every description of property connected with the time and taste of Louis XIV.” It reflected a radical change in collecting practice, an opulent Anglo-Gallic decorative style that combined the contrasting taste of two rival nations. This talk by Dr Diana Davis investigates the role of dealer cabinetmakers such as Edward Holmes Baldock and Robert Hume, who transformed ancien régime furniture into cherished heirlooms for a new century and then created their own new and modified furniture inspired by it. By examining this furniture from the patron’s perspective and in the context of the interiors for which it was made, the dealer emerges centre stage as trader, maker, and tastemaker. The lecture is to accompany the publication of Dr Davis’s exciting new book, The Tastemakers: British Dealers and the Anglo Gallic Interior, 1785–1865, and we will be disclosing some discount codes, for 20% off the RRP, on the evening.

Diana Davis specializes in the interface between collectors, dealers, and the art market in the nineteenth century. She co-edits the French Porcelain Society Journal and has lectured for Christie’s Education, the Furniture History Society, the French Porcelain Society, the Wallace Collection, the National Trust, at the Jewish Country House Conference, and at Masterpiece.

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/92489818630?pwd=SWlGdE5EZ0pnb3AzLzJ2TndlamY1dz09
Meeting ID: 924 8981 8630 Password: 119856
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adR8w0b1xy

Attendees will be admitted from the waiting room from 18.45. Please make sure that you are muted and that your camera is turned off. For security reasons we will lock the meeting at 19.20, so please make sure you have joined by then. The lecture will be followed by a round of Q&A; please use the chat message box at the bottom of your Zoom window. Zoom has increased its security and you may be required to install an update. The FHS has decided to invite the members of other like-minded societies around the world. If you are not yet a member but would like to join the society, please see our website.

Masterpiece Online 2020, Panel Discussions

Posted in Art Market, lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 21, 2020

From the schedule:

Masterpiece Online, Panel Discussions
22–28 June 2020

Masterpiece Online showcases our exhibitors’ knowledge and passion, reproducing that sense of discovery that sparks new conversations at the fair. Join us for live panel discussions with leading cultural institutions, watch interviews and learn from experts, join live private views with friends, and buy works of art from Masterpiece exhibitors. Book your place at one of our live-streamed panel discussions with leading institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery, Design Museum, and Hong Kong Museum of Art. All talks are free to attend, and we encourage you to make a donation to support our cultural partners in these challenging times.

Broadly, Deeply, Passionately: Living with Collections
24 June 2020, 5pm BST (12pm EST)

Decorated rooms say one thing, while collected rooms say quite another. Join Mitchell Owens, the decorative arts editor of Architectural Digest, with scholar Justin McGuirk (Chief Curator, Design Museum) and designers Rose Heyman (Director / Founder Rose Uniacke) and Boris Vervoordt (Director, Axel Vervoordt) as they discuss the allure of interiors that celebrate personal connoisseurship over commonplace style.
• Moderator: Mitchell Owens (Decorative Arts Editor, Architectural Digest)
• Rose Uniacke (Director/Founder, Rose Uniacke)
• Justin McGuirk (Chief Curator, Design Museum)
• Boris Vervoordt (Director, Axel Vervoordt)

Register for this talk

Art and Experience in the Digital Era: Balancing the Virtual and the Physical
25 June 2020, 11am BST (6am EST)

How are museums and commercial galleries using technology to engage their audiences during the Covid-19 crisis? And in the aftermath of the pandemic, what strategies will they use to maintain that audience in a cash-strapped consumer culture that increasingly values experience above the appreciation and possession of individual objects?
• Moderator: Scott Reyburn (Journalist, The New York Times and The Art Newspaper)
• Rebecca Lyons (Director of Collections and Learning, Royal Academy of Arts)
• Helen Jacobsen (Senior Curator and Curator of French 18th-Century Decorative Arts, The Wallace Collection)
• Francis Sultana (HE Ambassador of Culture for Malta, Designer, and CEO, David Gill Gallery)

Register for this talk

Engaging Audiences, Old and New: How to Attract and Inspire Museum Visitors Today
25 June 2020, 5pm BST (12pm EST)

As museums face increased questions over their place and purpose in the 21st century, what initiatives have been put in place to expand their audiences? How best to strike a balance between reaching out to new visitors and keeping existing supporters onside? What lessons have been learnt from the lockdown and its forced move to virtual visiting? And what financial structures and support will enable museums to survive and thrive in truly challenging times? Melanie Gerlis, art market writer for the Financial Times, hosts leading figures from public and private institutions on both sides of Atlantic, Wolf Burchard (Associate Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Tristram Hunt (Director, V&A Museum) and Ian Wardropper (Director, The Frick Collection).
• Moderator: Melanie Gerlis (Art market writer, Financial Times)
• Wolf Burchard (Associate Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
• Tristram Hunt (Director, V&A Museum)
• Ian Wardropper (Director, The Frick Collection)

Register for this talk

Public, Private Delights: Sculpture Today
26 June 2020, 11am BST (6am EST)

What does sculpture mean to us today—be it public or private—and has its status changed in contemporary times?
• Moderator | Farah Nayeri (Journalist, The New York Times)
• Polly Bielecka (Gallery Director, Pangolin London)
• Simon Martin (Director, Pallant House Gallery)
• Zak Ové (Artist)

Register for this talk

Women Artists, Then and Now
26 June 2020, 5pm BST (12pm EST)

Examining the role of women in art from the Renaissance up until the present day. This talk, moderated by Katy Hessel (of @thegreatwomenartists Instagram and podcast), will speak to National Gallery curator, Letizia Treves, on staging shows of the women of the Baroque; gallerist Richard Saltoun who has established a reputation for promoting and exhibiting the work of female artists; Jo Baring, Director of the Ingram Collection, and Sarah Turner, Deputy Director of the Paul Mellon Centre, (both also of Sculpting Lives podcast); Corrie Jackson, Senior Curator for the Royal Bank of Canada art collection; and Zoé Whitley, Director, The Chisenhale Gallery, about the women who challenged and continue to challenge art history, and getting the recognition they so rightly deserve.
• Moderator: Katy Hessel (of @thegreatwomenartists Instagram and podcast)
• Jo Baring (Director, The Ingram Collection; co-host of the Sculpting Lives: Women & Sculpture podcast)
• Corrie Jackson (Senior Curator, Royal Bank of Canada art collection)
• Letizia Treves (The James and Sarah Sassoon Curator of Later Italian, Spanish, and French 17th-Century Paintings, The National Gallery, London)
• Richard Saltoun (Director, Richard Saltoun)
• Sarah Turner (Deputy Director for Research at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London; co-host of the Sculpting Lives: Women & Sculpture podcast)
• Zoé Whitley (Director, The Chisenhale Gallery)

Register for this talk

Collecting Pre-Contemporary Art Online: New Ways to Look, Learn, and Buy
27 June 2020, 11am BST (6am EST)

The coronavirus lockdown hit has forced us all to recalibrate how we view, collect and sell art as exhibitions, auctions and even art fairs have been forced online—and fast. It’s a steep learning curve for both buyers and sellers in all fields, but particularly for those in the traditionally analogue world of pre-contemporary art, where issues of provenance, authenticity and trust are all the more complex, and the audience perhaps less digitally savvy. Our panel of experts will discuss the challenge of becoming ‘digital connoisseurs’, taking in the latest developments, good and bad, in the shift to online, the questions to ask and pitfalls to avoid when buying historical art via jpegs, and the big question of whether you should you ever buy a work sight unseen, even now?
• Moderator: Anna Brady (Art Market Editor, The Art Newspaper)
• Katrin Bellinger (Dealer and Old Master drawings collector)
• Philip Hewat-Jaboor (Chairman, Masterpiece)
• Philip Mould (Art dealer, writer and broadcaster)
• Orlando Rock (Chairman, Christie’s UK)

Register for this talk

Museums and Mentors, Scholarship and Friendship: Stories from the World of Fine Ceramics
27 June 2020, 5pm BST (12pm EST)

The French Porcelain Society has always valued the scholarship and insight of dealers who contribute so much to its publications, events, and lectures. Martin P. Levy of H. Blairman & Sons, leads a discussion on the influence of dealers past and present with four long–standing European ceramics exhibitors at Masterpiece London: Michele Beiny, Errol Manners, Adrian Sassoon, and John Whitehead. Their stories speak of inspirational and sometimes eccentric mentors: museum curators, collectors, auctioneers, and forebears in the antiques trade. Join us for some thought-provoking conversations on the art of dealing.
• Moderator: Martin Levy (Director, H. Blairman & Sons Ltd)
• Michele Beiny Harkins (Director, Michele Beiny)
• Errol Manners (Director, E&H Manners)
• Adrian Sassoon (Director, Adrian Sassoon)
• John Whitehead (Art dealer, lecturer, and writer)

Register for this talk

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Note (added 21 June 2020) — The original version of this posting omitted information for the June 26 sculpture session.

Online Lecture | Amelia Rauser, Black Bodies and Neoclassical Whiteness

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 17, 2020

Agostino Brunias, ‘A Negroes Dance in the Island of Dominica’, 1779, engraving on laid paper
(Lewis Walpole Library, 779.02.15.01)

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From the Lewis Walpole Library:

Amelia Rauser, Black Bodies and Neoclassical Whiteness in the Age of Undress
Online lecture organized by the Lewis Walpole Library, 24 June 2020

Registration due by 22 June 2020

Women who wore the high-waisted, white muslin dress fashionable in the 1790s strove to participate in the elevated aesthetics of neoclassicism and to construe themselves as living statues, Pygmalions to their own Galatea. The dress articulated an anti-fashion stance that created space for women’s artistic expression. But neoclassical dress was also enmeshed with emergent concepts of race in the 1790s—not via a simple mapping of whiteness onto classicism, but rather, and perhaps unexpectedly, by invoking the plantation culture of the West Indies. In this talk, Dr. Amelia Rauser, Professor of Art History at Franklin & Marshall College, will argue that several elements of the neoclassical ensemble, including gold earrings, madras-cloth accessories, headwraps, and especially the materiality of muslin itself, specifically articulated the wearer’s racialized whiteness. Yet at the same time, the idea of metamorphosis inherent in the living statue undermined racial binaries and provided space to explore a spectrum of embodiment.

Dr. Rauser will be introduced by Joseph Roach, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Theater, Professor Emeritus of English, Yale University. Panel discussants Dr. Carolyn Day, Associate Professor of History, Furman University, and Dr. Jennifer Germann, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Art History, Ithaca College, will lead a Q&A. Registered attendees will be invited to submit questions and comments through chat.

The lecture is scheduled for Wednesday, 24 June 2020, at 1.00pm EDT; registration is required by Monday, 22 June 2020.

The talk presented in connection with the exhibition Artful Nature: Fashion and Theatricality, 1770–1830, which was co-curated by Laura Engel, Professor of English, Duquesne University, and Amelia Rauser. Other related online content includes:
Artful Nature exhibition
• Keynote Lecture “Fashionable Friends: Glamour as Argument, 1770–1830,” delivered by Joseph Roach on 6 February 2020
• Exhibition video tour with the curators

Dr. Rauser’s new book, The Age of Undress: Art, Fashion, and the Classical Ideal in the 1790s, is now available from Yale University Press.

 

 

Online Lecture | Wolf Burchard on The Met’s New British Galleries

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 13, 2020

From The Furniture History Society’s Instagram account:

Wolf Burchard, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s New British Galleries
Online Lecture, 14 June 2020

Installation view of the Met’s new British Galleries, featuring the 17th-century Cassiobury Staircase (Photo by Joseph Coscia, February 2020).

Please join us for the free-of-charge inaugural FHS online lecture via Zoom on Sunday, 14 June 2020, at 19.00 British Summer Time (14.00 Eastern Standard Time) with Dr. Wolf Burchard of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, entitled, “The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s New British Galleries.”

The Met’s renovated British Galleries, which opened earlier this year (for the museum’s 150th anniversary) now tell a nuanced story about Britain’s imperial past and its dealings with the rest of the world. Ten galleries, including three historic interiors, devoted to decorative arts and sculpture from the 16th to the 19th century have been completely reimagined. They present British art and design from a fresh perspective, exploring Britain’s creativity and entrepreneurship. The lecture is open to all; for links and passwords, please contact events@furniturehistorysociety.org. Information about joining the FHS is available here.

Wolf Burchard is responsible for British furniture and decorative works of art, with the exception of ceramics and textiles. Prior to joining The Met in 2019, he was furniture research curator at the National Trust of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (2015–18) and curatorial assistant at the Royal Collection Trust (2009–14), where he co-curated the exhibition The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy, 1714–1760 at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace (2014). He studied history of art and architecture at the universities of Tübingen, Vienna, and The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, from which he holds an MA and PhD. He is the author of The Sovereign Artist: Charles Le Brun and the Image of Louis XIV (2016), and sat on the executive committees of the Georgian Group (2014–19) and the Society for Court Studies (2011–17); he is a member of the council and editorial panel of the Furniture History Society.

Online Lecture | Cassidy-Geiger on Friedrich Christian’s Grand Tour

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 12, 2020

Rosalba Carriera, Portrait of the Elector Frederick Christian of Saxony), 1740, pastel on paper, 63.5 × 51.5 cm
(Dresden: Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister)

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From The French Porcelain Society:

Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, The Grandest of Tours: Fragile Diplomacy Meets the Grand Cure
Online Lecture, 13 June 2020

The French Porcelain Society continues its series of weekly online lectures with Maureen Cassidy-Geiger on the incredible two-year Grand Tour of the Elector Friedrich Christian of Saxony in the mid-eighteenth century. We hope you can join us on Saturday, 13 June 2020, 19:00pm (British Summer Time). Members will receive an email invitation with instructions on how to join the online lecture. If you want to join, please contact us for more details on FPSenquiries@gmail.com.

Elector Friedrich Christian of Saxony (1722–1763), who succeeded King August III in 1763 for just 74 days, was afflicted from birth with profound physical disabilities which prevented him from standing or walking without assistance and made simple tasks like eating and dressing difficult. The marriage of his sister Maria Amalia to the King of Naples in 1738 inspired their parents to send the fifteen-year-old heir to the throne on an impromptu journey to Italy for life-saving medical treatments. This exceptional two-year adventure was amply documented, allowing us to precisely reconstruct the prince’s route and daily experiences as he travelled from Dresden to Naples, Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice along pilgrimage routes and post roads, returning via his mother’s court capital, Vienna. Like the able-bodied Grand Tourists he met along the way, he also travelled incognito (‘Comte de Lusace’) with an entourage, enjoyed celebrity status, and collected art, relics, books and souvenirs for shipment home, many of them gifts from his hosts along the way. A selection was featured together with archival documentation in The Grand Cure / Die Grande Kur 1738–1740 (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 2018). In return, wagonloads of porcelain from the Royal Porcelain Manufactory at Meissen were shipped abroad to serve as thank yous from King August III and to celebrate the Naming Day of dowager Empress Wilhelmine Amalie, the prince’s grandmother. Many of these porcelain gifts have survived and were showcased in the exhibition and catalogue Fragile Diplomacy: Meissen Porcelain for European Courts, ca. 1710–63 (YUP/BGC, New York, 2007–08). Some were customized with coats of arms or apt painterly compositions, a few items were repurposed from Japanese Palace stock, and others were simply on hand and included in the shipments; the Meissen porcelain table service that accompanied the prince across Italy was understandably damaged and depleted from use at the lunches and dinners he routinely hosted so a replacement was sent via courier to meet him in Vienna, together with a selection of the king’s silver plate.

Maureen Cassidy-Geiger has twice driven the prince’s itinerary and has researched his sojourns in Naples, Rome, Venice and Vienna on various residential fellowships. Transcriptions of the travel diaries, composed mostly in French, and related research and documentation are posted on the website comtedelusace.wordpress.com.