Online Panel | Print Culture and Propaganda in the American Revolution

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on January 17, 2021

Christie’s presents this free online panel (via Zoom) in conjunction with its Americana week:

Print Culture and Propaganda in the American Revolution: Selections from the Collection of Ambassador J. William Middendorf
Tuesday, 19 January 2021, noon (EST)

Moderated by Peter Klarnet, Senior Specialist, with a tribute by John Hays, Deputy Chairman

• Philip Mead (Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Historian, Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia)
• Nancy Siegel (Professor of Art History and Museum Studies Coordinator, Towson University, Towson, Maryland)
• Allison Stagg
• Amy Torbert (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator of American Art, Saint Louis Art Museum)

Image: Lot 306 of sale 18947. Phillip Dawe, engraver, The Bostonian’s Paying the Excise Man or Tarring and Feathering (London: Robert Sayer & John Bennett, 1774; Collection of Ambassador J. William Middendorf II).

Online Lecture | John Whitehead, Japanese Lacquer on French Furniture

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on January 16, 2021

From the FHS announcement:

John Whitehead, The Use of Japanese Lacquer on French 18th-Century Furniture
Furniture History Society Online Lecture, Sunday, 17 January 2021, 19.00 (GMT)

Japanese lacquer has been recognised in Europe as the best of all Asian lacquers since the seventeenth century, and in the eighteenth century it was much used to decorate furniture in France and elsewhere. Paris marchands-merciers and ébénistes clearly had no respect for the integrity of pieces, as we would have now, and created some delightful furniture with chopped-up pieces of lacquer. This subject was first discussed by the FHS at a memorable symposium in 1988 and continues to amuse us today.

John Whitehead is a dealer in French eighteenth-century decorative arts, with an emphasis on Sèvres porcelain. He is the author of The French Interior in the Eighteenth Century (1992) and two books on eighteenth century Sèvres porcelain (2010). With Oliver Impey, he has written on Japanese lacquer and French furniture, including the entry in the exhibition catalogue, William Beckford, 1760–1844: An Eye for the Magnificent (2001).

This event is free for FHS members and £5 for non-members; please contact events@furniturehistorysociety.org for tickets.

Research Lunch | Rebecca Tropp on the Picturesque and Country Houses

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on January 9, 2021

This talk was slated for last March; it’s been rescheduled as an online event, sponsored by the Mellon Centre:

Rebecca Tropp, Accommodating the Picturesque: The Country Houses of James Wyatt, John Nash, and Sir John Soane, 1793–1815
(Zoom) Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 29 January 2021

James Wyatt, Ashridge House, commissioned by the 7th Earl of Bridgewater.

Whilst much has been written about the development of Picturesque theory at the end of the eighteenth century, regarding both the landscape itself and prescriptions for the sitting of buildings within it, these discussions have generally been limited to two-dimensional snapshots, such as those represented in Humphry Repton’s Red Books. This paper, based upon ongoing research for a doctoral dissertation, seeks to push beyond the visual to investigate some of the physical implications and repercussions of the Picturesque ideal – the intersection between the visual two-dimensional picture-plane and the practical three-dimensional architectural response – on the design and construction of country houses at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Focusing on the work of James Wyatt (1746–1813), John Nash (1752–1835), and Sir John Soane (1753–1837), and limiting investigation to those country houses designed during the pivotal period from 1793 to 1815, the paper investigates two specific implications related to the lowering of the principal floor from piano nobile to ground level, as part of a general repositioning of the house within the landscape. First is the use of level changes within the ground floor—the inclusion of a few steps up or down in entrance halls or between rooms, as distinct from staircases between floors—considering some possible reasons for their incorporation and the purposes they served. Second, and sometimes connected to these level changes, is an increase in permeability between interior and exterior, through the use of full-length windows, loggias and attached conservatories—social/botanical spaces that were first incorporated into the design of the house during this period. Taken together, these developments furthered the evolving relationship between house and landscape and, as a result, the experience of moving through and between those spaces.

Rebecca Tropp is currently finishing her PhD in History of Art at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, working under the supervision of Dr Frank Salmon. She completed her MPhil in History of Art and Architecture at Cambridge in 2015, investigating recurring spatial arrangements and patterns of movement in the country houses of John Nash. Prior to commencing postgraduate studies in the UK, she received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in New York, where she majored in the History and Theory of Architecture.

Xavier Salomon on Clodion’s Dance of Time

Posted in teaching resources, lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on January 1, 2021

The Dance of Time, Three Nymphs Supporting a Clock, movement by Jean-Baptiste Lepaute, sculpture by Claude Michel Clodion, 1788, terracotta, gilt brass, and glass, H.: 41 inches (New York: The Frick Collection, bequest of Winthrop Kellogg Edey) Photo: Michael Bodycomb.

A very Happy New Year to all of you! I should have posted news of this brief talk earlier, but it will be available on YouTube whenever you might have the time and inclination to watch. I also point out the series more generally for those of you always looking for teaching resources. Past installments (typically 20 minutes) address paintings by Gainsborough, Stubbs, Romney, Tiepolo, Boucher, and Chardin, along with extraordinary decorative arts objects (and plenty of works beyond the eighteenth century). CH

Xavier Salomon on Clodion’s Dance of Time
YouTube, 1 January 2021, 5pm (EST)

This week’s episode of Cocktails with a Curator toasts the new year with Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he examines a masterpiece of both sculpture and clockmaking: The Dance of Time, by Clodion (Claude Michel) and Jean-Baptiste Lepaute. In this 18th-century timepiece, three terracotta nymphs or Hours dance in a circle around an exquisite mechanism enclosed in a glass globe. The Frick has one of the country’s most important collections of clocks, many of which came to the museum through a gift from Winthrop Kellogg Edey. Welcome 2021 by raising a Metropolitan cocktail—Happy New Year!

New Book | The Place of Many Moods: Udaipur’s Painted Lands

Posted in books, lectures (to attend) by Editor on November 20, 2020

From Princeton UP:

Dipti Khera, The Place of Many Moods: Udaipur’s Painted Lands and India’s Eighteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020), 232 pages, ISBN , $65 / £54.

In the long eighteenth century, artists from Udaipur, a city of lakes in northwestern India, specialized in depicting the vivid sensory ambience of its historic palaces, reservoirs, temples, bazaars, and durbars. As Mughal imperial authority weakened by the late 1600s and the British colonial economy became paramount by the 1830s, new patrons and mobile professionals reshaped urban cultures and artistic genres across early modern India. The Place of Many Moods explores how Udaipur’s artworks—monumental court paintings, royal portraits, Jain letter scrolls, devotional manuscripts, cartographic artifacts, and architectural drawings—represent the period’s major aesthetic, intellectual, and political shifts. Dipti Khera shows that these immersive objects powerfully convey the bhava—the feel, emotion, and mood—of specific places, revealing visions of pleasure, plenitude, and praise. These memorialized moods confront the ways colonial histories have recounted Oriental decadence, shaping how a culture and time are perceived.

Illuminating the close relationship between painting and poetry, and the ties among art, architecture, literature, politics, ecology, trade, and religion, Khera examines how Udaipur’s painters aesthetically enticed audiences of courtly connoisseurs, itinerant monks, and mercantile collectives to forge bonds of belonging to real locales in the present and to long for idealized futures. Their pioneering pictures sought to stir such emotions as love, awe, abundance, and wonder, emphasizing the senses, spaces, and sociability essential to the efficacy of objects and expressions of territoriality.

The Place of Many Moods uncovers an influential creative legacy of evocative beauty that raises broader questions about how emotions and artifacts operate in constituting history and subjectivity, politics and place.

Dipti Khera is associate professor in the Department of Art History and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

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Celebrating Dipti Khera’s The Place of Many Moods
Friday, 4 December 2020, live-streamed at 11:00am ET

Please join the Institute of Fine Arts in conversation with Dipti Khera about her new book The Place of Many Moods: Udaipur’s Painted Lands and India’s Eighteenth Century. Responding to the book will be Vittoria Di Palma, Associate Professor of Architectural History and Art History at the University of Southern California, and Kavita Singh, Professor of Art History at the School of Arts and Aesthetics of Jawaharlal Nehru University. RSVP to receive the webinar link for this live-streamed event.

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Note (added 23 November 2020) — The original posting did not include information on the live-streamed event.

Today | HECAA Emerging Scholars Showcase

Posted in lectures (to attend), Member News, online learning by Editor on November 7, 2020

HECAA Emerging Scholars Showcase
Online, Saturday, 7 November 2020, 2:00–3:30pm (EST)

The first HECAA Emerging Scholars Showcase begins today at 2pm EST. Please join us via zoom to hear our first seven emerging scholars present their research. Each participant will present for 3–5 minutes, and after the presentations, we will host a question and answer session. The seven presenters and their presentation titles are listed below. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dani Ezor (dezor@smu.edu).

Best regards,

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Zoom link: https://smu.zoom.us/j/95131749838
Meeting ID: 951 3174 9838

• Aditi Gupta, (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Imperial Collection of J.B Gentil: A Frenchman’s Quest for Knowledge Production on India

• Nele Lüttmann (Trinity College Dublin), German Architects in Britain and Ireland, 1700–1750

• Agnieszka Anna Ficek (CUNY Graduate Center), Picturing the Peruvienne: The Exotic and Erotic in Mme de Graffigny’s Lettres d’une Peruvienne

• María del Castillo García Romero (University of Seville), Feminae Devotae: Artistic Portraits on Religious Female Culture in Baja Andalusia during the Eighteenth Century

• Michael Hartman (University of Delaware), Bodies and Vision in the North American Landscape

• Archie Manister-O’Neill (Courtauld Institute of Art), In Search of Rebecca Magg: Tracing the History of Three Hand-Crafted Dolls (ca. 1786) Kept in the Bristol Archive

• Ashley Hannebrink (Harvard University), Shaping the Self: Sculpture and the Interior in Eighteenth-Century France

HECAA Emerging Scholars Showcase

Posted in graduate students, lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on November 2, 2020

George Lambert, Classical Landscape, 1745, oil on canvas, 41 × 46 inches
(London: Tate)

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HECAA Emerging Scholars Showcase
Online, Saturday, 7 November 2020, 2:00–3:30pm (EST)

Please mark your calendars for the first HECAA Emerging Scholars Showcase on Saturday, November 7, from 2:00 to 3:30pm EST. We will hear from our first seven emerging scholars present their research in 3– to 5–minute presentations, after which we will open up the floor to questions and comments. The intention of these showcases is to create networking opportunities, and we look forward to your audience participation in support of our emerging scholars.

We received an overwhelming number of applications, ranging geographically from China, India, and Australia, to Brazil, Europe, and across the USA. The topics likewise range in their geographical origin, theoretical approach, materials, techniques, and methods. We will also hold two additional showcases on 6 February 2021 and 17 April 2021.

Registration is not required. A Zoom link will be sent out to all HECAA members the week before November 7. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dani Ezor (dezor@smu.edu). Thank you!

Public Lecture Course | Ceramics in Britain

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on October 29, 2020

The series, originally scheduled for the spring, will now take place online; from the Mellon Centre:

Public Lecture Course, Ceramics in Britain, 1750 to Now
Online, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, Thursdays, 5 November — 10 December 2020

Pre-recorded lectures to be released weekly at 3pm GMT on Thursdays and a live Q&A (Zoom) on 10 December 2020 at 6pm GMT

This course, delivered by experts in the field, will explore five key influential developments in the history of British ceramics since the mid-eighteenth century, examining the multiple ways in which innovators, entrepreneurs, and artists have reinvigorated the field. While the story of ceramics is a global one, Britain has played a leading role in the last three centuries, a period in which British invention has shaped developments and brought constant renewal to the industry.

By 1750, ceramics of different types were available to all levels of society. However, the uniquely British innovation of combining print culture and ceramics, transfer-printing political propaganda, and the graphic satire of London’s leading caricaturists onto earthenware, enabled these contemporary controversial messages to be understood by all classes. During the same period, scientific experimentation by Josiah Wedgwood led to the invention of new bodies and glazes, many copying the ceramics and glass of ancient Greece and Rome. His range and ambition, summed up by his aim to become ‘Vase Maker General to the Universe’, helped to change ceramic tastes to an unprecedented degree.

The production of an abundance of styles characterised the nineteenth century. However, blue and white—one of the most distinctive visual effects in ceramics—became, and remained, more popular than any other. Heavily influenced by porcelain exported from Asia, Britain became the leading ceramic producer of this style, driving international trade and retail opportunities. ‘Chinamania’ gripped the nation; debates about taste and authenticity drove collectors, consumers, and creators.

Ceramics was largely unaffected by the first wave of anti-industrialism in England. Neither William Morris nor the Arts and Crafts movement fully established a new type of pottery. However, an urge to turn away from the industrially-produced ceramics of the late nineteenth century, combined with a renewed interest in form, earlier Chinese ceramics, and abstract art, gave rise to a wave of pioneering British potters who insisted on the importance of the handmade and established the role of the ‘artist-potter’. This philosophy was widely popularised by the influential studio potter, Bernard Leach, who spent formative periods in China and Japan and wrote that ‘all my life I have been a courier between East and West’.

While studio ceramics continue to flourish today, global economics and advanced production technology have greatly impacted the ceramics industry in Staffordshire, the traditional heartland of British ceramics production. Artists have played a key role in documenting and commentating on these changes. The course will conclude with an artist’s examination of the decline of ceramic manufacturing and its associated artisanal skills, emphasising the importance of sustaining the intangible heritage of this longstanding and important industry.

No prior art historical knowledge is necessary.

Thursday, 5 November
Patricia Ferguson (Project Curator, British Museum), Pots with Attitude: British Satire on Ceramics, 1750–1820

Thursday, 12 November
Catrin Jones (Chief Curator, Wedgwood Museum), Josiah Wedgwood: Experimentation and Innovation

Thursday, 19 November
Rebecca Wallis (Curator, National Trust, London and South East), ‘Blue and White’ in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Beyond

Thursday, 26 November
Simon Olding (Director of the Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham), ‘Beyond East and West’: The Founding of British Studio Ceramics

Thursday, 3 December
Neil Brownsword (Artist and Professor of Ceramics, Staffordshire University), Obsolescence and Renewal: Reimagining North Staffordshire’s Ceramic Heritage

Thursday, 10 December
Ceramics in Britain: Live Q&A

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


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.