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Mary D. Sheriff, internationally celebrated art historian and beloved teacher, died on October 19, 2016 at the age of 66. She specialized in eighteenth-century French art and transformed the field by re-evaluating rococo painting, introducing feminist perspectives, and examining European art in a global context. She published widely on artists such as Fragonard and Vigée-Lebrun, as well as on questions of art and gender. She taught at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill since 1983, was a former chair of the Art Department, and was named W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor in 2005. She was also a central figure in eighteenth-century scholarship as an editor of the journal Eighteenth Century Studies and as a founding member of the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art group. Her scholarly achievements were recognized through numerous visiting professorships, invitations to lecture around the globe, awards, and fellowships from, among others, the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEH. She also made a great impact on the field with her teaching. Both undergraduate and graduate students revered her, and she trained many doctoral students, who follow her example of commitment to excellent teaching and scholarship. In addition to her professional work, she was also an avid traveler, bird watcher, and scuba diver. She and her husband Keith Luria were devoted to each other and shared these professional and non-professional passions.
Mary Sheriff was born on September 19, 1950 in Plainfield, NJ to Robert William Sheriff and June Leaf. She was educated at Bucknell University and the University of Delaware. She is survived by her husband Keith Luria of Chapel Hill, NC and her father Robert Sheriff of Tarpon Springs, FL. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor her memory can make donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or the Duke Homecare and Hospice of Durham, NC. A memorial will be held in her honor in the spring.
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Update (added 25 January 2017) — Here’s information on a special CAA session to be held in memory of Mary in New York:
Key Conversation: Mary Sheriff (1950–2016): A Memorial Session
Saturday, 18 February 2017, 12:15–1:15, New York Hilton, Madison Suite, 2nd Floor
Chair: Francesca Fiorani (University of Virginia)
Join this session to remember Mary Sheriff. Come together, share memories, and celebrate her achievements.
Public Service Announcement
HECAA member Alden Gordon (Trinity College, Hartford, CT) notes that he recently received an email from ‘David Publishing’ with specifics mined from this year’s ASECS conference in Pittsburgh. The scam involves an invitation to publish (in this case with the Journal of Literature and Art Studies, JLAS) that apparently then results in a bill for hundreds of dollars for ‘editing’ or the like. The subject line of the email appears remarkably personal with the recipient’s name included.
Predatory publishing is not a new scam (more information is available here and here), but it is alive and well. So bear in mind that the upside of having your news (including conference presentations) posted at sites like Enfilade is that colleagues know what you’re up to. The downside is that spammers and scammers do, too. Though annoying, it need not be a serious problem—so long as you hit delete.
Heather McPherson is the 2016 recipient of the Annibel Jenkins Prize presented annually by the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies for the best essay in performance and theatre studies, for her article “Tragic Pallor and Siddons,” published in Eighteenth-Century Studies 48 (Summer 2015): 479–502.
The committee’s remarks highlight the range of topics addressed, “topics as disparate as cosmetics’ association with misogyny, authenticity, Aristotle, Lady Macbeth, and the ‘tubercular look’.” The citation goes on to state that, “the essay provides us with a window into Siddons’s celebrity and the attributes that led her contemporaries to recognize her as the greatest tragic actor of her day. ‘Tragic Pallor and Siddons’ combines … close attention to textual detail, an immersion in the documented history of the period, and clear and lucid writing enhanced by judicious illustrations.”
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Here, after five years, 1056 subscribers, and 421,000 hits, I’m as excited as ever about what Enfilade has become, thanks to such loyal readers. Thank you!
If you’re reading this with any measure of kind-hearted gratitude, here’s what you can (I dare say should) do:
1) Join HECAA (Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art & Architecture). It’s quick and inexpensive—just $30 (only $5 for students)—with the money going to promote the field of eighteenth-century studies, much of it to graduate students at that. Or you can donate whatever amount you choose. Think your $3 doesn’t matter? Well, if all 312 of you visiting the site today gave that much, we would bring in close to a $1000. For an organization like HECAA, that’s enormous. Click here to join or contribute.
2) Buy an Art Book. If readers like you aren’t buying art books, then who do we expect will? So if you’ve not bought an art book within the past month, buy one today (and ‘no’, remainders, used books, and the like don’t count).
Thanks for reading; thanks for writing in with news to share.
–Craig Ashley Hanson
Image: Trade card of Negri & Wetten, Confectioners at the Pineapple, Berkeley Square. Print by Ignatius Fougeron, after Peter Babel, ca. 1799 (London: British Museum, D,2.1636). From the collection of Sarah Sophia Banks. Food historian Ivan Day writes about eighteenth-century ice creams with reference to Negri, and last summer Vic Sanborn provided a fine summary of Negri’s business, “The Pot and Pineapple and Gunter’s: Domenico Negri, Robert Gunter, and the Confectioner’s Art in Georgian London,” published at her ever interesting blog Jane Austen’s World.
From Texas Tech UP:
Kathryn Norberg and Sandra Rosenbaum, eds., Fashion Prints in the Age of Louis XIV: Interpreting the Art of Elegance (Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 2014), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-0896728578, $46.
Between 1678 and 1710, Parisian presses printed hundreds of images of elegantly attired men and women dressed in the latest mode, and posed to display every detail of their clothing and accessories. Long used to illustrate dress of the period, these fashion prints have been taken at face value and used uncritically. Drawing on perspectives from art history, costume history, French literature, museum conservation and theatrical costuming, the essays in this volume explore what the prints represent and what they reveal about fashion and culture in the seventeenth century.
With more than one hundred illustrations, Fashion Prints in the Age of Louis XIV constitutes not only an innovative analysis of fashion engravings, but also one of the most comprehensive collections of seventeenth-century fashion images available in print.
Kathryn Norberg is a professor of history and gender studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has published on French history and is the coeditor of Furnishing the Eighteenth Century: What Furniture Can Tell Us about the European and American Past.
Sandra Rosenbaum is the retired curator-in-charge of the Doris Stein Research Center for Costume and Textiles, a part of the Department of Costume and Textiles, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for which she developed and supervised an extensive library of primary and secondary source materials.
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C O N T E N T S
Introduction: Fashion and Fashion Prints in the Age of Louis XIV
Part One: The Fashion Print
1. The Fashion Print: An Ambiguous Object, Françoise Tétart-Vittu
2. Fashioning Fashionability, Kathleen Nicholson
3. The Cris de Paris in the LACMA Recueil des modes, Paula Rea Radisich
4. Fashions in Prints: Considering the Recueil des modes as an Album of Prints, Marcia Reed
Part Two: Contextualizing the Fashion Print
5. Fashion as Concept and Ethic in Seventeenth-Century France, William Ray
6. The Fashion Run Seen from Backstage: Saint-Simon’s Memoirs of Louis XIV’s Court, Malina Stefanovska
7. Louis XIV: King of Fashion?, Kathryn Norberg
8. Oriental Connections: Merchant Adventurers and the Transmission of Cultural Concepts, Mary Schoeser
Part Three: The Fashion Print as a Historical Resource
9. The LACMA Recueil des modes, Sandra L. Rosenbaum
10. Fashion Illustration from the Reign of Louis XIV: A Technical Study of the Paper and Colorants Used in the LACMA Recueil des modes, Soko Furuhata
11. Performing Fashion, Michael J. Hackett
12. Recreating an Entrée, a Minuet, and a Chaconne, Emma Lewis Thomas
13. Recreating a Grand Habit, Maxwell Barr
14. A Seventeenth-Century Gown Rediscovered: Work in Progress, Catherine McLean, Sandra L. Rosenbaum, and Susan Renate Schmalz
From Penn State UP:
Amy Freund, Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014), 312 pages, ISBN: 978-0271061948, $85.
Portraiture and Politics in Revolutionary France challenges widely held assumptions about both the genre of portraiture and the political and cultural role of images in France at the beginning of the nineteenth century. After 1789, portraiture came to dominate French visual culture because it addressed the central challenge of the Revolution: how to turn subjects into citizens. Revolutionary portraits allowed sitters and artists to appropriate the means of representation, both aesthetic and political, and articulate new forms of selfhood and citizenship, often in astonishingly creative ways. The triumph of revolutionary portraiture also marks a turning point in the history of art, when seriousness of purpose and aesthetic ambition passed from the formulation of historical narratives to the depiction of contemporary individuals. This shift had major consequences for the course of modern art production and its engagement with the political and the contingent.
From the University of Delaware Press:
Paula Radisich, Pastiche, Fashion, and Galanterie in Chardin’s Genre Subjects: Looking Smart (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2013), 206 pages, ISBN: 978-1611494242, $75.
Pastiche, Fashion, and Galanterie in Chardin’s Genre Subjects seeks to understand how Chardin’s genre subjects were composed and constructed to communicate certain things to the elites of Paris in the 1730s and 1740s. The book argues against the conventional view of Chardin as the transparent imitator of bourgeois life and values so ingrained in art history since the nineteenth century. Instead, it makes the case that these pictures were crafted to demonstrate the artist’s wit (esprit) and taste, traits linked to conventions of seventeenth-century galanterie.
Early eighteenth-century Moderns like Jean-Siméon Chardin (1699–1779) embraced an aesthetic grounded upon a notion of beauty that could not be put into words—the je ne sais quoi. Despite its vagueness, this model of beauty was drawn from the present, departed from standards of formal beauty, and could only be known through the critical exercise of taste. Though selecting subjects from the present appears to be a simple matter, it was complicated by the fact that the modernizers expressed themselves through the vehicles of older, established forms. In Chardin’s case, he usually adapted the forms of seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish genre painting in his genre subjects. This gambit required an audience familiar enough with the conventions of Lowlands art to grasp the play involved in a knowing imitation, or pastiche. Chardin’s first group of enthusiasts accordingly were collectors who bought works of living French artists as well as Dutch and Flemish masters from the previous century, notably aristocratic connoisseurs like the chevalier Antoine de la Roque and Count Carl-Gustaf Tessin.
Paula Radisich is professor of art history at Whittier College.
Nicolas de Largillière, Portrait of Barthélemy-Jean-Claude Pupil, 1729
(San Diego: Timken Museum)
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From the Timken:
Bigwigs: Hair, Fashion, and Power in the 18th-Century Portrait
Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, Monday, 10am, 9 June 2014
From the MIA:
Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell | The Art of Beauty
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 8 March 2014
Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell reveals four centuries’ worth of beauty secrets using rare surviving toilette objects and images from the MIA and other collections. The tools of the toilette testify to changing tastes and lifestyles as the ostensibly private ritual of dressing has long been a public performance of consumption and display, chronicled in fashion plates, portraits, and caricatures.
Saturday, 8 March 2014 at 11:00am
Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell is an independent scholar and consultant for The Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, and Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and has been a research scholar for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
From The New School:
Meredith Martin | Mirror Reflections: Diplomacy and Decoration in France and Siam, 1680 / 1860s
Parsons The New School for Design, New York, 25 October 2013
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Friday October 25, 2013 at 6:15 PM
Glass Corner (Room E206), Parsons East Building
25 East 13th Street, 2nd Floor, NYC
This talk given by Meredith Martin, associate professor of Art History at New York University, explores the circulation, use, and interior display of images and art objects associated with diplomatic missions that traveled between France and Siam (Thailand) in the 1680s and 1860s. In analyzing these two different but related episodes of diplomatic and cross-cultural exchange, Martin will show how art and architectural display were crucial to articulating the political and commercial aims of each power as well as how those aims were interpreted by French and Siamese audiences.
Meredith Martin received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and her B.A. from Princeton. She is the author of Dairy Queens: The Politics of Pastoral Architecture from Catherine de’ Medici to Marie-Antoinette (Harvard University Press, 2011), and a co-editor of Architectural Space in Eighteenth-Century Europe: Constructing Identities and Interiors (Ashgate, 2010). Martin has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews on 18th and 19th century French architectural history and decoration as well as contemporary art. Her current project focuses on art, diplomacy, and intercultural encounter in France from the reign of Louis XIV to the era of Napoleon.
INSIDE (hi) STORIES is a Histories & Theories series, curated by design historian Sarah Lichtman, assistant professor of Art and Design Studies in the School of Art and Design History and Theory, and architectural historian Ioanna Theocharopoulou, assistant professor of Interior Design in the School of Instructed Environments.