Versailles Apartment of Mme du Barry Unveiled after Restoration

Posted in exhibitions, films, on site by Editor on November 27, 2022

The suite of fourteen rooms was completed in 1770 under the direction of Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Madame du Barry lived there for five years (1770–1774).

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The newly restored private apartment of Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry (1743–1793) opened last month in connection with the exhibition Louis XV: Passions of a King. From The Art Newspaper:

Claudia Barbieri, “Louis XV’s Official Mistress Leaves the Shadows, as Restoration of her Versailles Apartment Reveals Secretive Life,” The Art Newspaper (19 October 2022). Madame du Barry, whose life is the subject of a new Netflix film, was born into poverty and sold trinkets on the streets of Paris before joining court circles in her 20s.

François-Hubert Drouais, Portrait of Madame Du Barry, 1769 (Château de Versailles).

In late October 1722, King Louis XV was crowned in Reims cathedral. This month, the Château de Versailles in Paris marks 300 years since the king’s coronation with an exhibition of 400 works and artefacts that reveal the private life of a monarch whose regal lifestyle paved the way for the French Revolution.

But the highlight of the exhibition is the restored chambers of the king’s last official mistress, Madame du Barry, which are fully open to the public for the first time.

Over the past 18 months, and at a cost of €5m, the Parisian restoration specialists Ateliers Gohard—known for restoring the Statue of Liberty’s torch—have painstakingly renovated the 18th-century decor of Du Barry’s home by gradually stripping away layer upon layer of paint to reveal the colours the king’s mistress chose. . . .

Du Barry was famed for her patronage of artists and craftsmen. But, after her death, her possessions were scattered through the Paris sale rooms. Most have never been recovered. An approximation of her chambers will soon be used in a Netflix-produced film adaptation of her life, with the US actor Johnny Depp playing King Louis XV and the French actor Maïwenn playing Du Barry [Maïwenn also directs the film]. Shooting is currently taking place at locations in and around Versailles.

The full article is available here»

Furniture History 2022

Posted in journal articles by Editor on November 26, 2022

Wenfangtu, detail, ca. 1750, China, coloured woodblock print, 110 × 50 cm
(Stockholm: Nordiska Museet)

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The long eighteenth century in the latest issue of Furniture History, from The Furniture History Society . . . I would particularly note the the article by Kee Il Choi, Jr, which identifies a category of Chinese woodblock prints (wenfangtu / 文房圖) as graphic source materials for marquetry panels of French furniture, especially pieces from the early 1770s—an alternative to the traditional assumption of carved Coromandel (kuancai) lacquer screens. In addition to being an ‘origins’ story, it’s fascinating material as the prints themselves raise myriad rich questions (wenfangtu are now known only from examples outside of China). CH

Furniture History 58 (2022)


• Christopher Rowell, “The Carved Room at Petworth Revisited and Grinling Gibbons as an Auctioneer, Dealer, and Collector,” pp. 39–128.
• Kee Il Choi, Jr , “From Lieux to Meubles: Chinese Woodblock Prints and French Marquetry of the 1770s,” pp. 129–156.
• Irene Alessandra Meneghetti, “Transfer Printing on Wood: Research and Replication Based on Two Side Tables Attributed to Joseph Schneevogl,” pp. 157–174.
• Sarah Medlam, “Fit for a Prince: Seddon’s Cradle for Shiloh, the Prince of Peace, the Expected Child of Joanna Southcott, 1814,” pp. 175–198.
• Rufus Bird, “John Girdwood: A Modern Edinburgh Antiquary,” pp. 199–226.

A satinwood and marquetry secrétaire à abattant with gilt-bronze ormolu mounts, ca. 1775, France; stamped: René Dubois (maître, 1754–99), 137 × 84 cm (Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 705.a-i-D4).


Panel Discussion | Revisiting Kubler’s The Shape of Time

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on November 25, 2022

From the BGC:

Reading The Shape of Time, 60 Years Later
Bard Graduate Center, New York, 30 November 2022, 6pm

Four perspectives on the seminal text by George Kubler from BGC faculty Meredith Linn, François Louis, Aaron Glass, and Drew Thompson, moderated by Joshua Massey and Jeffrey Collins.

In 1962, Yale University art historian George Kubler published The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things, a book that challenged traditional notions of style and period in art history. Now, 60 years later, we bring together a historian, an anthropologist, an archaeologist, and an art historian—all members of the BGC faculty—to explore The Shape of Time across geographical and disciplinary boundaries and to rediscover the prescient insights it offers for material culture and object-oriented scholarship.

$15 General | $12 Seniors | Free for people with a college or museum ID, people with disabilities and caregivers, and BGC members.

Meredith B. Linn is assistant professor of historical archaeology at Bard Graduate Center. She holds a PhD in anthropology from Columbia University, an MA in the social sciences from the University of Chicago, and a BA in art history from Swarthmore College. Her work focuses on nineteenth-century New York City, particularly upon the health-related experiences and strategies of Irish immigrants and upon Seneca Village, the predominantly African American community whose land was taken by the City of New York to construct Central Park. She has published articles about both projects and is currently working on a book about each.

François Louis is professor of Chinese art and material culture at Bard Graduate Center. From 2002 to 2008 he also served as editor-in-chief of the journal Artibus Asiae. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Zurich and has published widely on the visual and material culture of medieval China. Recent publications include Design by the Book: Chinese Ritual Objects and the Sanli Tu and the co-edited volumes Antiquarianism and Intellectual Life in Europe and China, 1500–1800 (2012) and Perspectives on the Liao (2013). He is currently working on a history of Liao-dynasty archaeological finds.

Aaron Glass is an associate professor of cultural anthropology at Bard Graduate Center. His research focuses on Indigenous visual art, material culture, media, and performance on the northwest coast of North America, as well as the history of anthropology, museums, and ethnographic representation. Glass’s books include The Totem Pole: An Intercultural History (2010); Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast (2011); Return to the Land of the Head Hunters: Edward S. Curtis, the Kwakwaka’wakw, and the Making of Modern Cinema (2014); and Writing the Hamat’sa: Ethnography, Colonialism, and the Cannibal Dance (2021).

Drew Thompson is associate professor of Black studies and visual culture at Bard Graduate Center, where he researches and teaches in the areas of African and Black diaspora visual and material culture. Curating exhibitions is a fundamental part of his teaching and scholarship. He recently co-curated Benjamin Wigfall & Communications Village, the first posthumous survey of the Black American artist Benjamin Wigfall, which opened in September 2022 at the Dorsky Museum before traveling to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He is also at work on an exhibition about African metalwork for the BGC Gallery, scheduled for fall 2023. He authored Filtering Histories: The Photographic Bureaucracy in Mozambique, 1960 to Recent Times (University of Michigan Press, 2021) and numerous publications about the history of photography and contemporary art in Southern Africa.

Joshua Massey is a student at Bard Graduate Center, where he studies American material culture and the ways in which objects are transformed into art through critical and creative interventions. His essay, “The World According to Aldwyth,” appears in the exhibition catalogue for This is Not! Aldwyth in Retrospect (2023–24), and he is the editor of Wordsmithing: The Spoken Art of Lonnie Holley, a forthcoming collection written in collaboration with Bernard Herman and Holley himself. In his spare time, Massey writes poetry, practices film photography, and shops for books he has no time to read.

Jeffrey L. Collins is professor of art history and material culture at Bard Graduate Center, where he specializes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and its sphere of influence overseas. He is the author of Papacy and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Rome: Pius VI and the Arts (Cambridge, 2004) and a principal contributor to Pedro Friedeberg (Mexico City, 2009) and History of Design: Decorative Arts and Material Culture, 1400–2000 (New Haven and London, 2013). A fellow of the American Academy in Rome, he has published widely on architecture, urbanism, painting, sculpture, book illustration, museology, metalwork, furniture, and film.

New Book | Indigenous Continent: The Epic Contest for North America

Posted in books by Editor on November 24, 2022

From Norton:

Pekka Hämäläinen, Indigenous Continent: The Epic Contest for North America (New York: Liveright, 2022), 592 pages, ISBN: 978-163149698, $40.

A prize-winning scholar rewrites 400 years of American history from Indigenous perspectives, overturning the dominant origin story of the United States.

There is an old, deeply rooted story about America that goes like this: Columbus ‘discovers’ a strange continent and brings back tales of untold riches. The European empires rush over, eager to stake out as much of this astonishing ‘New World’ as possible. Though Indigenous peoples fight back, they cannot stop the onslaught. White imperialists are destined to rule the continent, and history is an irreversible march toward Indigenous destruction.

Yet as with other long-accepted origin stories, this one, too, turns out to be based in myth and distortion. In Indigenous Continent, acclaimed historian Pekka Hämäläinen presents a sweeping counternarrative that shatters the most basic assumptions about American history. Shifting our perspective away from Jamestown, Plymouth Rock, the Revolution, and other well-trodden episodes on the conventional timeline, he depicts a sovereign world of Native nations whose members, far from helpless victims of colonial violence, dominated the continent for centuries after the first European arrivals. From the Iroquois in the Northeast to the Comanches on the Plains, and from the Pueblos in the Southwest to the Cherokees in the Southeast, Native nations frequently decimated white newcomers in battle. Even as the white population exploded and colonists’ land greed grew more extravagant, Indigenous peoples flourished due to sophisticated diplomacy and leadership structures.

By 1776, various colonial powers claimed nearly all of the continent, but Indigenous peoples still controlled it—as Hamalainen points out, the maps in modern textbooks that paint much of North America in neat, color-coded blocks confuse outlandish imperial boasts for actual holdings. In fact, Native power peaked in the late nineteenth century, with the Lakota victory in 1876 at Little Big Horn, which was not an American blunder, but an all-too-expected outcome.

Hämäläinen ultimately contends that the very notion of ‘colonial America’ is misleading, and that we should speak instead of an ‘Indigenous America’ that was only slowly and unevenly becoming colonial. The evidence of Indigenous defiance is apparent today in the hundreds of Native nations that still dot the United States and Canada. Necessary reading for anyone who cares about America’s past, present, and future, Indigenous Continent restores Native peoples to their rightful place at the very fulcrum of American history.

Pekka Hämäläinen is Rhodes Professor of American History at Oxford University and the author of The Comanche Empire, winner of the Bancroft Prize, and Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power. He lives in Oxford, England.


Decorative Arts Trust Internship Grant to Focus on John Ashley House

Posted in on site by Editor on November 23, 2022

Photograph of a two-story clapboard house, painted gray with two red brick chimneys.

John Ashley House, Sheffield, Massachusetts (photo from Wikimedia Commons, July 2007). Built in 1735, the house is owned and operated by The Trustees of Reservations.

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As an anchor site of the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail, the Ashley House is important for its connection to Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett), who was enslaved there before suing for–and winning–her freedom in 1781 under Massachusetts’ newly ratified state constitution. Readers may recall that a statue of Freeman was unveiled in Sheffield just a few months ago.

From The Decorative Arts Trust press release:

The Decorative Arts Trust is pleased to announce that The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) of Boston, MA, will serve as our 2023–25 Curatorial Internship Grant partner.

Watercolor portrait of a woman wearing a blue empire-waist dress, a white scarf at her shoulders, a necklace, and a white bonnet.

Susan Ridley Sedgwick, Portrait of Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett), ca. 1812, watercolor on ivory (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society).

The two-year internship will focus on the Colonel John Ashley House in Sheffield, MA. The house’s importance primarily derives from a connection with Mum Bett, an enslaved woman who sued Ashley for her freedom along with an enslaved man named Brom. The intern will lead an in-depth analysis of the objects contained within the Ashley House with the aim to create easy access to all records through the Trustees’ new online collections interface. The intern will also develop a furnishing plan for the Ashley House that synthesizes a refined understanding of the contents and the interiors in which they are displayed. Based in Stockbridge at the Trustees’ Mission House, the intern will work alongside the organization’s highly regarded curatorial staff, including Christie Jackson, Director of Collections, and Mark Wilson, Associate Curator.

The Decorative Arts Trust is a nonprofit organization that underwrites curatorial internships for recent Masters or PhD graduates in collaboration with museums and historical societies. These internships allow host organizations to hire a deserving professional who will learn about the responsibilities and duties common to the curatorial field while working alongside a talented mentor.

The Trustees is the oldest conservation and preservation nonprofit of its kind in the country and the largest in Massachusetts, where it has protected 123 diverse sites, spanning more than 27,000 acres, including 20 historic houses and more than 50,000 objects.

Online Talks | HECAA Emerging Scholars Showcase, Fall 2022

Posted in online learning by Editor on November 23, 2022

HECAA Emerging Scholars Showcase
Online (Zoom), 28 November 2022, 1.00–2.30pm (ET)

Please join us for the next HECAA Emerging Scholars Showcase on Monday, 28 November, from 1:00 to 2:30pm (ET). This showcase is scheduled for a weekday and at an earlier time to better accommodate colleagues in Europe, and in response to the stated preference for weekday events from members who participate in the survey last spring. Required registration is available here.

We hope you can join us for these six exciting presentations:
• Marie Isabell Wetcholowsky, (PhD student, Philipps-Universität Marburg), François Lemoyne and the Reinvention of History Painting under Louis XV
• Haoyang Zhao (PhD candidate, University of Glasgow), Revisiting Huangchao Liqi Tushi, an Art and Historical Analysis of Important Yet Neglected Imperial Albums Commissioned in the 18th-Century Qianlong Court
• Angela Göbel (PhD student, Université Lyon 3, Jean Moulin), The Role Model of the City of Versailles for European Residential Cities
• Grace Ford-Dirks (MA student, University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum), Many Hands, Many Marks, Many Stories: Reconsidering a ‘Louisiana’ Armoire
• Marie Giraud (PhD candidate, Queen Mary University of London), Jansenism and Print Culture in 18th-Century Paris (1709–1764)
• Elisa Cazzato (PhD, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow, Università Cà Foscari – Venezia), The Lure of the Foreign Stage: Italian Art and Artistry Serving the French and European Spectacle

This event is open to everyone. Please email daniella.berman@nyu.edu with questions. We also are pleased to announce that, due to robust interest, there will be another Emerging Scholars Showcase in Spring 2023 (more information to follow in January).

Call for Papers | Unpacking the V&A Wedgwood Collection

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on November 22, 2022

The V&A Wedgwood Collection in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

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From the Call for Papers from the V&A:

Unpacking the V&A Wedgwood Collection
Barlaston (Stoke-on-Trent) and London, 30 June — 1 July 2023

Proposals due by 15 February 2023

The V&A Wedgwood Collection is one of the most important industrial collections in the world and a unique record of over 260 years of British ceramic production. Owned by the V&A following a successful fundraising campaign spearheaded by Art Fund in 2014, it is on display at Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, where an imaginative public programme celebrates the diversity, creativity and depth of the collection. The conference is organised in honour of Gaye Blake-Roberts MBE, former curator of the then Wedgwood Museum. After forty years of research and achievements, she retired from her position in early 2020, continuing her research as Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the V&A Research Institute.

Wedgwood was founded in 1759 by British potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood, who helped transform English pottery from a cottage craft into an art form and international industry. A museum has existed since 1906, first at the Etruria site and then from 1952 at Barlaston and a newly designed museum opened in 2008, winning the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year prize in 2009. It houses the finest collection of Wedgwood material, showcasing innovations in taste and fashion over three centuries and the UNESCO recognised Wedgwood Archives.

We are pleased to invite submissions from established scholars as well as emerging voices, and look forward to exploring new dialogues and disciplines which broaden our understanding of Wedgwood. Contributions are invited for four research themes:

Isaac Cook, curator of the first Wedgwood Museum at the Etruria factory, sorting trays of Josiah Wedgwood’s trials © Fiskars.

1  Beyond Josiah Wedgwood: Re-examining the Narrative
2  Global Wedgwood
3  Creativity, Technology, Economics, and Labour
4  Impressions of the Past: Contemporary Ceramic Making

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
• Transatlantic and continental trade
• Creativity, design, and artists
• Race
• Economics and labour
• Disability
• Workshop traditions
• Female contributions to the development and history of Wedgwood and ceramics
• Production and consumption of ceramics
• Empire and colonialism
• Technology
• Class
• Displaying and collecting of ceramics
• Social histories of ceramics
• Factory architecture and employee welfare

Please submit a 400-word abstract outlining a 20- to 30-minute presentation along with a short biography or curriculum vitae by 15 February 2023 to r.klarner@vam.ac.uk. These will be reviewed by the organising committee. Selected participants will be notified by 15 March 2023.

New Book | Women, Collecting, and Cultures beyond Europe

Posted in books by Editor on November 22, 2022

From Routledge:

Arlene Leis, ed., Women, Collecting, and Cultures beyond Europe (New York: Routledge, 2022), 282 pages, ISBN: 978-1032135465, £130 / $150

This edited volume builds on recent research and offers a wider lens through which to examine and challenge women’s collecting histories. Spanning from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first (although not organized chronologically) the research herein extends beyond European geographies and across time periods; it brings to light new research on how artificiallia and naturallia were collected, transported, exchanged, and/or displayed beyond Europe. Women, Collecting and Cultures beyond Europe considers collections as points of contact that forged transcultural connections and knowledge exchange. Some authors focus on collectors and what was collected, while others consider taxonomies, travel, patterns of consumption, migration, markets, and the after life of things. In its broad and interdisciplinary approach, this book amplifies women’s voices, and aims to position their collecting practices toward new transcultural directions, including women’s relation to distinct cultures, customs, and beliefs as well as exposing the challenges women faced when carving a place for themselves within global networks.

Arlene Leis is an independent art historian who received her PhD from University of York.


Collecting to Collectingism: New Directions in Women’s Transcultural Practices — Arlene Leis

Part I: Points of Transcultural Exchange
1  Européenerie in Feminine Space: Qing Imperial Women and Collecting in China’s Long Eighteenth Century — Chih-En Chen
2  Coerced Contact: The Dzungar Court Costume of a Swedish Knitting Instructor — Lisa Hellman
3  Trading Places: The Japanese Art Collection of O’Tama Kiyohara Ragusa — Maria Antonietta Spadaro
4  Created to Gleam: Decorum, Taste, and Luxury of Four Dresses from Viceregal Mexico — Martha Sandoval-Villegas and Laura Garcia-Vedrenne

Part II: Natural History, Colonial Encounters, and Indigenous Histories
5  The Botanist Was a Woman: Classifying and Collecting on the First French Circumnavigation of the Globe — Glynis Ridley
6  Pineapple Lady: Expertise and Exoticism in Agnes Block’s Self-Representation as Flora Batava — Catherine Powell-Warren
7  A Memsahib’s ‘Natural World’: Lady Mary Impey’s Collection of Indian Natural History Paintings — Apurba Chatterjee
8  Women and Huipils: The Treasuring of an Indigenous Garment in New Spain — Martha Sandoval-Villegas
9  Colonial Pantomime: Queen Marie I of Portugal’s Human Cabinet of Curiosities — Agnieszka Anna Ficek

Part III: Settlers, Immigrants, and New Frontiers
10  Settler Botanists, Nature’s Gentlemen, and the Canadian Book of Nature: Catharine Parr Traill’s Canadian Wild Flowers — Cynthia Sugars
11  Collecting Indian Art in Santa Fe: The Bryn Mawrters and the Politics of Preservation — Nancy Owen Lewis
12  The Spectacle of Sponsoring an Ottoman Trousseau — Gwendolyn Collaço
13  Las Bexareñas and their Wills: Women’s Material Culture and Cataloguing Practices in Spanish San Fernando de Béxar — Amy M. Porter

Part IV: Recovery, Collaboration, and Repatriation
14  ‘He Surely Existed’: Women of the Early Folk Art Collecting Movement and Thomas W. Commeraw, Forgotten African-American Potter — Brandt Zipp
15  Adjacency in the Collection — Toby Upson
16  Collecting Fibre Arts in Arnhem Land — Louise Hamby
17  From Women’s Hands: Learning from Métis Women’s Collections — Angela Fey and Maureen Matthews

Exhibition | Clara the Rhinoceros

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on November 21, 2022

Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Clara, the Rhinoceros, 1749, oil on canvas, 306 × 453 cm
(Staatliches Museum Schwerin)

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From the press release (11 July 2022) for the exhibition:

Clara the Rhinoceros: Superstar of the 18th Century / Clara de Neushoorn: Superster van de 18e eeuw
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 30 September 2022 — 15 January 2023

Curated by Gijs van der Ham

Clara was strange and new, huge and awe-inspiring—she was utterly unlike any other known animal. This fall, the Rijksmuseum presents Clara the Rhinoceros, an exhibition about an animal who travelled far from her native land of India and became the most famous rhinoceros in the world.

Saint-Germain, J.J., and F. Viger, Clock with Rhinoceros as Carrier, 1755 (Parnassia Collection).

The exhibition shows how new knowledge changed perceptions of the rhinoceros, and how art played its part in this process. The 60 objects on display include paintings, drawings, medals, statues, books, clocks, and a goblet. Very few of these artworks have been displayed before in the Netherlands, and never before have so many exceptional objects devoted to Clara the rhinoceros being presented together. They range from the first-ever European print depicting a rhinoceros—made in 1515 by Albrecht Dürer—to a life-size, full-length portrait of Clara by Jean-Baptiste Oudry dating from 1749. Clara the Rhinoceros runs from 30 September 2022 to 15 January 2023 in the Phillips Wing of the Rijksmuseum.

Clara may not have been the first rhinoceros to come to Europe, but she did become the most famous one. After her long voyage from India, in 1741 she arrived in Amsterdam. Her owner, Douwe Mout van der Meer, was soon showing her to anyone who would pay for the pleasure, whether at fairs, markets, carnivals, or royal courts. For the next 17 years she travelled around Europe in a custom-made cart, accompanied by her entourage. She travelled far and wide: to Vienna and Paris, and to Naples and Copenhagen. Upon her return to the Netherlands, she lived in a field in the North district of Amsterdam. Eventually, Clara died in London in 1758.

People touched, teased, admired, and studied Clara. She prompted this sensational level of interest because no one in Europe had ever been able to see a real live rhinoceros. She was a hyped up, must-see cultural phenomenon, and Mout used print advertising and medals to pump that hype to the max. Until Clara’s arrival, all that Europeans knew of her species was from a print made by Dürer in 1515. He based his drawing on a sketch of a rhinoceros that was briefly in Lisbon, though the sketch wasn’t entirely accurate: it depicted the rhinoceros with an extra horn on its back, for example, and skin that resembled a suit of armour.

Clara’s appearance on the scene changed all this, leaing to a better understanding of the rhinoceros and to more accurate portrayals. Scholars studied her in minute detail, from head to tail, and artists became fascinated by every fold of her skin. A remarkable number of likenesses were made of Clara, in many forms and using many different materials. This exhibition presents an outstanding selection of these objects, including an impressive life-size portrait painted in Paris in 1749 by Oudry (on loan from Staatliches Museum Schwerin), a painting by Pietro Longhi showing Clara standing in front of her audience in Venice (from Ca’ Rezzonico, Venice), a large marble statue by the Flemish artist Pieter Anton Verschaffelt (from the Rothschild collection at Waddesdon Manor), and an exceptionally rare clock mounted on a Clara figure (from a private Dutch collection) made by the Parisian bronzier and clockmaker Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain.

Clara was almost never free to walk or run. She depended on humans for her survival, and was rarely able to display natural behaviours—except for example the occasions when she needed to cross a river by swimming, and clearly enjoyed the water. In 1750 the Neurenberg biographer Christoph Gottlieb Richter published a conversation between a rhinoceros and a grasshopper, in which the rhinoceros bemoans the way people treat her and stare at her. This book presents a role-reversal, with the rhinoceros appraising and studying people rather than the other way around. And in her 2016 installation Clara, the contemporary artist Rossella Biscotti uses the rhinoceros’s story to interrogate the relationship between humans and animals. The installation, which is also part of the exhibition, shows that Clara’s story is also about colonialism, exoticism, and globalisation, as well as exploitation and power.

The exhibition design for Clara the Rhinoceros and Crawly Creatures is by stage designer Theun Mosk | Ruimtetijd. Graphic design for the exhibition is by Irma Boom.

Gijs van der Ham, Clara the Rhinoceros (Rotterdam: nai101, 2023), 208 pages, ISBN: 978-9462087477, $40.

Exhibition | Process: Design Drawings, 1500–1900

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on November 20, 2022

Design drawing for a patinated bronze vase, anonymous, ca. 1780
(Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum)

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From the museum:

Process: Design Drawings from the Rijksmuseum, 1500–1900
Design Museum Den Bosch, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 5 November 2022 — 12 February 2023

Curated by Reinier Baarsen

This pioneering exhibition is an opportunity to discover a collection of extraordinary design drawings from the Rijksmuseum. The drawings, which date from the period 1500–1900, have been brought together for the first time and are arranged according to the successive stages of the design process.

The focus here is not on big artistic names, but on the crucial role that drawings have played in design. We watch from close-by as the ideas for all sorts of items are formed and we also get to meet their inventors, makers, and patrons. Drawings of vases, chairs and clocks, stoves, sledges, and carriages are shown, from the first rough pencil sketches to beautifully worked-up and colourful presentations. The drawings in this exhibition were recently acquired by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where they belong to a special collection established by Senior Curator Reinier Baarsen. He offers us a unique insight here into the role that drawing has played in the design process, as well as the superb drawings it has produced.

Reinier Baarsen, Process: Design Drawings from the Rijksmuseum, 1500–1900 (Rotterdam: nai101, 2022), 464 pages, SBN 978-9462087354, €60 / $70.

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