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The Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700-1950


About the Series

The Histories of Material Culture and Collecting provides a forum for the broad study of object acquisition and collecting practices in their global dimensions from 1700 to 1950. The series seeks to illuminate the intersections between material culture studies, art history, and the history of collecting. It takes as its starting point the idea that objects both contributed to the formation of knowledge in the past and likewise contribute to our understanding of the past today. The human relationship to objects has proven a rich field of scholarly inquiry, with much recent scholarship either anthropological or sociological rather than art historical in perspective. Underpinning this series is the idea that the physical nature of objects contributes substantially to their social meanings, and therefore that the visual, tactile, and sensual dimensions of objects are critical to their interpretation. This series therefore seeks to bridge anthropology and art history, sociology and aesthetics. It encompasses the following areas of concern: 1. Material culture in its broadest dimension, including the high arts of painting and sculpture, the decorative arts (furniture, ceramics, metalwork, etc.), and everyday objects of all kinds. 2. Collecting practices, be they institutionalized activities associated with museums, governmental authorities, and religious entities, or collecting done by individuals and social groups. 3. The role of objects in defining self, community, and difference in an increasingly international and globalized world, with cross-cultural exchange and travel the central modes of object transfer. 4. Objects as constitutive of historical narratives, be they devised by historical figures seeking to understand their past or in the form of modern scholarly narratives. The series publishes interdisciplinary and comparative research on objects that addresses one or more of these perspectives and includes monographs, thematic studies, and edited volumes of essays.

24 Series Titles

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François Boucher and the Art of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century France

François Boucher and the Art of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century France

1st Edition

Forthcoming

By Jessica Priebe
November 12, 2021

While earlier studies have focused predominantly on artist François Boucher’s artistic style and identity, this book presents the first full-length interdisciplinary study of Boucher’s prolific collection of around 13,500 objects including paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, porcelain, shells, ...

Private Collectors of Islamic Art in Late Nineteenth-Century London The Persian Ideal

Private Collectors of Islamic Art in Late Nineteenth-Century London: The Persian Ideal

1st Edition

Forthcoming

By Isabelle Gadoin
September 10, 2021

This book examines British collectors of so-called Persian art (a broad umbrella term then covering a large portion of Islamic art) in the late 19th century, including ceramics, metalwork, carpets, textiles and woodwork. Based on a foundational event, the very first exhibition of “Persian and ...

Women and the Art and Science of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century Europe

Women and the Art and Science of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century Europe

1st Edition

Edited By Arlene Leis, Kacie L. Wills
September 01, 2020

Through both longer essays and shorter case studies, this book examines the relationship of European women from various countries and backgrounds to collecting, in order to explore the social practices and material and visual cultures of collecting in eighteenth-century Europe. It recovers their ...

Fashionability, Exhibition Culture and Gender Politics Fair Women

Fashionability, Exhibition Culture and Gender Politics: Fair Women

1st Edition

By Meaghan Clarke
July 16, 2020

Fair Women was the Victorian equivalent of a ‘blockbuster’ exhibition. Organised by a committee of women, it opened to great fanfare in the Grafton Galleries in London, and was comprised of both historical and contemporary portraits of women as well as decorative objects. Meaghan Clarke argues ...

Nordic Private Collections of Chinese Objects

Nordic Private Collections of Chinese Objects

1st Edition

By Minna Törmä
July 16, 2020

This book explores the ways in which Nordic private collectors displayed their collections of Chinese objects in their homes. This leads to a reconsideration of how to define collecting and display by analysing the difference between objects serving as decorative or collectible items, while tracing...

The Emergence of the Antique and Curiosity Dealer in Britain 1815-1850 The Commodification of Historical Objects

The Emergence of the Antique and Curiosity Dealer in Britain 1815-1850: The Commodification of Historical Objects

1st Edition

By Mark Westgarth
April 20, 2020

Rather than the customary focus on the activities of individual collectors, The Emergence of the Antique and Curiosity Dealer in Britain 1815–1850: The Commodification of Historical Objects illuminates the less-studied roles played by dealers in the nineteenthcentury antique and curiosity markets. ...

Collecting and Displaying China's “Summer Palace” in the West The Yuanmingyuan in Britain and France

Collecting and Displaying China's “Summer Palace” in the West: The Yuanmingyuan in Britain and France

1st Edition

Edited By Louise Tythacott
September 11, 2019

In October 1860, at the culmination of the Second Opium War, British and French troops looted and destroyed one of the most important palace complexes in imperial China—the Yuanmingyuan. Known in the West as the "Summer Palace," this site consisted of thousands of buildings housing a vast art ...

Hooked Rugs Encounters in American Modern Art, Craft and Design

Hooked Rugs: Encounters in American Modern Art, Craft and Design

1st Edition

By Cynthia Fowler
June 07, 2019

Through a close look at the history of the modernist hooked rug, this book raises important questions about the broader history of American modernism in the first half of the twentieth century. Although hooked rugs are not generally associated with the avant-garde, this study demonstrates that they...

Silver in Georgian Dublin Making, Selling, Consuming

Silver in Georgian Dublin: Making, Selling, Consuming

1st Edition

By Alison FitzGerald
May 23, 2019

Georgian Dublin is synonymous with a period of unprecedented expansion in the market for luxury goods. At a time when new commodities, novel technologies and fashionable imports seduced elite society, silver enjoyed an established association with gentility and prestige. Earlier studies have ...

Female Portraiture and Patronage in Marie Antoinette's Court The Princesse de Lamballe

Female Portraiture and Patronage in Marie Antoinette's Court: The Princesse de Lamballe

1st Edition

By Sarah Grant
September 11, 2018

This comprehensive book brings to light the portraits, private collections and public patronage of the princesse de Lamballe, a pivotal member of Marie-Antoinette’s inner circle. Drawing extensively on unpublished archival sources, Sarah Grant examines the princess’s many portrait commissions and ...

The Design, Production and Reception of Eighteenth-Century Wallpaper in Britain

The Design, Production and Reception of Eighteenth-Century Wallpaper in Britain

1st Edition

By Clare Taylor
June 12, 2018

Wallpaper’s spread across trades, class and gender is charted in this first full-length study of the material’s use in Britain during the long eighteenth century. It examines the types of wallpaper that were designed and produced and the interior spaces it occupied, from the country house to the ...

Textiles, Fashion, and Design Reform in Austria-Hungary Before the First World War Principles of Dress

Textiles, Fashion, and Design Reform in Austria-Hungary Before the First World War: Principles of Dress

1st Edition

By Rebecca Houze
April 25, 2018

Filling a critical gap in Vienna 1900 studies, this book offers a new reading of fin-de-siècle culture in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy by looking at the unusual and widespread preoccupation with embroidery, fabrics, clothing, and fashion - both literally and metaphorically. The author resurrects ...

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