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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.

22 Series Titles

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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

Forthcoming

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

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

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

Mark Westgarth
April 28, 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

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

Cynthia Fowler
June 10, 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

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

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

Clare Taylor
June 19, 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

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 ...

William Hunter's World The Art and Science of Eighteenth-Century Collecting

William Hunter's World The Art and Science of Eighteenth-Century Collecting

1st Edition

E. Geoffrey Hancock, Nick Pearce, Mungo Campbell
April 25, 2018

Despite William Hunter's stature as one of the most important collectors and men of science of the eighteenth century, and the fact that his collection is the foundation of Scotland's oldest public museum, The Hunterian, until now there has been no comprehensive examination in a single volume of ...

Craft, Community and the Material Culture of Place and Politics, 19th-20th Century

Craft, Community and the Material Culture of Place and Politics, 19th-20th Century

1st Edition

Janice Helland, Beverly Lemire, Alena Buis
February 06, 2018

Craft practice has a rich history and remains vibrant, sustaining communities while negotiating cultures within local or international contexts. More than two centuries of industrialization have not extinguished handmade goods; rather, the broader force of industrialization has redefined and ...

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