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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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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

Edited By 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

Edited By 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 ...

British Models of Art Collecting and the American Response Reflections Across the Pond

British Models of Art Collecting and the American Response: Reflections Across the Pond

1st Edition

Edited By Inge Reist
October 12, 2017

British Models of Art Collecting and the American Response - Reflections Across the Pond presents 14 essays by distinguished art - and cultural - historians. Collectively, they examine points of similarity and difference in the approaches to art collecting practiced in Britain and the United States...

Nature and the Nation in Fin-de-Siècle France The Art of Emile Gallé and the Ecole de Nancy

Nature and the Nation in Fin-de-Siècle France: The Art of Emile Gallé and the Ecole de Nancy

1st Edition

By Jessica M. Dandona
June 19, 2017

By the time of his death in 1904, critics, arts reformers, and government officials were near universal in their praise of Art Nouveau designer Emile Gallé (1846–1904), whose works they described as the essence of French design. Many even went so far as to argue that the artist’s creations could ...

The Materiality of Color The Production, Circulation, and Application of Dyes and Pigments, 1400–1800

The Materiality of Color: The Production, Circulation, and Application of Dyes and Pigments, 1400–1800

1st Edition

Edited By Andrea Feeser, Maureen Daly Goggin, Beth Fowkes Tobin
June 14, 2017

Although much has been written on the aesthetic value of color, there are other values that adhere to it with economic and social values among them. Through case studies of particular colors and colored objects, this volume demonstrates just how complex the history of color is by focusing on the ...

Private Collecting, Exhibitions, and the Shaping of Art History in London The Burlington Fine Arts Club

Private Collecting, Exhibitions, and the Shaping of Art History in London: The Burlington Fine Arts Club

1st Edition

By Stacey J. Pierson
January 25, 2017

The Burlington Fine Arts Club was founded in London in 1866 as a gentlemen’s club with a singular remit – to exhibit members’ art collections. Exhibitions were proposed, organized, and furnished by a group of prominent members of British society who included aristocrats, artists, bankers, ...

Photojournalism and the Origins of the French Writer House Museum (1881-1914) Privacy, Publicity, and Personality

Photojournalism and the Origins of the French Writer House Museum (1881-1914): Privacy, Publicity, and Personality

1st Edition

By Elizabeth Emery
November 10, 2016

Why did writers' private homes become so linked to their work that contemporaries began preserving them as museums? Photojournalism and the Origins of the French Writer House Museum addresses this and other questions by providing an overview of the social forces that brought writers' homes to the ...

Manufacturing the Modern Patron in Victorian California Cultural Philanthropy, Industrial Capital, and Social Authority

Manufacturing the Modern Patron in Victorian California: Cultural Philanthropy, Industrial Capital, and Social Authority

1st Edition

By John Ott
October 26, 2016

Through the example of Central Pacific Railroad executives, Manufacturing the Modern Patron in Victorian California redirects attention from the usual art historical protagonists - artistic producers - and rewrites narratives of American art from the unfamiliar vantage of patrons and collectors. ...

Potters and Patrons in Edo Period Japan Takatori Ware and the Kuroda Domain

Potters and Patrons in Edo Period Japan: Takatori Ware and the Kuroda Domain

1st Edition

By Andrew L. Maske
October 14, 2016

Potters and Patrons in Edo Period Japan: Takatori Ware and the Kuroda Domain traces the development of one of Japan's best-documented ceramic types, from its beginnings around 1600 until the abolition of the domain system in 1871. Using historical records, archaeological material from early kilns ...

Travel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris

Travel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris

1st Edition

By Ting Chang
October 10, 2016

Travel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris examines a history of contact between modern Europe and East Asia through three collectors: Henri Cernuschi, Emile Guimet, and Edmond de Goncourt. Drawing on a wealth of material including European travelogues of the East and ...

The Museum of French Monuments 1795-1816 ‘Killing art to make history’

The Museum of French Monuments 1795-1816: ‘Killing art to make history’

1st Edition

By Alexandra Stara
September 08, 2016

The first volume in two centuries on Alexandre Lenoir's Museum of French Monuments in Paris, this study presents a comprehensive picture of a seminal project of French Revolutionary cultural policy, one crucial to the development of the modern museum institution. The book offers a new critical ...

Materializing Gender in Eighteenth-Century Europe

Materializing Gender in Eighteenth-Century Europe

1st Edition

Edited By Jennifer G. Germann, Heidi A. Strobel
May 11, 2016

Art history has enriched the study of material culture as a scholarly field. This interdisciplinary volume enhances this literature through the contributors' engagement with gender as the conceptual locus of analysis in terms of femininity, masculinity, and the spaces in between. Collectively, ...

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