1st Edition

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

Edited By Arlene Leis, Kacie L. Wills Copyright 2021
    220 Pages 12 Color & 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 12 Color & 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 12 Color & 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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 lives and examines their interests, their methodologies, and their collections and objects—some of which have rarely been studied before. The book also considers women’s role as producers, that is, creators of objects that were collected. Detailed examination of the artefacts—both visually, and in relation to their historical contexts—exposes new ways of thinking about collecting in relation to the arts and sciences in eighteenth-century Europe. The book is interdisciplinary in its makeup and brings together scholars from a wide range of fields.

    It will be of interest to those working in art history, material and visual culture, history of collecting, history of science, literary studies, women’s studies, gender studies, and art conservation.

    Part I Artificialia and Naturalia

    1. Science, Gender and Collecting:The Dutch 18th century Ladies’ Society for Physical Sciences of Middelburg

    2. Anne Harbers and Andrea Gáldy

    3. Between Art and Science: Portraits of Citrus Fruit for Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici
    4. Irina Schmiedel

    5. Anne Vallayer-Coster’s Still Life with Sea Shells and Coral
    6. Kelsey Brosnan

      Part II Travel, Borders, and Networks

    7. Maria Sibylla Merian: A Woman’s Pioneering Work in Entomology
    8. Katharina Schmidt-Loske

    9. Sarah Sophia Banks’s Coin Collection: Female Networks of Exchange
    10. Erica Hayes and Kacie L. Wills

    11. Conversing with Collecting the World: Elite Female Sociability and Learning through Objects in the Age of Enlightenment
    12. Lizzie Rogers

    13. Portrait of Charlotte de France: from Naples to Sicily, a Collection in Transit
    14. Maria Antonietta Spadero

      8. The Collecting Activity of Catherine II in 18th Century Russia: Pioneering Action or Sheer Demonstration of Power?

      Charis Ch. Avlonitou

      Part III Displaying, Recording, and Cataloguing

    15. ‘I made memorandums’: Mary Hamilton, Sociability, and Antiquarianism in the Eighteenth-Century Collection
    16. Madeleine Pelling

    17. Eleanor Coade, John Soane, and the Coade Caryatid
    18. Nicole Cochrane

    19. Anne Wagner’s Album (1795-1805): Collecting Feminine Friendship
    20. Ryna Ordynat

    21. An Art Cabinet in Miniature: The Dollhouse of Petronella Oortman
    22. Hanneke Grootenboer

      Part IV Beyond the Eighteenth Century

    23. Collection, Display, and Conservation: The Print Room at Castletown House
    24. Anna Frances O’Regan

    25. Olivia Lanza di Mazzarino (1893-1970): A Lady’s collection of Eighteenth-Century Folding Fans

    Arlene Leis


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

    Kacie L. Wills received her PhD in English from the University of California, Riverside, and is Assistant Professor of English at Illinois College.

    "The frameworks and methodologies set forth by the authors gathered here will provide models for future feminist scholarship in archival research and in the effective deployment of endeavours in the digital humanities that make use of social network analysis." - Tori Champion, sehepunkte

    "This is a valuable, well composed, and beautifully produced book. The fourteen chapters, divided among four parts, are all thoroughly researched and exhaustively documented. Each chapter has both clear, useful notes and a substantial bibliography."
    -Larry W. Riggs, New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century