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Artists' Things: A Conversation about Everyday Objects and the Paris Art World

30 May 2024

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Thu, 30 May
10:00 – 11:00

Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

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Discussion with the authors about objects that once belonged to 18th-century artists

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Artists' Things: A Conversation about Everyday Objects and the Paris Art World

Thursday, May 30, 2024, from 10 am - 11 am

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Artists are makers of things. Yet it is a measure of the disembodied manner in which we generally think about artists that we rarely consider the everyday items they own. Katie Scott and Hannah William's innovative book, Artists' Things: Rediscovering Lost Property from Eighteenth-Century France, looks at objects that once belonged to artists, to reveal not only the fabric of the 18th-century art world in France but also unfamiliar—and sometimes unexpected—insights into the individuals who populated it.

In this virtual book launch, the authors present object case studies that allow them to engage with fundamental historical debates about production, consumption, and sociability through the lens of material goods owned by artists.

They are joined by curators David Pullins and Marie-Laure Buku Pongo as well as the Getty Research Institute's Nancy Um for a conversation about their methodological approach to material histories; the collection, display, and provenance of artists' objects in museums; and the book's digital open-access publication platform.

Katie Scott is professor emeritus at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Her current interests focus on questions of ornament, technology, and the city in the field of early modern French art and architecture.

Hannah Williams is senior lecturer in the School of History at Queen Mary University of London. She is an art historian specializing in French art, material culture, and artistic communities in the long 18th century.

David Pullins is associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he is responsible for 17th- and 18th-century French, Italian, and Spanish painting. The Getty Research Institute will publish his book, The Mobile Image from Watteau to Boucher, in summer 2024.

Marie-Laure Buku Pongo is assistant curator of decorative arts at the Frick Collection, where she oversees the institution's collection of furniture, ceramics, textiles, enamels, clocks, and other objects. She previously held positions at the Palace of Versailles, Mobilier National, Élysée Palace, and the French government.

Nancy Um is associate director for Research and Knowledge Creation at the Getty Research Institute. She has published studies about trade, art, diplomacy, and gift exchange around the early modern Indian Ocean rim.

The conversation will be available on the Getty Research Institute YouTube channel following the event.

Visit the Getty Research Institute's Exhibitions and Events page for more free programs.

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