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Elizabeth Emery
Montclair State University

Invisibility Breeds Invisibility: Recovering Networks of Nineteenth-Century French Women Collectors of Japanese Art

The commonly accepted story of Japanese art collecting in nineteenth and early twentieth-century France focuses on a small group of educated and discerning men. This presentation brings to light the parallel and often overlapping social and artistic networks of the women collectors who worked alongside them. Women from a variety of contexts including Louise Curtis, Louise Cahen d’Anvers, Mary Cassatt, Camille Claudel, Louise Desoye, Clémence d’Ennery, Madame Hatty, Antoinette Malinet, Camille Moreau, Mary Ainsworth, Louisine Havemeyer, Florine Langweil, and many others frequented the same collectors and art dealers, loaned works from their collections, or created works of art inspired by Japanese visual culture. The patterns of connections and collaboration that emerge from newly recovered archival materials suggest new sources and methods for making visible the work of women collectors and art dealers appreciated in their own day.

Professor of French at Montclair State University, Elizabeth Emery is the author of books, articles, and essay anthologies related to the reception of medieval art and architecture in nineteenth-century France and America, to the links between early photography and journalism in the creation of literary house museums, and to the work of women collectors. Her most recent book, published with Bloomsbury Visual Arts in 2020 and just out in paperback, is entitled Reframing Japonisme: Women and the Asian Art Market in Nineteenth-Century France (1853-1914). As invited scholar at the French INHA (Institut national de l’histoire de l’art), she has been contributing to the “Collectors and Asian Art Dealers in France from 1700-1939” Program, a bio-bibliographical database that went live on October 12, 2022.

Tuesday, January 31, 12:15 pm
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

Lunch will be served starting at noon. Registration required.

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Bard Graduate Center is grateful for the generous support of the Selz Foundation.