Material Cultures of the Global Eighteenth Century: Art, Mobility and Change - Wendy Bellion; Kristel Smentek; | Foyles Bookstore
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Material Cultures of the Global Eighteenth Century: Art, Mobility and Change
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Material Cultures of the Global Eighteenth Century: Art, Mobility and Change (Hardback)

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Things change. Broken and restored, reused and remade, objects transcend their earliest functions, locations, and appearances. While every era witnesses change, the eighteenth century experienced artistic, economic, and demographic transformations that exerted unique pressures on material cultures around the world. Locating material objects at the heart of such phenomena, Material Cultures of the Global Eighteenth Century expands beyond Eurocentric perspectives to discover the mobile, transcultural nature of eighteenth-century art worlds. From porcelain to betel leaves, Chumash hats to natural history cabinets, this book examines how objects embody imperialism, knowledge, and resistance in various ways.

By embracing things both elite and everyday, this volume investigates physical and technological manipulations of objects while attending to the human agents who shaped them in an era of accelerating global contact and conquest. Featuring ten essays, the volume foregrounds diverse scholarly approaches to chart new directions for art history and cultural history. Ranging from California to China, Bengal to Britain, Material Cultures of the Global Eighteenth Century illuminates the transformations within and between artistic media, follows natural and human-made things as they migrate across territories, and reveals how objects catalyzed change in the transoceanic worlds of the early modern period.

Wendy Bellion is Sewell C. Biggs Chair in American Art History and Director of the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware, USA. Her research focuses on North American art and the Atlantic World in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is the author of Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America (2011) and Iconoclasm in New York: Revolution to Reenactment (2019). Kristel Smentek is Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Her research engages eighteenth-century European graphic and decorative arts in their transcultural contexts. She is the author of Mariette and the Science of the Connoisseur in Eighteenth-Century Europe (2014), co-editor of Dare to Know: Prints and Drawings in the Age of Enlightenment (2022), and co-curator of the accompanying exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums.

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