London - New York - Paris: Duveen Brothers and the Market for Decorative Arts between 1880 and 1940


Spring 2012


5th Floor Classroom


Charlotte Vignon

This course will explore the exodus of decorative arts from Europe to the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century by providing an in-depth study of three key figures who contributed to this phenomenon: Joel, Henry, and Joseph Duveen of Duveen Brothers, the prestigious international art firm established in London and New York at the close of the nineteenth century, and in Paris in 1908. Beginning with the examination of the strategies employed by Duveen Brothers to monopolize the American art market and become the preeminent dealers of their time, the course will explore the Duveen Brothers' dealings in Chinese porcelains, eighteenth-century French decorative arts, and medieval and Renaissance art as well as the firm’s activities in the area of interior decoration. Questions of authenticity and restoration will also be addressed. 3 credits.