Supply and Demand: The Decorative Arts Marketplace, 1662–1889





This course examines the complex forces that shaped the market for the decorative arts in Europe by tracing market development in France and comparing it with similar evolutions in other European countries. The examination begins with the period of monarchic and aristocratic patronage marked by the founding of the Manufacture Royale des Meubles de la Couronne, which set new standards for the production of luxe objects; it ends with the opening of the market to an international clientele, as evidenced by the huge display of mass-produced decorative arts at the Paris International Exposition of 1889. Aspects of the decorative arts marketplace are considered by focusing on specific clients, purveyors, craftspeople, manufacturers, and significant national and international events that helped shape it. In addition, the primary journals, design sources, and technical innovations in this field are discussed, as is the auxiliary marketplace for painting and sculpture. 3 credits.