Anne Higonnet delivered a Françoise and Georges Selz Lecture on 18th- and 19th-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 6 pm. Her talk was entitled “A Digital Enlightenment: Experiments in the Teaching of Eighteenth-Century Decorative Arts.”




Anne Higonnet
is Professor of Art History at Barnard College, Columbia University. She works on the history of art since the seventeenth century, on childhood, and on collecting. She received her BA from Harvard College in 1980 and the PhD from Yale University in 1988. Dr. Higonnet has published five books and many essays, among them “Manet and the Multiple,” in Grey Room. Her research has been supported by Guggenheim, Getty, and Social Science Research Council fellowships, as well as grants from the Howard and Kress Foundations. In 2014, she organized a multi-part exhibition, course, catalogue, article, and website project on Anna Hyatt Huntington’s 1902-1936 New York City sculpture. In spring of 2015, she launched a digital humanities seminar on the material world of the Enlightenment, funded by the Mellon Foundation. She lectures widely to public audiences, including in the Metropolitan Museum of Art “Events Program.” Her next series at the Met will be about its latest period room, and the Gilded Age adventuress who commissioned it.

Dr. Higonnet’s lecture at Bard Graduate Center examined how might we re-think the “decorative arts” as being instead the “useable arts.” This lecture proposed related language, digital, and pedagogic tactics. Why say useable? How does digital technology promote the useable qualities of objects? How can students create useable public knowledge?