Laura Auricchio will be coming to speak at the Françoise and Georges Selz Lectures on 18th- and 19-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture on Tuesday, November 27, 2012. Her talk is entitled “Hero and Villain: Lafayette’s Legacies.”

Laura Auricchio is Associate Professor of Art History and Chair of the Department of Humanities at The New School. She completed her B.A. at Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and her M.A. and Ph.D in Art History at Columbia University. Auricchio’s primary area of research is eighteenth-century French and American visual culture, with a specialty in the politics of women artists during the revolutions. Her current project is a book-length study of the Marquis de Lafayette. Recent publications include Adélaïde Labille-Guiard: Artist in the Age of Revolution (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009) and The Marquis (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, forthcoming). Additionally, Auricchio has co-edited Invaluable Trees: Cultures of Nature 1660-1830 (SVEC 2012:8) with Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook and Giulia Pacini (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2012) and contributed to the catalogue and exhibition, Royalists to Romantics: Women Artists from the Louvre, Versailles, and Other French National Collections, 1750-1850 (New York: Scala, 2012), at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, in 2012.

Americans have long hailed the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) as an extraordinarily admirable figure—a wealthy French nobleman who, at the age of 19, volunteered to fight in the War of Independence and prodded his king to support the rebel cause. But in France, Lafayette is seen by partisans on both the left and the right as an opportunist, a misguided dreamer, even a traitor. In her talk, Auricchio will consider how Lafayette, a man who lived by a principle that he called “moderation,” could have garnered such disparate reputations. While part of the answer lies in the very different roles that he played and decisions that he made in the French and American revolutions, this talk focuses on the importance of visual, material, and print cultures in shaping and sustaining Lafayette’s divided legacies.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.