Monika Kopplin will be coming to speak at the Françoise and Georges Selz Lectures on 18th- and 19th-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Her talk is entitled “Vernis Martin: French Lacquer of the 18th Century.”

Monika Kopplin earned her doctorate in 1980 with a dissertation on Impressionist fan painting. After a two-year traineeship at the State Gallery in Stuttgart, she was responsible for conceiving and organizing several major exhibitions in southern Germany, while simultaneously holding a lectureship at the University of Stuttgart. Since 1990, she has been responsible for the design and organization of the collections at the Museum für Lackkunst, where she has served as director since its opening in Münster in 1993. An expert on East Asian, European, and Russian lacquer art, Dr. Kopplin has organized international exhibitions and has edited and co-authored numerous publications including Japanische Lacke – Die Sammlung der Königin Marie-Antoinette (2002); Russische Lackkunst von Peter dem Großen bis zur Großen Revolution (2003); Chinois: Dresdener Lackkunst in Schloss Wilanów (2005); Prinzip Monochrom – Lack und Keramik der Song- und Qing-Zeit (2009); European Lacquer (2010); Russische Lacke – die Sammlung des Museums für Lackkunst (2013); and Vernis Martin – französischer Lack im 18. Jahrhundert (2013). She was awarded the Federal Republic of Germany’s Cross of Merit (First Class) in 2008 and was inducted into the Order of Friendship of Russia in 2013 in recognition of her dedication to the promotion of culture. Monika Kopplin served on the Europa Nostra jury of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage from 2008 to 2011. She accepted lectureships at the University of Heidelberg in 2009 and the Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster in spring 2013. She is presently preparing the special exhibition “Gérard Dagly 1660-1715 und die Berliner Hofwerkstatt” [Gérard Dagly 1660-1715 and the Berlin Court Workshop], which will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue.

Vernis Martin, a generic term that became established around 1760, denotes eighteenth-century French lacquer in the manner and decorative style of the Martin Brothers. Guillaume, the eldest brother, opened a lacquer workshop in Paris around 1710 and spearheaded a business carried forward by his siblings. Initially focussing on the fabrication of accessories for the dressing table, Guillaume invented the lacquered papier-mâché snuffbox in the 1740s. Light and inexpensive to manufacture, such snuffboxes competed with their golden models. At the same time, the family’s lacquer art borrowed decorative techniques from the goldsmith’s art and, with its turn toward oil painting, completed its dissociation from East Asian lacquer that Guillaume and his brothers had so masterfully imitated. The emancipation of French lacquer found expression in the lacquering of coaches, in furniture décor, and in the fabrication of bijoux. It formatively influenced European lacquer and represents France’s most important contribution to the evolution of the art.

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. Registrants who arrive late may be seated in an overflow viewing area.