Amy Ogata will be coming to speak at the Françoise and Georges Selz Lectures on 18th- and 19th-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Her talk is entitled “The Metallic in Second Empire France.”

At the BGC, Dr. Ogata will speak about the materiality of metal in Second Empire France. Metal in many forms—from the large-scale infrastructure of the new railroads, buildings, and boulevard furniture, to gleaming table services and jewelry—reveals the complex aesthetic, political and social values of the Second Empire. By looking at the era’s understanding of metalwork, the metallic, and, inevitably, money, we can begin to see how a discourse on materiality circumscribed the public and private spaces of the age. These metallic forms, whether lamp posts or table ornaments, were often rendered in the image and styles of the past, which gave shape and agency to a culture in transition. Dr. Ogata will argue that the physicality of metal worked in both abstract and concrete ways to solidify the imperial public image in the 1850s and 1860s.

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.