Katie Scott will deliver a Françoise and Georges Selz Lecture on Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture on Wednesday, December 5, at 6 pm. Her talk is entitled “Artists as Consumers: A Picture, a Snuffbox, a Teacup, a Carriage, an Umbrella, and a Bath.”

This paper is part of a collaborative research project into the material culture of eighteenth-century French artists. It focuses not on the studio, however, but on the domestic interior and on the diverse stuffs of social life. It asks how prominent artists such as Nicolas de Largillière, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, and Jacques-Philippe Le Bas responded to the range of consumer goods, both luxury and every-day, flooding the Parisian market in which they lived and worked. Did ownership of gold boxes and porcelain, and also baths and umbrellas, serve to articulate artistic identity in new ways? Was that artistic identity single and determined largely by official institutions such as the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, or was it multiple and inflected by individual taste and patterns of consumption? In short, what did material things mean to artists, and what did these same things say about them?

Katie Scott is Professor in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She has a longstanding interest in the interior and in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French decorative arts, which she teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and which is the focus of much of her research. Her current research project, which she will present in this lecture, is a collaboration with Dr. Hannah Williams (Queen Mary University, London) that will result in a book to be published by Getty Publications in 2020.