Call for Papers: Interior Design and Style Cohabitation. From the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century. Paris, 19 March 18.
Paris, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art.
This study day will question the adaptation in domestic spaces, as a common and pragmatic custom, of objects that originally were not destined to meet, playing despite or with their differences. This theme was recently addressed by the Galerie des Gobelins with the exhibition À table avec le mobilier national, where eighteenth century paintings, paperboards and wall hangings from the royal manufacture oversaw fifty years of furniture creation by the Atelier de Recherche et de Création (1964-2014).
While it is common in the field of art history to encounter examples of interiors where the decorative harmony was conceived according to the ideal of a “total work of art,” the opposite will be examined. The assortment in a common space of objects from different periods and the ensuing reflections brought up by these unexpected, sometimes surprising, convergences will be our object of interest.
When, for example, was it intended for eighteenth century furniture to be associated and fit in with an Impressionist painting? Was this type of seemingly insignificant practice theorized ahead of time or retrospectively?
This subject is linked to the history of taste. While a few publications devoted to collectors’ arrangements of domestic spaces have pointed out some individuals who wished to harmonize old furniture to a modern art collection, on the contrary, examples of modern furniture confronted with old works of art could be discussed during this Study Day.
Far from the historically based mechanism, already well studied for the nineteenth century for example (Antiquity, neo-gothic or neo-Renaissance decor and furniture), the debate here will focus on the practical necessity for a collector, dealer or individual, to design an interior with modern paintings and old furniture – or inversely – that is elements apparently disparate by their age, forms and uses.
This thematic raises questions relating to the flexibility of fine arts and decorative arts and confronts the values and/or practices associated with the work of art, considered as a decorative element, as well as a utilitarian object of art, equally appreciated for its plastic qualities.
While composing an interior can extend to the private space, the artist’s studio, or demonstrations of domestic spaces in art galleries and department stores, the study can even include how these spaces were spread to the public by images. We will aim to define what type of media participated in this transmission. The literature and the press play for example a significant role in the circulation of these interior views and the values to which they are linked.
The Study Day suggests – but is not limited to – several topics:
– Paintings’ or art objects’ adaptability, flexibility or modular nature;
– Migration or confusion of values and contemplative behaviors and practices when faced with paintings and furniture;
– Authorship and collectors’ and decorators’ creative and recreational motivations.
Proposals that extend their analysis to other types of objects and collections, particularly to sculpture, will also be reviewed with the greatest interest.
Organization : Claire Hendren (Ph.D. candidate, Université Paris-Nanterre), Barbara Jouves (Ph.D. candidate, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Hadrien Viraben (Ph.D. candidate, Université de Rouen and Université Paris-Nanterre)