Elizabeth Emery

Jun 17, 2021

Reframing Japonisme

Women and the Asian Art Market in Nineteenth-Century France, 1853–1914

Bloomsbury 2020

Erin Duncan O’Neill (Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma) speaks with Elizabeth Emery (Professor, Montclair State University) about Emery’s recent book, Reframing Japonisme: Women and the Asian Art Market in Nineteenth-Century France, 1853-1914 (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Women figured prominently among the leading collectors and purveyors of Asian art in mid-nineteenth-century France, but scholars no longer recognize their influence. In her latest book, Reframing Japonisme,Elizabeth Emery asks us to consider their disappearance in light of the gendered dynamics at play in practices of artistic production and circulation of that period. 

She presents a trove of materials--art objects, literary accounts, and fragmentary records scattered among diverse archives—to bring renewed attention to women’s contributions to the French discover of Japanese art and its celebration in museums, social settings, and the global art market. In this conversation, Emery and Duncan O’Neill discuss two women at the heart of her story: an avid collector, Clémence d’Ennery, and the premier importer of Asian art with a shop on the rue de Rivoli, Louse Desoye. Emery documents their art education, commercial exchanges, and intellectual legacies alongside cogent analysis of the legal, economic, and literary forces that have conspired to obscure their contributions.

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Jennifer Davis Cline

Associate Professor of History, University of Oklahoma Co-Editor, Journal of Women's History
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