25 November 2020 | 17:15-18:00
Dr. Léa Kuhn, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich
‘Staging savoir-faire: Authorship and the Division of Labour in Emile Gallé’s Glass Works’
Already in the 1880s, the Nancy-born maître verrier, céramiste and ébéniste Emile Gallé had gained an international reputation as one of the leading glass artists in the world. At the time, especially his participations at the World’s Fairs added much to his international fame. This is why it is worthwhile analysing the public display of his objets d’art at these exhibitions more in detail.
This lecture presents arguments that for Gallé, the public display especially of his glass objects at the big international exhibitions of his time not only offered an ideal stage for presenting his latest production. Rather, they provided the means to present publicly an easily narratable version of their underlying production processes and their specific savoir-faire. Accordingly, his exhibition participations served him as a twofold presentation medium, combining works and working process.
Léa Kuhn studied art history, literature and sociology in Munich, Karlsruhe and Zurich and holds a PhD from the University of Munich. She has specialized in French, British, German as well as US-American art and visual culture in the long eighteenth century, with a particular interest in the relationship between artistic practice and art historiography. Her first book on “Painted Art History. Image Genealogies in Painting around 1800” came out in 2020 with the German publishing house Wilhelm Fink.
Léa is currently Assistant Professor (Akademische Rätin a.Z.) at the Department of History of Art of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, where she works on her second book dealing with notions of artistic labour in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.