Mirror Reflections: Diplomacy and Decoration in France and Siam, 1680s/1860s
The Glass Corner (Room 205), 25 East 13th Street, 2nd Floor
October 25, 2013 at 6:15pm
Meredith Martin is Associate Professor of Art History at New York University. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and her B.A. from Princeton. She is the author of Dairy Queens: The Politics of Pastoral Architecture from Catherine de’ Medici to Marie-Antoinette (Harvard University Press, 2011), and a co-editor of Architectural Space in Eighteenth-Century Europe: Constructing Identities and Interiors (Ashgate, 2010). Martin has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews on 18th– and 19th-Century French architectural history and decoration as well as contemporary art. Her current project focuses on art, diplomacy, and intercultural encounter in France from the reign of Louis XIV to the era of Napoleon.
This talk explores the circulation, use, and interior display of images and art objects associated with diplomatic missions that traveled between France and Siam (Thailand) in the 1680s and 1860s. In analyzing these two different but related episodes of diplomatic and cross-cultural exchange, I show how art and architectural display were crucial to articulating the political and commercial aims of each power as well as how those aims were interpreted by French and Siamese audiences.