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Porcelain in the Age of Mass Production

Lecture | September 28 | 5-6:30 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall


Suzanne Marchand, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

Institute of European Studies, Center for German and European Studies, GHI West, the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington DC


What happened to the great Central European luxury commodity of the eighteenth century, porcelain, when formerly mercantile firms had to compete in a (relatively) open market with mass producers of ceramics? How did the porcelain firms’ painters and modelers deal with the reality that consumers now wanted inexpensive imitations of Baroque tea sets rather than modern artistic masterpieces? To what extent did the opening up of the consumer marketplace to the middling classes change the technology and financing of luxury production? What did nineteenth-century German and Austrian consumers want to display on their mantelpieces and dinner tables? Suzanne Marchand will offer a rich display of images to document the many different styles and products made by porcelain firms in the nineteenth century. Suzanne Marchand will address these and other questions in her talk examining the cultural and the economic histories of Central Europe in the age of industrialization.
Suzanne Marchand is LSU Systems Boyd (University) Professor of European Intellectual History at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. She is the author of Down from Olympus: Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1870 (Princeton University Press, 1996) and German Orientalism in the Age of Empire: Race, Religion, and Scholarship (Cambridge University Press, 2009), which won the George Mosse Prize of the American Historical Association. She served as president of the German Studies Association 2012-14.


heike@berkeley.edu, 510-643-4558