Art, women, and society came together in surprising ways at the end of the eighteenth century. “Society” only began to be conceptualized as an object for study at the end of the 1700s, in particular in reaction to the French Revolution. Art, especially engraving and painting, helped make society visible to itself. Women could join the art world but rarely as fully fledged members, and as a consequence they occupied a kind of in-between position that made them especially attuned to social relations. The life and work of Marie-Gabrielle Capet will be highlighted to show how the social world could be uncovered.
Dr. Hunt’s lecture is the keynote address for the symposium "Thinking Women: Art and Representation in the Eighteenth Century," which takes place at the Harn Museum of Art from October 20-22, 2017. The symposium accompanies the exhibition "Becoming a Woman in the Age of Enlightenment: French Art from the Horovitz Collection", on display at the Harn Museum of Art from October 6-December 31, 2017. The symposium is organized by Melissa Hyde, Professor of Art History, University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, University of Florida, and the late Mary D. Sheriff, W.R. Kenan J. Distinguished Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The exhibition is organized by Alvin L. Clark, Jr, Curator, The Horvitz Collection and The J.E. Horvitz Research Curator, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg.
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