Presentation Title

Orientalism in Auction Houses: A Provenance Exploration of Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps’ 1848 Farm Yard at the Fleming Museum of Art

Presenter's Name(s)

Kat SchinellaFollow

Abstract

In 1848, Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps completed his 21x25” oil on canvas work, Farm Yard (Quand les Canes Vont aux Champs). In December of 1958, Jean W. Simpson gifted the piece to the Fleming Museum of Art. Where and why the complex canvas traveled between those time periods, as a whole, is incomplete. Provenance - the chronological ownership record of an object’s life - presents the art historical world with a piece's biography of authenticity, acquisition, and a timeline of transactional taste. Through both tangible methods of working with the museum object files and canvas de-framing, as well as online database research of archival documents, correspondence letters, and exhibition catalogues, this project explores Farm Yard’s ownership history between 1848 and 1958, assembling an exhibition bibliography and reconstructed provenance for the Fleming Museum of Art along the way. By mending the holes in the timeline seams, a light is shed not only on Farm Yard’s sale path prior to its hanging on the European Gallery walls, but also upon the larger taste for artworks of appropriative Oriental imagery in auctions through time and space.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Professor Heather Read

Secondary Mentor NetID

andrea.rosen

Secondary Mentor Name

Andrea Rosen

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Art History

Primary Research Category

Arts & Humanities

Second Program/Major

Global Studies

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Orientalism in Auction Houses: A Provenance Exploration of Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps’ 1848 Farm Yard at the Fleming Museum of Art

In 1848, Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps completed his 21x25” oil on canvas work, Farm Yard (Quand les Canes Vont aux Champs). In December of 1958, Jean W. Simpson gifted the piece to the Fleming Museum of Art. Where and why the complex canvas traveled between those time periods, as a whole, is incomplete. Provenance - the chronological ownership record of an object’s life - presents the art historical world with a piece's biography of authenticity, acquisition, and a timeline of transactional taste. Through both tangible methods of working with the museum object files and canvas de-framing, as well as online database research of archival documents, correspondence letters, and exhibition catalogues, this project explores Farm Yard’s ownership history between 1848 and 1958, assembling an exhibition bibliography and reconstructed provenance for the Fleming Museum of Art along the way. By mending the holes in the timeline seams, a light is shed not only on Farm Yard’s sale path prior to its hanging on the European Gallery walls, but also upon the larger taste for artworks of appropriative Oriental imagery in auctions through time and space.