Enchanted Lives, Enchanted Objects: American Women Collectors and the Making of Culture, 1800-1940 / Edition 1

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Overview

This insightful and beautifully illustrated book offers the first feminist analysis of the phenomenon of women art collectors in America. Dianne Sachko Macleod brings a surprising paradox to light, showing that collecting, which provided wealthy women with a private sense of solace, also liberated them to venture into the public sphere and make a lasting contribution to the emerging American culture. Beginning in the antebellum period, continuing through the Gilded Age, and reaching well into the twentieth century, Macleod shows how elite women enlisted the objets d'art and avant-garde paintings in their collections in causes ranging from the founding of modern museums to the campaign for women's suffrage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A valuable addition to our belated understanding of the crucial role that women played outside the studio and inside the museum."--Artnet Magazine

"Brings to life the idea of the female collector and the limitless horizons that collecting embodied as . . . expression."--Choice: Current Reviews For Academic Libraries

"Macleod deftly demonstrates that collecting art served these women as a catalyst for fostering self-awareness, independence, and engagement with the public sphere."--Journal of American History

"The work is a welcome addition to the literature on collecting. It should prompt spirited discussion."--New York-Pennsylvania Collector

"An impressive piece of scholarship on the gendered and heterogeneous nature of collecting."--American Historical Review

Artnet Magazine - Robert Moeller
“A valuable addition to our belated understanding of the crucial role that women played outside the studio and inside the museum.”
Choice: Current Reviews For Academic Libraries
“Brings to life the idea of the female collector and the limitless horizons that collecting embodied as . . . expression.”
Journal Of American History
“Macleod deftly demonstrates that collecting art served these women as a catalyst for fostering self-awareness, independence, and engagement with the public sphere.”
New York-Pennsylvania Collector - Bruce A. Austin
“The work is a welcome addition to the literature on collecting. It should prompt spirited discussion.”
CAA Reviews - Laura R. Prieto
“Enchanted Lives, Enchanted Objects will captivate scholars in many fields.”
American Historical Review
“An impressive piece of scholarship on the gendered and heterogeneous nature of collecting.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520237292
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/16/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dianne Sachko Macleod is Professor Emerita of Art History at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Art and the Victorian Middle Class: Money and the Making of Cultural Identity.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Women Art Collectors 1

1 The Politics of Cultural Space in Antebellum America 21

2 A Conspiracy of Silence 45

3 Art and Activism 93

4 The Gendering of the Modern Museum 134

5 The Sexing of Taste 176

Epilogue: Modernist Nostalgia 206

Notes 223

List of Illustrations 285

Index 293

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