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Objects of Desire: Victorian Art at the Art Institute of Chicago

Vol. 31, no. 1
Spring 2005
In print
Softcover $16.95
To order: 

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In this special issue of Museum Studies, a team of curators and scholars surveys a wide range of the Art Institute's Victorian-era objects, capturing the period's fascinating mix of historical revivalism and stylistic innovation and illuminating a historical moment in which artworks fulfilled the varied desires of a wider range of consumers than ever before. Both general readers and more specialized audiences will enjoy the issue's mix of short essays and a fully illustrated catalogue section, which together offer a challenging, nuanced look at the complexities of Victorian art and life.

Essay topics include the burgeoning Victorian print market, an intimate sketchbook used by the English painter Edward Burne-Jones, still-life painting in 19th-century America, a spectacularly restored Gothic-style wine cabinet, and a rare album of pioneering photographs compiled by an aristocratic family. The catalogue section features 20 highlights of the museum's Victorian collection, including furniture, paintings, works on paper, photographs, and textiles by such noted artists as Julia Margaret Cameron, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and William Morris. This publication is at once an introduction to a remarkable group of objects and a window onto an age of extraordinary social change and fertile artistic production.

Table of Contents:

Gregory Nosan 
List of Contributors 
Martha Tedeschi and Gregory Nosan 
“Where the Picture Cannot Go, the Engravings Penetrate”: Prints and the Victorian Art Market 
Martha Tedeschi 
Telling Stories in the Gothic Vein: William Burges and the Art of Painted Furniture 
Ghenete Zelleke 
Conserving the Art Institute’s “Sideboard and Wine Cabinet” 
Emily Heye 
True to the Senses and False in Its Essence: Still Life and Trompe l’Oeil Painting in Victorian America 
Judith Barter 
Unpainted Masterpieces: The Drawings of Edward Burne-Jones 
Debra N. Mancoff 
From the Manor House to the Asylum: The George Cowper Album 
Douglas R. Nickel 

The Art Institute of Chicago, 2005
8 3/8 x 10 1/4 in.; 96 pages; 93 illustrations
Softcover ISBN 0-300-11641-2