Lecture: Fashionable goods in Early Modern Europe, 1550-1700


INAUGURAL LECTURE: PROFESSOR EVELYN WELCH, Fashionable goods in Early Modern Europe, 1550-1700

Great Hall King’s Building Strand Campus
When: 05/03/2014 (18:30)
This event is open to all and free to attend, but booking is required via our Eventbrite page.
Registration URL: http://evelynwelch.eventbrite.co.uk

Thinking through things:

An Inaugural Lecture by Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice Principal (Arts & Sciences)

The Victoria & Albert Museum has two late seventeenth-century dolls known as ‘Lord and Lady Clapham’ on display. Wearing Chinese silks, fine lace head-dresses, kimono-style banyans and carrying full face masks, gaming bags, the two figures represented the height of what was regarded as fashionable in Europe in around 1692.  But how did these goods and styles become so desirable and spread so quickly across so many countries?

This lecture looks at a range of fashionable items, goods that took on iconic status in England, France, Holland, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia focusing on what we can learn by studying the things themselves. Drawing on research undertaken as part of a major collaborative research project, ‘Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800’ (www.fashioningtheearlymodern.ac.uk) funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA), it looks at ruffs, tippets, muffs, masks and other fashions which spread, disappeared and re-emerged in different guises between 1550 and 1700. Now often dismembered, buried and forgotten, it is only by bringing together the surviving objects and their representations that we can begin to explore how fashion worked in Early Modern Europe.

Professor Welch graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Renaissance History and Literature (Magna cum Laude) and received her PhD from the Warburg Institute, University of London. She has taught at the Universities of Essex, Birkbeck, Sussex and Queen Mary, University of London, where she served as Dean of Arts and Vice-Principal for Research and International Affairs before taking on the role of Vice-Principal for Arts & Sciences at King’s College London.  Professor Welch has led a range of major research programmes including The Material Renaissance which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Getty Foundation and Beyond Text: Performances, Sounds, Images, Objects, a £5.5 million AHRC strategic research programme which ran from 2005-2012. She has published extensively on European art and material culture between 1300 and 1700 including books such as Art in Renaissance Italy, (Oxford, 200), Shopping in the Renaissance (Yale, 2005) and Making and Marketing Medicine in Renaissance Florence (Rodopi, 2011). Professor Welch currently serves as a trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum where she chairs the collections committee.


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