24 janvier

09h > 19h

Art, Agency, and the Making of Identities (1600-2000)

Circulating Crafts

Colonisation Histoire de l'art

Circulation and imitation of cultural products are key factors in shaping the material world – as well as identities. Many objects or techniques that came to be seen as local, authentic, and typical are in fact entangled in complex transnational narratives tied to a history of imperialism, and the commercial phenomenon of supply and demand.


A conference organized by Yaëlle Biro ( Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Noémie Etienne (Bern University).


La circulation et l'imitation des produits culturels sont des facteurs clés dans la formation du monde matériel et des identités imaginées. Objets ou techniques perçus comme locaux, authentiques et typiques sont en réalité entremêlés dans des récits transnationaux complexes liés à une histoire d'appropriation, d'impérialisme ou commerciale. Ce projet explore l’impact des connaissances techniques, des désirs immatériels et des agendas politiques sur la production et la consommation de la culture visuelle et matérielle à différents moments et lieux.  Avec Yaëlle Biro (Metropolitan Museum of Art) et Noémie Étienne (Université de Berne). 


Une conférence organisée par Yaëlle Biro (Metropolitan Museum of Art) et Noémie Etienne (Université de Berne).

In the 17th and 18th centuries, artists and craftspeople in Europe appropriated foreign techniques such as porcelain, textiles, or lacquers that eventually shaped local European identities. During the 19th century, Western consumers looked for genuine goods produced outside of industry, and the demand of Bourgeois tourism created a new market of authentic souvenirs and forgeries alike. Furthermore, the 20th century saw the (re)-emergence of local "Schools" of art and crafts as responses to political changes, anthropological research, and/or tourist demand. This multi-parts conference will explore how technical knowledge, immaterial desires, and political agendas impacted the production and consumption of visual and material culture in different times and places. A new scrutiny of this back and forth between demanders and suppliers will allow us to map anew a multidirectional market for cultural goods in which the source countries could be positioned at the center.

Les présentations dont le descriptif est en anglais ci-dessous se feront dans cette langue.




PART 1 Workshop "Circulating Crafts"

January 24th 2018, La Colonie, 178 boulevard Lafayette, 75010 Paris


  • 9.00: Welcome and Introduction, Yaëlle Biro and Noémie Étienne
  • 9.15: Ariane Fennetaux, Université Paris Diderot

From Coromandel with Love: The Glocalisation of Indian Cottons in the 17th and 18th Centuries 


  • 9.55: Chonja Lee, Universität Bern

Made in Switzerland: How Swiss Indiennes became Autochtone and Dressed the World at the same Time

  • 10.35: Aziza Gril-Mariotte, Université de Haute-Alsace

Modèles, emprunts et circulation des formes occidentales dans les toiles peintes au XVIIIe siècle



  • 11.30: James Green, University of East Anglia

Appropriating Kongo Colors: Red, White and Black in 19th Century English Trade Cloth


  • 12.10: Manuel Charpy, CNRS, Lille

Changing Sides? Consumption and Political Uses of Western Clothing in Congo (1830-1960)


Moderation: Noémie Étienne, Universität Bern /Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne


13.00-14.00: LUNCH BREAK


  • 14.00: Thomas Grillot, CNRS, Paris

Marketing Family Heirlooms: Three Generations of American Indian Artists in the Northern Plains


  • 14.40:  Rémi Labrusse, Université Paris-Nanterre

Hybridité et identité en Algérie à la veille de l’invasion française : Le cas du palais du Bey de Constantine




  • 15.35: Julien Volper, Tervuren Museum

Du Bénin à l’Inde en passant par le Congo. Origines, influences et voyages d’objets africains du XIXème et du XXème siècles


  • 16.15: Jonathan Fine, Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin

Crafting Culture: The Co-Production of “Bamum” Art in the 1920s


  • 16.55: Gaëlle Beaujean, Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

Sirène, vierge, charmeuse de serpent et Atlantique


17.35-18.00: DISCUSSION


Moderation: Yaëlle Biro, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Participation to the workshop is free, open to all, without registration.


PART 2. Conference Panels "Art, Agency, and the Making of Identities (1600-2000)"

February 21st 2018, CAA, College Art Association

Convention Center, 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015


Panel I, 2:00-3:30pm, Room 405


  • Helen Glaister, SOAS, University of London/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Picturesque in Peking – European Decoration at the Qing Court


  • Dorothy Armstrong, Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A Transnational Loop: Pakistan's Repossession of the Oriental Carpet Imaginary and its Production


  • Tingting Xu, University of Chicago

The Rivers Folded: Souvenir Accordion Panoramas in the Late Nineteenth-century Global Tourism


  • Karen E. Milbourne, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Lozi Style: King Lewanika and the Marketing of Barotseland


Panel II, 4:00-5:30pm, Room 409A


  • Ashley V. Miller, UC Berkeley

'What is Colonial Art, and Can it be Modern?': Moroccan Modernisms at the Art Deco Exposition in Paris, 1925


  • Victoria L. Rovine, University of North Carolina

A Wider Loom: Textiles and Colonial Politics of Authenticity in the Soudan Français


  • Gail Levin, The City University of New York

Frida Kahlo’s Invention of Jewish Identity


  • Niko Vicario, Amherst College

From Duco to Comex: The Politics of Synthetic Paint in the Americas




This conference is made possible by Tribal Art Magazine and the Swiss National Science Foundation. More on: