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Grant number like: FA-233404-16

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Elizabeth N. Emery
Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ 07043-1600)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2016 – 8/31/2017

Clémence d'Ennery (1853-1914): A Female Connoisseur in the Age of Male Collecting

Completion of a book-length study of Clémence d'Ennery (1823-1898), the first French woman to build a museum of Asian art, and the social and cultural forces that influenced 19th-century women art collectors in France.

The nineteenth-century French fascination for Asian art has generated much scholarship, little of which mentions women collectors. This book brings light to the social context surrounding Clémence d'Ennery, who assembled 6,300 objects from Japan, China, and India, built a museum with her own money, and willed it to France. She was the first French woman of her time to do such a thing, yet she is unknown today. This case study of d'Ennery and her museum serves as a magnifying glass through which to examine developing cultural forces that made it difficult for nineteenth-century women to make their marks as collectors. The book brings attention to d'Ennery's story by discussing major issues in the humanities, including injustices in the writing of history, stereotypes about ethnicity and gender, the struggle for non-elites to gain cultural capital and respect, and the choices made when acquiring and displaying art.