I just love this print. Those cats are so pleased.
As always, I blame Hegel. Our discipline wouldn’t be in this silly predicament if art historians hadn’t been so busy for so long trying to identify the spirit of the age as expressed through its art and its relative progress towards absolute idea.
It’s worth noting that de Bellaigue cites a 1987 publication for that statistic. It’s not as if this is brand new information.
God, art history is such a half-assed discipline.
VLB’s education is usually referred to as typical of mid-eighteenth century bourgeois girls, in that she was raised by a wet-nurse until 4 or 5, and was then sent to a convent boarding-school until she was 11. Which, granted is typical. But, she spent a great deal of time at home, away from the convent, which was really uncommon among girls at such boarding-schools. Over the course of the eighteenth century, Christina de Bellaigue (Educating Women, Oxford, NY, 2007) notes that about 5% of girls enrolled at such schools in Paris ever spent any time away from them until they left for good.
ffs art historians, don’t be scared by history books that don’t have anything directly to do with art.
Cats are critical to posters, apparently. A smattering of kitties appear in Posters, a critical study of the development of poster design in continental Europe, England and America by Charles Matlack Price.
Price obviously knew the importance of cats in art. He certainly had strong feelings about the topic of art, going so far as to include the quote above from Robert Louis Stevenson as the epigraph to the book. And since we see 2 kitties gracing the title page, we can deduce that his idea of good art = cats. But I’m no art historian.
Growing up, learning, scholarship and academic excellence were always held up as, not just of prime importance, but of prime importance to being a Jew. Discovering how deeply entrenched antisemitism is in the academy has been a heartbreaking process. It is good to learn, even, especially, from one’s enemies, but damn if it isn’t shredding sometimes.
Met with my thesis advisor today. She’s happy with the progress I’ve made, she wants me to publish(!).
She also told me not to get distracted. “We’ve been caught in their schema of otherness since at least 1096, there’s nothing you can do to affect to affect it today, so keep your head down and keep working.” (My thesis advisor moonlights as a professor of medieval Jewish history. Apparently it has never been a good time to be a Jew in the academy.)
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