In 1873, Mark Twain in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner published the Gilded Age. The title came to embody the spirit of the period. With the burst of industrial activity and corporate growth, the captains of industries, such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt grew large fortunes in the steel, petroleum, sugar, and transportation industries.
With the growth of their wealth came a desire to emulate the aristocratic collections of Europe. At the occasion of the sale of the Lanier Mansion by Christie’s International Real Estate, this lecture proposes to examine how these collectors shaped the new cultural landscape of the United States. We will examine their taste, their predilection for European art, from old masters to the contemporary of their time, the role played by the art dealers and various cultural agents who were central to the building their collections, while not forgetting their philanthropic legacy which made possible the birth of so many public museums in North America.
Veronique Chagnon-Burke, PhD
Independent Scholar, Co-Founder of WADDA [Women Art Dealers Digital Archives]
Throughout her career, Véronique Chagnon-Burke has taught a wide range of subjects in art market studies and art history at Queens College, Parsons School of Design, and Hunter College, among other institutions. Her museum and research positions have included work at the Museum of Modern Art and the College Art Association, and she has also worked at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris. From 2002 to 2021, she was the Director of Christie’s Education in New York, where she also taught the history of the art market.
A specialist in the history of nineteenth century French landscape painting, her fields of expertise also include nineteenth century art criticism and the art market and the role of women in the art world. She received her Ph.D. from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, her M.A. from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, and her Licence from the Université Paris-Sorbonne. She is also a graduate of the Ecole du Louvre in museum studies.
Most recently she has been focusing on organizing academic conferences which bring together art history and art market studies, such as Celebrating Female Agency in the Art in June 2018, and Women Art Dealers 1940-1990 in May 2019. Her current collaborative project is the Women Art Dealers Digital Archive (WADDA), a digital platform that maps the role women art dealers played in the institutionalization of modern and contemporary art. She is one of the editors of an upcoming book Women Art Dealers, Makers of the Modern Art Market, 1940-1990, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2023. She is founding member of the New York chapter of The International Art Market Studies Association [TIAMSA] and a section editor for the upcoming Art Market Dictionary to be published by De Gruyter, in Berlin in 2021.
Image Credit: Christie’s International Real Estate, The James F. D. Lanier House