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Re-collections and Movements: Murray Marks’s Translations of Chinese Porcelain and Italian Renaissance Bronzes, ca. 1860-1918

Lim, Eunmin (2015) Re-collections and Movements: Murray Marks’s Translations of Chinese Porcelain and Italian Renaissance Bronzes, ca. 1860-1918. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

In his work Truth and Method, Hans-Georg Gadamer suggests rehabilitating the decorative element in art, which was discredited by Kant’s aesthetics in an antithetical relationship to the concept of art based on ‘pure form.’ As decoration is determined by its relation to what it is decorating, it is neither placeless nor timeless. The temporality and place of the work of decorative art question “the aesthetic consciousness according to which the work of art is what is outside all space and all time.” Drawing on Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics, this study aims to explore how the London-based antique and curiosity dealer Murray Marks (c. 1840-1918) contributed to the appropriation of Chinese porcelain and Italian Renaissance bronzes by three different artistic regimes in Europe. Marks’s transfer of the three-dimensional decorative objects into various artistic circles achieved such mobility – between East and West, past and present, and public and private spheres. Marks integrated Chinese porcelain and Italian Renaissance bronzes into a modernist artistic practice (The British Aesthetic Movement in the 1860s and 1870s), the public museum (the South Kensington Museum around 1880), and cataloguing projects based on subjectivity-centered aesthetics (with Wilhelm von Bode of the Berlin Museums from the late 1880s). This continual migration of objects demonstrates that understanding a work of art is rather a question of interpretation across time and space than a transcendental aesthetic experience. In this respect, this study will investigate Marks’s role as a cultural translator.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > History of Art (York)
Depositing User: Ms Eunmin Lim
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2017 14:53
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2017 14:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17780

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