CfP: The Commerce & Circulation of Decorative Arts 1792-1914 – Auctions, Dealers, Collectors and Museums (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon)

Date of event:   17/03/2024 − 17/03/2024

Title: The Commerce & Circulation of Decorative Arts 1792-1914: Auctions, Dealers, Collectors and Museums
Format: In-person
Duration: 25 to 27 September 2024
Deadline: 17 March 2024
Organized by: Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon, France

This international three-day colloquium, to be held in Lyon, France, from 25 to 27 September 2024, will investigate the role played by auctions, dealers, collectors, and museums in the circulation of the decorative arts from 1792 until 1914. Beginning with the ‘ventes des biens des émigrés’ in Revolutionary France and ending with the onset of World War I, these were years of seismic political and socio-economic change that revolutionised the art market.

The colloquium hopes to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue among participants specialising in art history, material culture and economic history. Presentations using new methodologies or technologies for interpreting dealer/ collector/museum records and auction results as well as well as more traditional case studies are all welcome. Topics for consideration will investigate the inter-relationships between the decorative arts market, connoisseurship, taste and collecting practice. They may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The repercussions of political and socio-economic change on the circulation of objects
  • Auctions and their impact on networks of local and international exchange
  • Collectors’ preferences and methods of acquisition (auctions, dealers, agents, and advisors)
  • The role of dealers, agents, curators and advisors, their influence on taste and collecting practice
  • Networks of trade between Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and further afield
  • Collaboration and competition within and between networks across borders
  • The influence of the circulation of antiques on workshop practice and craftsmanship in the decorative arts
  • The involvement of museums in the art market, their role at auctions and the relations between dealers and curators, trade expertise and scholarly research
  • The impact of public exhibitions on the art market and the trade in decorative arts
  • Connoisseurship and expertise across borders: the interrelationship between the discourse of decorative art history and the market (including the use of photography, sale catalogues, museum catalogues and scholarly publications and journals)
  • Cultural transfers through collecting practice
  • The visualisation and staging of the collecting space/ interior
  • The use of digital tools to analyse the circulation of the decorative arts

This will be an “in person” event. It is hoped to cover accommodation for speakers for the duration of the conference. The symposium will be bi-lingual (English is preferred). Please submit abstracts for papers (20 minutes long) of no more than 350 words together with a brief biography as an e-mail attachment to: and no later than 17 March 2024. Applicants selected by the scientific committee will be notified by 22 April 2024.

For more information, please visit the website here.

CfP in PDF