Enchanted Lives, Enchanted Objects (Hardcover)

American Women Collectors and the Making of Culture, 1800–1940

By Dianne Macleod, Dianne Macleod (Other primary creator)

University of California Press, 9780520237292, 328pp.

Publication Date: September 16, 2008

List Price: 85.00*
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This insightful and beautifully illustrated book offers the first feminist analysis of the phenomenon of women art collectors in America. Dianne Sachko Macleod brings a surprising paradox to light, showing that collecting, which provided wealthy women with a private sense of solace, also liberated them to venture into the public sphere and make a lasting contribution to the emerging American culture. Beginning in the antebellum period, continuing through the Gilded Age, and reaching well into the twentieth century, Macleod shows how elite women enlisted the objets d'art and avant-garde paintings in their collections in causes ranging from the founding of modern museums to the campaign for women's suffrage.

About the Author

Dianne Sachko Macleod is Professor Emerita of Art History at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Art and the Victorian Middle Class: Money and the Making of Cultural Identity.

Praise For Enchanted Lives, Enchanted Objects: American Women Collectors and the Making of Culture, 1800–1940

“A valuable addition to our belated understanding of the crucial role that women played outside the studio and inside the museum.”

— Robert Moeller

“Brings to life the idea of the female collector and the limitless horizons that collecting embodied as . . . expression.”

— Choice: Current Reviews For Academic Libraries

“Macleod deftly demonstrates that collecting art served these women as a catalyst for fostering self-awareness, independence, and engagement with the public sphere.”

— Journal Of American History

“The work is a welcome addition to the literature on collecting. It should prompt spirited discussion.”

— Bruce A. Austin

“Enchanted Lives, Enchanted Objects will captivate scholars in many fields.”

— Laura R. Prieto

“An impressive piece of scholarship on the gendered and heterogeneous nature of collecting.”

— American Historical Review