Wayne Koestenbaum, author, The Queen's Throat and Humiliation
Luke Syson, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Curator in Charge, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, MMA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition Plain or Fancy? Restraint and Exuberance in the Decorative Arts culls highlights from the Met's permanent collections to contrast restrained—plain—works of art with richly ornamented—fancy—ones, focusing on those moments in history when pendulum shifts made a sharp swing in one direction or another. Wayne Koestenbaum (The Queen's Throat, Humiliation), one of today's most influential and controversial cultural critics, joins Luke Syson, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Curator in Charge, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, for a conversation exploring the ways in which stylistic choices may also be moral ones—and how our aesthetic responses are shaped by shame and judgment. Do you like your art "plain" or "fancy"? And what does taste mean, really?
This lecture is supported by the Mrs. Joseph H. King Fund.
Image Above: Service, Coffee and Tea (Déjeuner Chinois Reticulé), 1855–61. Hard-paste porcelain. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Helen Boehm, in memory of her late husband, Edward Marshall Boehm, 1969 (69.193.1–.11)
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