Artworks in Progress

 My research focuses on the connection between the material life of artworks and their reception at various moments and in different places, particularly throughout the long 18th century. It aims to consider artworks as works in progress, in a constant state of flux. This perspective is explored with less of an emphasis on the context and date of creation, or the interpretation of art works, and more on their material existence in time. The work of art is considered as a continuum: this focus on continuous modification (restoration, reparation, desctruction) allows me to bridge the distinction between the creation and the reception of objects, while acknowledging their constant refashioning.


© Atelier de conservation-restauration des peintures, MAH, Genève.

Materiality and Mobility

I am also emphasizing the connection between materiality and mobility. I am concerned with objects being used in a culture other than the one in which they originated. This perspective facilitates the study of the migration of material culture from one territory to another. Various spaces are activated through the circulation of material things and works of art: public or private, commercial, museal or domestic. My research aims to track the movement and changing materiality of artworks across time, space, and culture, particularly during the eighteenth and nineteenth century.


Riesener, Secrétaire à abattant, 1783, Metropolitan Museum.

Travelling Spaces

Finally, I am interested in museum history and display with a particular focus on anthropological dioramas during the nineteenth and twentieth century in Europe and the United States. I aim to understand how time and space, as well as distance and proximity, are articulated within such displays. The question of touch and contact is also key. It introduces alternative ways of thinking about the values inherent in anthropological museums, such as authenticity, expertise and legitimacy.

Research.TravellingSpaces.False Face Ceremony Life Group_B&W_001 edited

The False Face Ceremony, mixed-media installation, designed by Arthur Parker in collaboration with Henri Marchand and Caspar Mayer, 1908-1918.  © NYSM