Boiseries: Decoration and Migration from the Eighteenth Century to the Present – Deadline: Friday 2 September 2022

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Boiseries: Decoration and Migration from the Eighteenth Century to the Present

Thursday 12th & Friday 13th January 2023 Camden Place, Chislehurst (Kent)

This two-day conference investigates the cultural and commercial migrations of French eighteenth-century boiseries from their places of production in Paris and the Bâtiments du Roi to the drawing rooms of Britain and the United States. It will be the first major study of boiseries in the context of transatlantic cultural history and will build on the landmark studies of panelling as architectural salvage by Bruno Pons (1995, 2001) and the late John Harris (2007). The conference will bring together international experts and emerging scholars in the fields of art, architecture, history, and museums and heritage management and will form part of a programme of events marking the 150th anniversary of the death of Napoleon III at Camden Place.

Camden Place, where the conference will be held, is an English country house whose history and interiors have been shaped by the migration of people and decoration for over 300 years. Home to Chislehurst Golf Club, the Grade II* listed building features architectural elements by the British architects George Dance the Younger (1741–1825) and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart (1713– 1788), and played host to the French Imperial court after the fall of the Empire in 1870. French chimney pieces, boiseries from the eighteenth-century Château de Bercy (demolished in 1862), and heavily carved oak panelling are among the elements that make up the house’s many layers, testifying both to the eclectic tastes of its nineteenth-century occupants and to the multifaceted, and multinational, histories of many English country houses.

Organised by Dr Lindsay Macnaughton (University of Buckingham) and Laura C. Jenkins (The Courtauld Institute of Art), with support from Chislehurst Golf Club, The Chislehurst Society, The University of Buckingham, and The Society for the Study of French History.

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Day One: Thursday 12 January

10:00    Arrival and Registration

10:30    Welcome – Introduction by Lindsay Macnaughton

10:45    First Session – The Cultural Impact of French Émigrés in Britain (Moderated by Lindsay Macnaughton)

  • Camden Place as a Headquarters of Bonapartism, 1870–1879
    Thomas C. Jones, Senior Lecturer, The University of Buckingham         
  • The French Imperial family in exile: the display of collections in Camden Place, 1870–1880
    Rebecca Walker, Independent Scholar
  • Lord Hertford’s room from the Château de Bercy
    Félix Zorzo, Curatorial Assistant (temporary cover for the Curator of 18th-Century French Decorative Arts), The Wallace Collection

12:45    Lunch (Provided)

1:45     Second Session – Moving Rooms: Markets and Merchants (Moderated by Mark Westgarth)

  • The valued fragment: Georges Hoentschel as dealer in historic interiors
    Ulrich Leben, Independent Scholar
  • Decorating on a Grand Scale: British Professional Decorators of the Early Twentieth Century 
    Pat Wheaton, Independent Scholar
  • Saviours or gravediggers of panelling? Some thoughts on the role of merchants
    François Gilles, PhD Candidate, Université de Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines

3:45     Tea and Coffee Break

4:15     Keynote lecture – The archaeology of Camden Place: an architectural conundrum
Lee Prosser, Curator of Historic Buildings, Historic Royal Palaces

5:15     Closing Remarks

6:00     Drinks Reception (Open to All)

7:00     End of Day One


Day Two: Friday 13 January

9:30     Tours of Camden Place (Registrants)

10:00    Arrival and Registration

10:30    Welcome – Opening remarks by Laura C. Jenkins

10:45    Third Session – Staging the Past: Boiseries and ‘Period Rooms’ (Moderated by Laura C. Jenkins)

  • History of the panelling of the State bedroom of the Hôtel de Chevreuse et de Luynes in Paris (1765–2014)
    Frédéric Dassas, Senior Curator, Musée du Louvre
  • The ‘Roman’ Petit salon of the duc d’Aumont and the 18th-century origins of the period room
    Gabriel Wick, Lecturer, NYU Paris
  • ‘Un Décor Authentique et Harmonieux’: Framing and Aestheticising the Cognacq-Jay Collection
    Barbara Lasic, Senior Lecturer, Sotheby’s Institute of Art

12:45    Lunch (Provided)

1:45     Fourth Session – Franco-British Collectors of Boiseries (Moderated by Helen Jacobsen)

  • British Duc d’Aumale: The boiseries of Orleans House, from Twickenham to Chantilly
    Mathieu Deldicque, Director, Musée Condé, Château de Chantilly
  • Contextualising the Rothschild collection of panelling at Waddesdon Manor (Provisional title)
    Mia Jackson, Curator of Decorative Arts, Waddesdon Manor
  • Uncovering Identity and a Nationalist Narrative: The Imported Interiors at Harlaxton Manor
    Carter Jackson, PhD Candidate, Boston University

3:45     Tea and Coffee Break

4:15     Fifth Session – Reuse and Reinterpretation (Moderated by Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth)

  • Winterthur’s Boiseries and Defining the Aesthetic of the American Country Estate (TBC)
    Carrie Greif, Estate Historian, Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library (TBC)
  • Past Lives: The Mona Von Bismarck House, 34 Avenue de New York, Paris
    Melany Telleen, Independent Scholar
  • Boiserie Alternatives: Wallcoverings in glass beads, straw, lacquer, porcelain and feathers
    Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, Independent Scholar

6:15     Closing Remarks

6:30     Tours of Camden Place (Registrants)

7:00     End of Conference

Additional Details

Institution or Organization name - University of Buckingham and Chislehurst Golf Club

To register for this event please visit the following URL: →


Date And Time

2023-01-12 @ 10:00 AM (GMT) to
2023-01-13 @ 07:00 PM (GMT)

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