We are pleased to announce Mandy Paige-Lovingood was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant for the period January 1, 2024, through June 30, 2024. This in-person program is funded through the Graduate School and is designed to enable students to focus full time on the writing of their dissertation.
Mandy’s dissertation, Modes of Display: Exhibition, Gender, and the Lifecyle of Turqueries, investigates the interpretation and exhibition lifecycle of eighteenth-century French women’s turquerie portraits from their genesis to the current day, and how intersections of aesthetics, social identity, and exhibition both affect and carry out meaning and interpretation. In particular, the four case studies selected for her dissertation: Jean-Marc Nattier, Mademoiselle de Claremont en sultan(1733), Antoine de Favray, Portrait of the Countess of Vergennes in a Turkish Gown (1750), Charles-André Vanloo (Carle), Sultan’s Wife Drinking Coffee (1755), and Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Madame Vigée-Le Brun et sa fille, Jeanne-Lucie-Louise, dite Julie (1786), represent an overview of French turqueries from the early, mid-, and late eighteenth-century. Each case study examines the multidimensionality involved in turquerie representations through investigations of their compositions, meanings, their public and private exhibition(s), and their interpretations, highlighting the supportive relationship between the way prescribed social, cultural, and political aesthetics of difference were composed and imposed upon turqueries, and how their exhibition(s) functioned as both a buttress and vehicle for their intended meaning. Mandy, therefore, aims for her dissertation project to be of importance to the study of visual culture and museology, but most importantly she intends to apply her dissertation research to museum practice to help guide museums, curators, and educators to a more historically contextualized approach to turqueries to better provide museumgoers with the information needed to comprehend and interpret such paintings.
To date, Mandy has completed extensive research at the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Archives Nationales, as her scholarship relies on access to eighteenth-century household inventories, art collections, sales records and inventories, commission receipts, and artist notes to compile a database of collectors and patrons of turquerie. Likewise, in conjunction with the above textual analyses, shealso visited the Louvre, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Museum Carnavalet, and various historical sites across France, including Versailles, the Château de Chantilly, and Louveciennes. But because her project includes a comparative museum analysis, her research also includes collaborative work with curators at the Wallace Collection (London) and the Pera Museum (Istanbul). To carry out this research, Mandy has received several NCSU History Department travel grants, The American Association of Eighteenth-Century Society and Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture’s Mary D. Sheriff Travel and Research Prize (2022), and the Istanbul Research Institute’s Research and Travel Award (2022).
Mandy believes she was selected for the grant because her dissertation research was complete, her case studies reflected the scholarship gaps, and the scope of her project was clear and concise. And, since the grant was centered on need beyond financial necessity, on the application, she highlighted her resilience when facing difficulties, steadfast dedication to completing her doctorate, and an ability to recognize when she requires guidance and structure to complete her doctorate on time.
Post-graduation, Mandy intends to remain in academia where she will further her research and teachings on international public history, museum studies, and cross-cultural studies and continue to contribute scholarship. You can find her next publication, “Diderot’s Encyclopédie: On the Enlightened Roots of Public History” in Public History in European Historical Perspectives, ed. Thomas Cauvin, in the summer of 2025.