'Lent to Copy': Art Rentals in the Age of Jane Austen

Arts 250 (Fage seminar room) and Zoom
Monday 22 April 2024 (14:00-15:30)

Contact Kate Smith k.smith@bham.ac.uk for Zoom link


Janine Barchas (University of Texas at Austin) - ‘Lent to Copy’: Art Rentals in the Age of Jane Austen

Late-Georgian England saw a radical rise in luxury goods for hire.  Strategic hires and loans (from silverware to church pews, pianos to pineapples, and jewelry to carriages) increased access to luxury goods—especially for women on the edge of gentility, including authoress Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra.  Barchas will share new findings about Georgian art rentals, including what she learned about a London art supplier who lent out prints in the 1790s to amateur artists “on the plan of a library.”

 Professor Janine Barchas is the Chancellor’s Council Centennial Chair in the Book Arts at the University of Texas at Austin.  She is currently a Visiting Fellow at All Souls in Oxford.  She writes about the material culture of the so-called “long eighteenth century,” including most recently the award-winning The Lost Books of Jane Austen (2019).  Her cross-disciplinary work includes the digital heritage project What Jane Saw and essays for The Washington PostNew York TimesLos Angeles Review of Books, and LitHub.