, research curator of the Gilbert Collection at the V&A, presentsa beautifully illustrated, wide-ranging study of Huguenot craftsmanship and trading networks in Europe Divided: Huguenot Refugee Art and Culture.
This richly illustrated book focuses on the extraordinary international networks resulting from the diaspora of more than 200,000 refugees who left France in the late 17th century to join communities already in exile spread far and wide. Indeed, George Washington (along with 20 other presidents) was a descendant of Huguenots.
First-generation Huguenot refugees included hundreds of trained artists, designers, and craftsmen. Beyond the French borders, they raised the quality of design and workshop practice, passing on skills to their apprentices, sons, godsons, cousins, and to successive generations, who continued to dominate output in the luxury trades. Although silver and silks are the best-known fields with which Huguenot settlers are associated, their significant contribution to architecture, ceramics, design, clock- and watchmaking, engraving, furniture, woodwork, sculpture, portraiture, and art education provides fascinating insight into the motivation and resolve of this highly skilled diaspora. Thanks to a sophisticated network of Huguenot merchants, retailers, and bankers who financed their production, their wares reached a global market. Includes color illustrations