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2008 Jacques Barzun Prize

2008 award presented in November 2009

Dianne Sachko Macleod

The American Philosophical Society awarded the 2008 Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History to Dianne Sachko Macleod for her book, Enchanted Lives, Enchanted Objects - American Women Collectors and the Making of Culture, 1800-1940 (University of California Press, 2008).

The award was presented by Mary Patterson McPherson, Executive Officer of the Society.

Dianne Sachko Macleod earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkely in 1981. That same year she joined the faculty of Art History at the University of California, Davis, where she has recently become Professor Emerita.  Her other works include Art and the Victorian Middle Class: Money and the Making of Cultural Identity (1996) and (co-edited with Julie F. Codell) Orientalism Transposed: The Impact of the Colonies on British Culture (1998).

Dianne Sachko Macleod’s Enchanted Lives, Enchanted Objects - American Women Collectors and the Making of Culture, 1800-1940 is a scholarly and beautifully illustrated study of 19th-century wealthy American women collectors and their role in shaping the cultural taste of their age and afterwards in painting and the fine arts, with full emphasis on their post-Bellum political involvements, the "gendering" of the modern museum, and the strategies of hiding and later exhibiting their acquisitions. The book is particularly original in its sympathetic and detailed expression of the range of collectors under consideration beyond the familiar and famous horizons.

The Barzun Prize selection committee consisted of Donald R. Kelley (chair), James Westfall Thompson Professor of History Emeritus, Rutgers University; Glen W. Bowersock, Professor Emeritus of Ancient History, Institute for Advanced Study; and Michael Wood, Charles Barnwell Straut Professor of English, Princeton University.