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Iris Moon

Luxury Ceramics
in Post-Terror Paris

Monday, November 14, 2022

Sponsored by Michele Beiny Harkins

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When Louis XVI was guillotined on January 21, 1793, the king's death was to mark the physical end of the monarchy in France and sever the vast networks of luxury that had provided splendor and sophistication to the royal court. Even as the king's royal possessions -- from drapery and tableware to clocks and porcelain devices -- were dispersed and destroyed, many of the individuals responsible for creating these forms of material finery found ways to survive regime change and the turbulent circumstances of the Terror.

Iris Moon is Assistant Curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She was awarded her PhD in 2013 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was previously Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Getty Research Institute; Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Director for Mellon Initiatives at the Sterling and Francine Clark Ark Institute; Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute, New York.

Ms. Moon joined the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts in 2017 and is responsible for European ceramics and glass. Her research on European decorative arts and architecture has been supported by the Decorative Arts Trust, the Clark Art Institute, and the Getty Research Institute. Alongside curatorial work at The Met, where she recently participated in the reinstallation of the British Galleries, she teaches at The Cooper Union. She is the author of Luxury After the Terror (2022), which discusses the role that Paris porcelain firms such as the Dihl et Guérhard manufactory played in creating new kinds of luxury porcelain during the French Revolution and is the subject of her lecture to the Connecticut Ceramics Circle. She also wrote The Architecture of Percier and Fontaine and the Struggle for Sovereignty in Revolutionary France (2016). In addition, she was co-editor with Richard Taws of Time, Media and Visuality in Post-Revolutionary France (2021).

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Homepage Image:

Plate with coral, Dihl et Guérhard manufactory, Paris, ca. 1789-97, hard-paste porcelain. 1 ½ x 9 ½ in. (3.8 x 24.1 cm). Purchase, Sidney R. Knafel Gift, in honor of Jeffrey Munger, 2018 (2018.143.2), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

Iris Moon, Assistant Curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
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