This April, Professor Lasc has organized and chaired a panel titled “Display Architecture: Department Stores and Modern Retail” at the 67th annual meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians in Austin, Texas. The panel has welcomed papers studying the interior and exterior architecture of department stores in new ways. It departed from the premise that the presentation of merchandize should not be separated from the modern materials and building techniques that had been the preferred topics of art and architectural historians so far. It thus challenged the traditional hierarchy of materials and replaced brick and mortar, paint and stone with artificial flowers, theatrical props, tantalizing fabrics and wax mannequins – new objects of scholarly attention, which, together, form a real architecture of display.
Professor Lasc has also presented a paper titled “Italy, from Home: Adolphe Thiers and the Nineteenth-Century Private Collection” at the Society for French Historical Studies’ annual meeting in Montréal, Canada. In her talk, she has focused on nineteenth-century private collections such as that of the French President and their longing for a foreign country/emblematic Renaissance past through fictive, armchair tourism.