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Material Culture

Physical items or "ephemera" produced by a society that reflect its interests and values. Historians look at artifacts as historical "texts" whose interpretation adds to their understanding of an era's historical narrative.  


 A public speech or published text in praise of a person or thing. In 19th century France, panegyrics used the life of a historical figure to illustrate the defining themes of an era.


Material culture including mass produced prints, holy cards, spelt statues, transferware plates, reliquaries and medals related to St. Vincent de Paul. The Vincentiana collection at DePaul University Special Collections and Archives houses the largest collection of Vincentiana in the world.


Romanticism started as a literary movement but expanded to include the visual arts in the Western world spanning the 18th and 19th centuries. It grew out of a reaction to the rationalist ideals of the Enlightenment, the Industrial revolution and turmoil following the French Revolution and war in Europe. While there were many forms, in general Romanticism stressed the individual, imaginative, emotional, transcendental and visionary.

For a more thorough explanation read the Grove Art Online encyclopedia article (requires DePaul Campus Connection Login): 

William Vaughan"Romanticism." Grove Art OnlineOxford Art OnlineOxford University PressWeb22 Nov. 2016. <>.