BA, PhD (University College London)

Contact details

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Somerset House


London WC2R 0RN

Katie Scott studied the history of art at University College London, from where she gained both a BA and a PhD. She has taught at The Courtauld Institute of Art since 1988.

A specialist in French art and architecture of the early modern period, Katie Scott’s research interests focus on the relationship between works of art and their physical and social context. The domestic interior, decoration, ornament and increasingly the decorative arts have been the objects of critical essays in exhibition catalogues, journals, edited collections and her book The Rococo Interior (Yale University Press, 1996).

More recently she has been preparing a book length study on the origin of copyright and patent in the arts in early modern France. Her interests have thus turned to questions of mechanical reproduction and the culture of the copy. Specifically, she has written about Chardin’s copies, repetitions and the reproductions of his genre paintings; she has also explored the ways in which François Boucher’s artistic persona was collectively produced by the reproduction of his work in print.

Other Courtauld based activities and activities outside the Institute:

In the context of the decorative arts, Katie Scott and Hannah Williams are contributing members of The Material Life of Things project at the CIA Research Forum, organized and chaired by Francesco Lucchini. They are currently working on a dictionary or Abecedario of artists’ objects.

With regard to intellectual property, Katie Scott is giving a paper at the annual conference of International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property in Washington, which takes as its theme Geographies of Intellectual Property.

She is also a contributing member of the research project Agôn: La dispute: Cas, controverses et creations à l’époque moderne (France-Grande-Bretagne) chaired by Alexis Tadié, director of the Maison française at Oxford, a project funded by the Agence Nationale de La Recherche.

Katie Scott is herself co-chairing two conference panels in 2011: in February, jointly with Melissa Hyde, Rococo, late Rococo, post-Rococo, new Rococo at CAA in New York; and jointly with Richard Taws, Ephemera: Art and Obsolescence, at the AAH conference, at the university of Warwick in April.

She will give the annual Besteman Lecture at Oxford in November 2011.

research interests

  • History of art, architecture and the decorative arts in early modern France with particular interest in art theory, the relations of art, commerce and the law and reception of the Far East
  • The history and theory of decoration and the ornamental; the history and theory of intellectual property; art, material culture and theories of the everyday

Courses Taught in 2010-11

  • PhD: Art and the Everyday, critical reading and writing course.
  • MA: Between Genius and Industry: The Contradictory Histories of Drawing in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France with Professor David Solkin
  • MA: Labours and Pleasures of Distinction: Art and the interior in eighteenth-century France, taught jointly with the director and curators at the Wallace Collection.
  • BA 2nd Year: Rococo to Revolution
  • BA 2nd Year: Frameworks: and introduction to methods in art history
  • BA 1st Year: Chardin.

Recent publications

‘Motifs et métaphores de l’ornement à la fin de l’Ancien Régime’, Perspective, 2010/1, 184-86

‘Maps, Views and Ornament: Visualising property in art and law. The case of pre-modern France’, in Privilege and Property: Essays on the History of Copyright, eds. Lionel Bentley and Ronan Deazley (Open Book Publishers, 2010) 255-

‘Figure and Ornament: Notes on the late baroque art industry’, catalogue essay for the exhibition Taking Shape: Finding sculpture in the decorative arts, organised and edited by Martina Droth for the Henry Moore Institute and the Getty, November 2008-January 2009, 166-75

‘Reproduction and Reputation: François Boucher and the circulation of identity in eighteenth-century France’, in Rethinking Boucher, eds. Melissa Hyde and Mark Ledbury (Los Angeles, 2006) 91-132

‘Framing Ambition: The Interior Politics of Mme de Pompadour’, Art History, 28/2 (2005) 248-92, special issue, ‘From Luxury to the Everyday: French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth-Century’, eds. Katie Scott and Deborah Cherry

‘Playing Games with Otherness: Watteau’s Chinese cabinet at the Château de la Muette’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 66 (2003) 189-247

‘The Waddesdon Trade Cards: More than one history’, Journal of Design History, 7/1 (2004) 91-104, special issue, ‘Disseminating Design: The French connection’ edited and introduced by Katie Scott and Helen Clifford, 1-4

‘Child’s Play’ in The Age of Watteau, Chardin and Fragonard: Masterpieces of French Genre Painting, Ontario, National Gallery of Canada; Washington, National Gallery; Berlin, Gemäldegalerie (2003-4) 90-105

‘Under the Sign of Venus: Edme Bouchardon’s L’Amour se faisant un arc de la massue d’Hercule’, in Manifestations of Venus, eds. Caroline Arscott and Katie Scott (Manchester University Press, 2000) 69-89

‘Art and Industry – A Contradictory Union: Authors, Rights and Copyrights during the Consulat’, Journal of Design History, 13/1 (2000) 1-21

‘Chardin Multiplié’, in Chardin, Paris, Grand Palais; Dusseldorf, Kunstmuseum et Kunsthalle; London, Royal Academy; New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art (1999-2000) 61-75

‘Authorship, the Académie and the Market in early modern France’, Oxford Art Journal 21/1 (1998) 27-41

The Rococo Interior: Decoration and Social Spaces in Early Modern Paris (Yale Univ. Press, 1995-6)


Interior, ornament, rococo, the everyday, ephemera, intellectual property.