Nina Dubin Lecture: “Eros, Inc.: Cupid, Currency, and the Crash of 1720”

Date / Time

March 9, 2022

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Nina Dubin, UIC Department of Art History
2021-2022 Faculty Fellow

March 9, from 4-6 p.m.
Location:  302 SCE. 750 S. Halsted, and via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 831 0970 3331
Passcode: 47Qh9Mhy

“Eros, Inc.: Cupid, Currency, and the Crash of 1720”

In the midst of the world’s first international bubble, an 18th-century French song proclaimed Cupid the god of the stock exchange. The popular verse circulated alongside other cultural efforts (arguably ongoing) to make sense of a boom and bust financial system by drawing on the equally mysterious workings of love. As exemplified in the artworks discussed in this talk, the most notoriously volatile of deities was enlisted to embody both the tumultuous expansion of a credit economy and the trademarks of an overheated market.

Nina Dubin is an associate professor of art history and an affiliated faculty member in the UIC Department of French and Francophone Studies, specializing in French 18th-century art. She is the author of “Futures & Ruins: Eighteenth-Century Paris and the Art of Hubert Robert” (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2010; 2012) and co-author of “Meltdown! Picturing the World’s First Bubble Economy” (Turnhout, Belgium: Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2020). Her recent research has been supported by the Samuel H. Kress senior fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, the Florence Gould Foundation fellowship from the Clark Art Institute, and the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professorship at Williams College. Her book in progress, “Erotic Economy: Love, Trust, and Risk in French Art, 1720-2008,” investigates the participation of French art in the consolidation of a trust economy.

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