Mercer to Welcome Rhode Island School of Design Professor Dr. Eric Anderson for Fourth Biennial Frances Sewell Plunkett Lectures


MACON – Mercer University will welcome Dr. Eric Anderson, associate professor of art history at the Rhode Island School of Design, to deliver the fourth biennial Frances Sewell Plunkett Lecture Series in the Decorative Arts, Feb. 20-21, at the McEachern Arts Center at 332 Second St. in downtown Macon.

This year’s series, titled “Living on the Edge: Homes, Belonging and Modern Design,” begins with “Making Home: Interior Decoration from the Cult of Domesticity to Queer Critique” on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., followed by “Breaking Down Walls: The Psychological Interior from Freud to the Fallout Shelter” on Feb. 21 at 11 a.m.

Dr. Anderson will conclude the series with “Lost and Found Homes: Nomads, Refugees and Homelessness from 1960s Counterculture to 21st-Century Global Migration” on Thursday at 7 p.m.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

“The Art Department is excited to bring Dr. Anderson to Mercer for the Frances Sewell Plunkett Lecture Series,” said Dr. Erin McClenathan, assistant professor of art history. “These lectures provide a wonderful opportunity for members of the Mercer and Macon communities to join us downtown at the McEachern Art Center, if they haven’t already.”

Dr. Anderson joined the faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 and serves as director of its Master of Arts program in global arts and cultures. His teaching and research interests include the history of design, interiors and domesticity, exhibitions and media, and global modernism, and his recent work has addressed topics such as Sigmund Freud’s decorative taste, color theory and the interiors of Viennese artist Hans Makart, and the marketing of British Arts and Crafts furniture.

His current book in progress, titled Material Visions: A Cultural History of Design and Media, looks at new techniques of displaying and representing objects in the 19th century, from fairs and museums to books and magazines to medical facilities, and the ways in which these contributed to the emergence of modern design culture and consumer culture.

Dr. Anderson was 2017 Fulbright Freud Visiting Scholar of Psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, Austria, and he also served as visiting lecturer at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

He earned his B.A. with honors in art history and German studies from Williams College and his Ph.D. in art history from Columbia University.

The Frances Sewell Plunkett Lecture Series, held biennially since 2013, is organized by the Art Department in the College of Liberal Arts and funded by an endowment from the Plunkett Family in memory of Frances Sewell Plunkett, who had a strong interest in the decorative arts.