Artist in Exile is the first in-depth, illustrated exploration of the life and work of Anne Marguérite Joséphine Henriette Rouillé de Marigny, Baroness Hyde de Neuville (1771–1849), who arrived in America in 1807 as a refugee from Napoleonic France and embarked on an extraordinary journey of discovery. Her unparalleled, beguiling watercolours and drawings—over 200, made while travelling through seven countries and on the high seas, published here together with previously unpublished documents and letters—provide an invaluable historical visual record of the early years of the American republic and its racially diverse population. From this exciting material Henriette emerges as a cosmopolitan artist who exerted her influence in political and social circles on both sides of the Atlantic, courageously traversing the European continent, unescorted, to beg Napoleon to spare her husband’s life.
Neuville’s status as a woman and an outsider made her a particularly keen and sympathetic observer of individuals from a range of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. She drew some of the earliest ethnographically correct images of Indigenous Americans, together with vistas predating the works of other traveller-artists, and long-vanished buildings. Although she arrived in America as an outcast, by the end of her second residency, as the celebrated wife of the French Minister Plenipotentiary, she was interacting with political leaders and making her mark on society in Washington, DC, and New York City. Artist in Exile tells her compelling story.
Roberta J.M. Olson, who received her Ph.D. in Art History from Princeton University, is Professor Emerita of Art History at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, and Curator of Drawings at the New-York Historical Society. She is the author of, most recently, Cosmos: The Art and Science of the Universe (2019); Making It Modern: The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman (2015), which won the Frick Center for the History of Collecting Book Prize; Audubon’s Aviary: The Original Watercolors for “The Birds of America” (2012), which won the Outstanding Permanent Collection Catalogue, AAMC, and the Henry Allen Moe Prize for Catalogs of Distinction in the Arts, NYSH; and Drawn by New York: Six Centuries of Drawings at the New-York Historical Society (2008), which won the Outstanding Permanent Collection Catalogue, AAMC.
Charlene M. Boyer Lewis is Professor of History and Director of American Studies at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. Her publications include: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte: An American Aristocrat in the Early Republic (2012); Ladies and Gentlemen on Display: Planter Society at the Virginia Springs, 1790–1860 (2001); and the forthcoming book The Traitor’s Wife: Peggy Shippen Arnold and Revolutionary America.
Alexandra Mazzitelli is Research Associate at the New-York Historical Society and has worked with Roberta Olson on several books listed above: Cosmos; Making It Modern; Audubon’s Aviary; and Drawn by New York.