This dissertation examines how eighteenth-century women’s vanity items such as makeup boxes, snuffboxes, perfume vials, etui kits, sugar pots, coffee, tea, and chocolate implements and their corresponding consumables—makeup, perfume, coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar—not only allow for but actively construct white femininity, often at the expense of forced Black labor, in eighteenth-century France and its Caribbean colonies. Through a material approach to these objects and consumables, I argue that these conceptions of race and gender are present in the material and visual culture in an era when these ideas are widely debated, discussed, and philosophized, prior to their codification in the early nineteenth century.

Degree Date

Spring 5-13-2023

Document Type


Degree Name



Art History


Amy Freund

Second Advisor

Mimi Hellman

Third Advisor

Roberto Conduru

Fourth Advisor

Adam Jasienski

Subject Area

Art History/Criticism/Conservation

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Saturday, April 29, 2028