Mozart &
Material Culture

Souvenirs

This website explores the notion that - contrary to traditional biographies of the composer - Mozart was engaged with everyday life, that what he saw, the places he visited and the objects he owned or encountered, offer new insight into his life and, as a result, how we might understand his music. The most important source for documenting Mozart's material worlds is the family correspondence, together with surviving objects that they owned. By way of introduction, the first chapter of this site illustrates some of 'what Mozart saw,' as opposed to the usual bias of Mozart studies, 'what Mozart heard.' It then explores one sort of object, souvenirs, in particular as they were understood in the eighteenth century and how that may inflect the way we read some of Mozart’s works.