This talk explores the interior setting in American art as a metaphor for the moods and conditions of art. Paintings of beautifully decorated rooms, typically occupied by leisure-class women, raise complex associations with refinement, ideals of femininity, and the condition of solitude that artistic sensibility requires. The talk includes excerpts from period novels to address similar themes and present stream-of-consciousness narratives that emphasize characters’ thoughts over external realities.
Julie Springer, lecturer
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1881) (any edition)
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1881) (any edition)