History of American Interiors – Winter 2003

Drew University Certificate Program in Historic Preservation
Introduction to the History of American Interiors: 1830 - 1950
Tuesdays, 7:30-9:30 pm
Fall 2012
Jennifer Scanlan
[email protected]
Introduction to the History of American Interiors looks at the domestic environment in
America from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the years following World War
II, with an emphasis on the interiors of the New Jersey area. The course will examine the
organization of interior space, as well as stylistic changes and movements in the
decorative arts. In addition, the historic and social context of the interiors will be
considered, exploring themes such as the expression of status and gender, the effects of
technological and economic change, and the activities and roles of the members of the
Course Objectives
to obtain a basic knowledge of styles and periods in the decorative arts, and by the
end of the course to be able to identify them
to obtain a vocabulary of decorative arts
to understand different house plans and the changing organization of the domestic
interior during this period
to explore the ways in which interiors reflect the people that live in them and the
social context in which they are created
to understand the different issues involved in recreating historic interiors,
including different approaches and problems
to understand basic research methods for discovering the history of a house’s
interior for the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
Requirements for a passing grade
Attendance (maximum two absences), participation in discussions, and completion of
Furnishing Report.
September 18 Introduction
September 25 The Early Nineteenth Century: The Industrial Revolution and the Revival
October 2
The Nineteenth Century: Design Reform
Reading due:
(from book)
Charles L. Eastlake, Hints on Household Taste: The Classic Handbook of
Victorian Interior Decoration (originally published London: Longman
Green and Company, 1868), Reprint Dover (pages assigned in class
January 11)
October 9
The Nineteenth Century: Exoticism, Eclecticism and Invention
Furnishing Report: Part One due
October 16
The Nineteenth Century: Entertaining in Style
October 23
The Turn of the Century: The Arts and Crafts Movement, Frank Lloyd
October 27
Newark Museum – Ballantine House
Meeting at the Entrance Lobby of the Newark Museum at 12 noon.
Furnishing Report: Part Two due
October 30
The Twentieth Century: Technology and the House
Suggested Readings:
From American Home Life 1880-1930: A Social History of Spaces and
Services, eds. Jessica H. Foy and Thomas J. Schlereth (Knoxville: The
University of Tennessee Press, 1992)
Ruth Schwarz Cowan, “Coal Stoves and Clean Sinks: Housework
between 1890 and 1930,” pp. 211-224
Thomas J. Schlereth, “Home Utilities in Victorian America, 1876-1915,”
pp. 225-241
Daniel E. Sutherland, “Modernizing Domestic Service,” pp. 242-266
November 6
1930 – 1950: The Modern House
November 13 Conclusion
Final Furnishing Report due