October 29-30, 2004
Co-sponsored with Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library, Wilmington, DE.
“Rethinking Decorative Arts and Design 1850-1920”
This conference will take a fresh look at decorative arts and design from 1850 to 1920. Rather than separating artists, designers, and artifacts into discrete movements (for example, Colonial Revival, Aesthetic, Arts and Crafts), we will investigate the language of artifacts that bound designers, manufacturers, and consumers together in this time of commercial expansion and moral environmentalism. How did American and Britons (ordinary and extraordinary) understand artifacts and images and how should we then “read” them today?
We welcome paper proposals that consider a wide variety of literary and material sources and connect ideas to things.