Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Burns, Sarah L en Lessing, Lauren Keach en 2010-06-01T21:58:51Z 2010-10-19T17:46:17Z 2010-06-01T21:58:51Z 2006 en
dc.description Thesis (PhD) - Indiana University, History of Art, 2006 en
dc.description.abstract This dissertation deals with sentimental, marble, ideal figures by Antonio Canova, Hiram Powers, Randolph Rogers, Chauncey Ives, Joseph Mozier, William Rinehart, and others. In the middle decades of the nineteenth century, such statues were displayed, often to large audiences, at exhibitions and in sculptors' studios, and published sources generally describe them in these settings. Nevertheless, the vast majority of ideal sculptures produced at this time were destined for the domestic sphere--a fact that has been overlooked by scholars. Similarly, whereas earlier studies of American ideal sculpture have focused on the wealthy, educated patrons who supported sculptors' careers, this dissertation explores the role of buyers--men and women who purchased one or more ideal sculptures for their houses, usually during a single trip to Italy, and who were motivated more by private concerns than by a desire to advance the cause of art in the United States. In many ways, these buyers resembled middle-class consumers of sculptural reproductions in mediums such as plaster or parian, making it possible for me to draw connections between ideal sculpture and a broad nineteenth-century culture of sentimental domesticity. Using seven in-depth case studies of American domestic interiors ranging from the 1840s to the 1880s, I argue that ideal sculptures in private homes were more than just decorative props. They were active players in domestic rituals and "presiding divinities" over domestic life. Installed in private homes, these artworks idealized western concepts of gender and domesticity, modeled genteel behavior, evoked reverence, allayed anxiety and, at the same time, confirmed their owners' taste and wealth. Drawing on the methodologies of cultural studies--in particular studies of consumption, cultural biography, and material culture--I explore the role ideal sculpture played in sacralizing and sentimentalizing the nineteenth-century American home, and in constructing concepts of family, nationality, gender, race and class that were fundamental to individuals' understandings, and public presentations, of themselves. en
dc.language.iso EN en
dc.publisher [Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University en
dc.subject sculpture en
dc.subject domesticity en
dc.subject material culture en
dc.subject gender en
dc.subject sentimentalism en
dc.subject cultural biography en
dc.subject.classification Art History (0377) en
dc.subject.classification American Studies (0323) en
dc.title Presiding Divinities: Ideal Sculpture in Nineteenth-Century American Domestic Interiors en
dc.type Doctoral Dissertation en

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search IUScholarWorks

Advanced Search


My Account