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dc.contributor.advisor Burns, Sarah L en_US Lessing, Lauren Keach en_US 2010-06-01T21:58:51Z 2010-10-19T17:46:17Z 2010-06-01T21:58:51Z 2006 en_US
dc.description Thesis (PhD) - Indiana University, History of Art, 2006 en_US
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_US
dc.language.iso EN en_US
dc.publisher [Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University en_US
dc.subject sculpture en_US
dc.subject domesticity en_US
dc.subject material culture en_US
dc.subject gender en_US
dc.subject sentimentalism en_US
dc.subject cultural biography en_US
dc.subject.classification Art History (0377) en_US
dc.subject.classification American Studies (0323) en_US
dc.title Presiding Divinities: Ideal Sculpture in Nineteenth-Century American Domestic Interiors en_US
dc.type Doctoral Dissertation en_US

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