Volume 20, Issue 2 | Summer 2021

Special Issue
The Ambient Interior in the United States during the Long Nineteenth CenturyIsabel L. Taube, Editor
Outside In: Space, Light, and the Artful Interior at Frederic Church’s Olana
In the late 1860s, following his success as a landscape painter, Frederic Edwin Church turned to architectural and interior design. He constructed a house at the center of Olana, his 250-acre property in New York’s Hudson Valley, that manipulated space and daylight as artistic materials. With house building, Church moved into an immersive, three-dimensional format, producing some of his most experimental work. This study treats his first-floor interiors as a deliberate composition, of a piece with his two-dimensional oeuvre, and specifically argues for Church’s design as an aesthetic culmination of his longstanding interest—across media—in issues of perception and proprioception.
Kingscote’s Dining Room and the Multisensorial Interior in the Late Nineteenth Century
This article examines the McKim, Mead & White dining room at Kingscote (1881), in Newport, Rhode Island, as a multisensorial space associated with the late nineteenth-century Aesthetic movement in the United States. Embellished with a range of objects and decorative details, this holistic environment stimulated all of its visitors’ senses: sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste. Rather than presenting Kingscote as solely a product of a class-driven, Gilded Age society, this study and its digital components instead identify the dining room as an ambient space aimed at educating the senses and exerting a spiritual effect on the dweller and guests.
Purpose Built: Duveen and the Commercial Art Gallery
In late 1912, the Duveen Brothers opened their first purpose-built art gallery in New York City at 720 Fifth Avenue. Sited in a residential neighborhood favored by the Gilded Age elite and borrowing its architectural vocabulary from the Beaux-Arts tradition, it signaled the epitome of upper-class domesticity, but the building was also a finely tuned machine for the business of selling art. This article explores how these two distinct modes of operation were managed and integrated, utilizing a virtual reconstruction of the now demolished building developed from the original architectural plans recently discovered in the archives at the Getty Research Institute.