Ornamenting the »Cold Roast«

The Domestic Architecture and Interior Design of Upper-Class Boston Homes, 1760-1880

This book presents the meticulous case studies of three individual houses from different eras, which serve to depict the social, political, and cultural effects that domestic architecture and interior design had on the upper class, the city of Boston, and a national American identity. It takes the reader on a journey to 18th and 19th century Boston and provides insight into the lives of these prominent men and women as seen through the perspective of their homes. It is a novel examination of the cultural significance of domestic architecture and interior design and, because of its story-telling character and extensive attention to detail, it is fascinating for curious readers and cultural historians alike.

45,80 € *

11. Februar 2013, 340 Seiten
ISBN: 978-3-8376-2276-8

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* = Preise inkl. Mehrwertsteuer. Deutschsprachige Bücher = gebundener Ladenpreis, fremdsprachige Bücher = unverbindliche Preisempfehlung. Versandkostenfreie Lieferung innerhalb Deutschlands, für Ausnahmen siehe Details.


Dorothee Wagner von Hoff

Dorothee Wagner von Hoff, Universität München, Deutschland

... with Dorothee Wagner von Hoff

1. »Books that the world does not need to read.« Why is your book different?

As cultural identities become increasingly difficult to define, it becomes apparent that a society can be assiduously examined by looking at places of the utmost exposure and vulnerability: the home. Façades and interiors allude to their residents, who they were trying to be, and how they wanted America to be viewed by the rest of the world. My book serves as an incentive to study these structures in order to understand and follow the continuous development of a progressive collective identity.

2. What new perspective does your book provide?

The house as a primary source: There are many sources that cultural historians use to investigate a specific group and how they lived, yet the home is rarely methodically scrutinized. The façade is the face of its owners and the commodities of their interiors serve as signs of their status and social mobility. My book uses the perspective of a families' residence to tell their story, that of the Bostonian upper class, and the finding of an American national identity through architecture.

3. How does your book influence contemporary research within this area of focus?

Focusing on one demographic, which was responsible for the refinement and spatial distribution of a domestic infrastructure in Boston, gives a detailed account of the city's history. The construction of meaning that the façades and interiors of upper-class Boston homes convey delineates my area of focus. These unread primary sources provide an interdisciplinary, structural complement to the new cultural history and urban history discussions that are constantly evolving and being redefined.

4. Who would you want discuss your book with?

Charles Bulfinch, a tragic hero of American architecture. He failed to recognize the vast amount of influence that he had on Boston and a national identity. Yet, his style of building perseveres, giving a first-hand account of the Bostonian way of life in the 18th and 19th centuries. His credibility as an architect may have been mocked during his lifetime, but his unparalleled talent lives on in his domestic structures and in the civic strongholds of the American architectural landscape.

5. Describe your book in one sentence:

The acquisition and ornamentation of personal property is vital to American culture and the homes investigated here intricately depict this process.

Reviewed in:
Planerin, 2 (2013)
Dorothee Wagner von Hoff
Ornamenting the »Cold Roast« The Domestic Architecture and Interior Design of Upper-Class Boston Homes, 1760-1880
transcript Verlag
kart., Klebebindung, 32 SW-Abbildungen, 10 Farbabbildungen
ARC010000 HIS036000 DES008000
11. Februar 2013
Amerika, Design, Architektur
American History, Architectural History, Design History
Boston, Domestic Architecture, Interior Design, Upper Class, Architecture, Design, America, American History, Cultural History, Cultural Studies

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