New Book | Intimate Interiors

Posted in books by Editor on March 29, 2023

From Bloomsbury:

Tara Zanardi and Christopher M. S. Johns, eds., Intimate Interiors: Sex, Politics, and Material Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Bedroom and Boudoir (London: Bloomsbury, 2023), 296 pages, ISBN: 978-1350277601, $120.

A desire for intimacy in domestic spaces—motivated by a growing sense of individualistic expression, an incentive to conceal the labor or enslavement taking place, and an appetite for solace and comfort—led to interiors taking on more specific roles in the eighteenth century. By examining the architectural, visual, and material culture of eighteenth-century spaces, Intimate Interiors foregrounds the interrelated concepts of intimacy, privacy, informality, and sociability in order to show how these ideas played an increasingly integral role in the period’s architectural and material design. Across eleven innovative chapters that explore issues of gender, politics, travel, exoticism, imperialism, sensorial experiences, identity, interiority, and modernity, this volume demonstrates how intimacy was a fundamental goal in the planning of private quarters. In doing so, the political nature of private spaces is uncovered, whilst highlighting the contradictions and complexities of these highly performative ‘private’ interiors. Employing distinct methodological perspectives across various geographical sites, from Turkey to Versailles, Britain to Benin, Intimate Interiors draws as-yet untraced connections between Enlightenment Europe, imperial outposts, and major metropolitan centers across the globe.

The volume is part of the Material Culture of Art and Design series, edited by Michael Yonan.

Tara Zanardi is Associate Professor of Art History at Hunter College, CUNY. She publishes on eighteenth-century Spanish visual and material culture, including “Silver” (Journal18 special issue, 2022), Visual Typologies from the Early Modern to the Contemporary: Local Practices and Global Contexts (co-edited with Lynda Klich, 2018), and Framing Majismo: Art and Royal Identity in Eighteenth-Century Spain (2016). She has received fellowships from NEH, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fulbright Program, and the John Carter Brown Library.

Christopher M. S. Johns was the Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Professor of History of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He began his teaching career at the University of Virginia in 1985 and rose to the position of endowed chair at Vanderbilt in 2003. A specialist in eighteenth-century Italian art, decorative art, material culture, and architecture, he published widely on the relationship between art, politics, and religion in early modern Italian culture in particular. He was a founding member of the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture. Sadly, Johns passed away in 2022.


List of Contributors
List of Plates
List of Figures


Introduction — Tara Zanardi (Hunter College, CUNY) and Christopher M.S. Johns (Vanderbilt University, until 2022)

Part 1: Power, Authority, Agency, Privacy
1  Sex, Lies, and Books: Staging Identity in the Comte d’Artois’s Cabinet Turc — Ashley Bruckbauer (Independent Scholar)
2  Enlightenment Naples Imagines Imperial China: Queen Maria Amalia’s Chinoiserie Boudoir — Christopher M. S. Johns (Vanderbilt University, until 2022)
3  Who Let the Dogs In?: The Hundezimmer in the Amalienburg Palace — Christina Lindeman (University of South Alabama)
4  Material Temptations: Isabel de Farnesio and the Politics of the Bedroom — Tara Zanardi (Hunter College, CUNY)

Part 2: Staging Identity and Performing Sociability
5  A Stage for Wealth and Power in Eighteenth-Century Lima: The Estrado of Doña Rosa Juliana Sánchez de Tagle, First Marchioness of Torre Tagle — Jorge Rivas (Denver Art Museum)
6  An Artist’s Bedrooms: Angelica Kauffman in London and Rome — Wendy Wassyng Roworth (University of Rhode Island)
7  The Mask in the Dressing Room: Cosmetic Discourses and the Masquerade Toilet in Eighteenth-Century British Print Culture — Sandra Gómez Todo (Independent Scholar)

Part 3: Hidden Lives and Interiority
8  Mythologies of the Boudoir: Jacques-Louis David’s The Loves of Paris and Helen — Dorothy Johnson (University of Iowa)
9  Political Interiority and Spatial Seclusion in West African Royal Sleeping Rooms — Katherine Calvin (Kenyon College)
10  On the Wings of Perfumed Reverie: Multisensory Construction of Elsewhere and Elite Female Authority in Marie-Antoinette’s Boudoir Turc — Hyejin Lee (Independent Scholar)
11  ‘Virginian Luxuries’ at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello — Maurie McInnis (Stony Brook University)



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