Journal Article

Designing the Dinner Party: Advice on During and Décor in London and Paris,1860–1914

Rachel Rich

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 16, issue 1, pages 49-61
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/16.1.49
Designing the Dinner Party: Advice on During and Décor in London and Paris,1860–1914

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Adivce books were widely published and purchased in London and Paris in the second half of the nineteenth century. They were available on nearly all aspects of life, including what how, when and where to eat Adivce literature provided a set of guidelinesfor how to decorate the dinning room. The way that space was crucial to middle-class perceptions of the role of dinning both in everyday life and for special occassions. The dinning room was one of the most important rooms in every middle-class home,in London and even more so in Paris. Though fashions changed, certain basic ideas about the space and design of this room, whose role was simultaneously public and private, decorative and functional, remained constant throughout the period. Table settings differed between private family meals and more formal dinnier parties and, at every occasion, important messages were conveyed by the physical apperance of the room inwhich meals were consumed. The imposition of a set of standards of spartical and decorative ideals was a key feature of how the bourgeoisie placed of their stamp of the environments they inhabitated. Looking at the dinning room from three analytic perpectives, of architecture, furniture and table decoration, it is possible to examine the way a fairly unified ideal of middle-class dinning room design was disseminated through the popular genre oof advice literature.

Keywords: comparative history; domestic space; English identity; French identity; gendered design; interior decoration

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Art Forms ; Art Styles ; History of Art ; Industrial and Commercial Art

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