This lively and authoritative volume makes clear that the quest for taste and manners in America has been essential to the serious pursuit of a democratic culture Spanning the material world from mansions and silverware to etiquette books, city planning, and sentimental novels, Richard L Bushman
Things make us just as much as we make things And yet, unlike the study of languages or places, there is no discipline devoted to the study of material things This book shows why it is time to acknowledge and confront this neglect and how much we can learn from focusing our attention on stuff.The
In the middle of the nineteenth century, middle class Americans embraced a new culture of domestic consumption, one that centered on chairs and clocks as well as family portraits and books How did that new world of goods, represented by Victorian parlors filled with overstuffed furniture and
Contributors to this volume examine how things are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings The work strives to reveal the underlying social and political mechanisms that regulate taste, trade and desire and to demonstrate the ways people attach value to objects.
History is recorded in many ways According to author James Deetz, the past can be seen most fully by studying the small things so often forgotten Objects such as doorways, gravestones, musical instruments, and even shards of pottery fill in the cracks between large historical events and depict the
This study of the household goods of Victorian America reveals the character, conflicts and tensions within the Victorian world Considering specific furnishings and styles, it discusses the relationship of these objects to class and gender structure and to their place in Victorian ritual.
In this brilliant new work, Amanda Vickery unlocks the homes of Georgian England to examine the lives of the people who lived there Writing with her customary wit and verve, she introduces us to men and women from all walks of life gentlewoman Anne Dormer in her stately Oxfordshire mansion,
The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who burned like a comet in nineteenth century Paris and Vienna society Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of
Although so much of the life we care about takes place at home, this private space often remains behind closed doors and is notoriously difficult for researchers to infiltrate We may think it is just up to us to decorate, transform and construct our homes, but in this book we discover a new form of
The field of material culture, while historically well established, has recently enjoyed something of a renaissance Methods once dominated by Marxist and commodity oriented analyses and by the study of objects as symbols are giving way to a ethnographic approach to artifacts This orientation
The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains, and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of things This cutting edge work examines the current state of material culture as well as how this field of study
The country s leading authority on use of artifactual evidence in historical research collects twenty five classic essays and gives his overview of the field of material culture.
Throughout history and across social and cultural contexts, most systems of belief whether religious or secular have ascribed wisdom to those who see reality as that which transcends the merely material Yet, as the studies collected here show, the immaterial is not easily separated from the
Souvenir Nation: Relics, Keepsakes, and Curios from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
The objects described and pictured here are from the collection of the Division of Political History, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Caricatured for extravagance, vanity, glamorous celebrity and, all too often, embroiled in scandal and gossip, 18th century London s fashionable society had a well deserved reputation for frivolity But to be fashionable in 1700s London meant than simply being well dressed Fashion denoted
Extraordinary new non fiction, a gripping blend of history and memoir, by the author of the award winning and bestselling international sensation, The Hare with Amber Eyes In The White Road, bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong
History is right under our feet we just need to dig a little to find it Though not the most popular construction project, Boston s Big Dig has contributed to our understanding and appreciation of the city s archaeological history than any other recent event Joseph M Bagley, city