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Interior bowers: The dormant wilderness of nineteenth-century boudoirs

Taylor, Mark & Preston, Julieanna (2005) Interior bowers: The dormant wilderness of nineteenth-century boudoirs. IDEA Journal, 2005, pp. 75-83.

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Abstract

In Bedroom and Boudoir (1878) Lady Barker describes a number of bedrooms and boudoirs furnished with ornamental linings derived from the natural landscape. As the most private, internal and intimate interior spaces in the Victorian home, such spaces are likened to bowers - clearings in the forest, retreats or nests. Surrounded by surfaces composed of vegetal patterns and colours, the boudoir shows signs of reclaiming vestiges of the outside, not as the manicured garden or the cultivated landscape but as foreign wilderness.

Barker's remarks critique the notion of the interior as tectonically distinct from the exterior. In contrast, the room is shown to be derivative of the exterior through its use of ornament, furnishings and linings.

This paper examines the relationship between boudoir and bower as established by Lady Barker. It then traces the physical description through theoretical positions of the time on the relation of ornament and nature in order to position the boudoir as an interior space of decorative and tactile envelopment.

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ID Code: 7284
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Architecture Philosophy, Aesthetics, Interior Design
ISSN: 1445-5412
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > History and Theory of the Built Environment (excl. Architecture) (120502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Design (120101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Interior Design (120106)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Mark Taylor and Julieanna Preston
Deposited On: 11 May 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:28

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