Day and night, ladies, watch your light: The gendered discourse and aesthetics of electric lighting for the Domestic Interior, in the United States, 1900s-1950s

Petty, Margaret Maile (2014) Day and night, ladies, watch your light: The gendered discourse and aesthetics of electric lighting for the Domestic Interior, in the United States, 1900s-1950s. In Schnoor, Christoph (Ed.) Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, SAHANZ and Unitec ePress, Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 309-320.

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Abstract

This paper explores the translation of beliefs regarding women’s agency and identity within the domestic interior into new, gendered applications of electric lighting in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. In this period the electrical industry drew upon cultural constructions of feminine beauty and interior decoration to market a variety of products and lighting applications for domestic interiors. Such narratives were translations of an older, more deeply entrenched cultural discourse on feminine beauty, its composition, and perfection. More than simply accentuating one’s best assets, guidelines for feminine beauty in the latter nineteenth century and throughout the first half of the twentieth century encouraged the harmonizing of a number of elements, including individual temperament or personality, complexion and colouration, and interior décor. With the popular adoption of electric light around the turn of the century, appropriate lighting also was added to the female beauty regime.

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ID Code: 97558
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 9781927214121
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Statement: Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand: 31, Translation, edited by Christoph Schnoor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Deposited On: 20 Jul 2016 23:30
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2016 02:48

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