Society of Rooms: The American Renaissance, The Decoration of Houses and the Paintings of Walter Gay



Nye, Bernadette

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This thesis connects Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman’s The Decoration of Houses (1897) and the American Renaissance with the work produced by Walter Gay for American clients. The depiction of decorative arts in American elite domestic spaces is analyzed to offer insight into the relationship between decorative styles, material culture as self-expression, and artistic vision. In the process of writing this thesis, the author reviewed the history of the American Renaissance design movement, as well as viewed interiors designed by Wharton and Codman, and paintings produced by Walter Gay.


This thesis has been embargoed for 5 years and will not be available until April 2023 at the earliest.


Walter Gay, Edith Wharton, American Renaissance, Ogden Codman, Jr., The Decoration of Houses