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Title: Figured in lively paint : Eastern decorative art, English aestheticism, and consumer culture 1862-1900
Author: Wako, Miho
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 4663
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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My thesis aims to explore how John Ruskin's idea of the workman's "freedom of thought" was disseminated to late Victorian female consumer culture, through the transformation of its ideal from Gothic architecture into Eastern decorative art. By examining both elite and popular Aesthetic texts, I will argue that references to Eastern art are not only about the issue of style, but also involve theoretical interests about how to integrate art, consumption, women and the home. In chapter one, I examine Ruskin's conception of workmen's free thought, and how the architect William Godwin adapted it by transferring his ideal example of it from Gothic to Eastern architecture. In chapter two, I discuss how manual books by Mary Eliza Haweis acknowledged the authority of wealthy middle-class women's consumption by using Ruskin's ideas alongside Eastern dress examples. In chapters three and four, I examine the Art at Home series, an affordable set of household manuals, to see how they acknowledged less wealthy middle-class women's capacity to be effective house decorators by raising the status of inexpensive Eastern art. Chapter five analyses the catalogues of Liberty's, an Oriental goods shop, and examines how they presented the principles of Eastern art as their own. In chapter six, I discuss The Woman's World, edited by Oscar Wilde, to show how the perspective of Eastern art can crystallise the definitions of female artists by both elite and popular Aesthetes. In chapter seven, I will examine the representation of Eastern art in Vernon Lee's Miss Brown, and show how her text is a critical response to the definition of female artists in elite and popular Aestheticism. By focusing on these various approaches to Eastern art, we can see that Aestheticism was engaged in a process of critiquing and customising Ruskin's ideas in order to acknowledge the artistry and autonomy of consumers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Tōkyō Daigaku ; Japan. Monbu Kagakusho [Japan. Ministry of Education ; Culture ; Sports ; Science and Technology] (MK)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: N Visual arts (General) For photography ; see TR