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Housing the New RomansArchitectural Reception and Classical Style in the Modern World$
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Katharine T. von Stackelberg and Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190272333

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190272333.001.0001

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Domestic Interiors, National Concerns

Domestic Interiors, National Concerns

The Pompeian Style in the United States

(p.126) Chapter 4 Domestic Interiors, National Concerns
Housing the New Romans

Marden Fitzpatrick Nichols

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the phenomenon of “Pompeian” (or “Pompeian Revival”) interior decoration in elite US houses and hotels from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. The “Pompeian Room” functioned in the popular press and wider discourse of that era as a metonym for an increasingly inaccessible pseudo-aristocracy. The Pompeian Revival Style in the United States must also be seen within the larger scope of the Aesthetic Movement of the last third of the nineteenth century, through which beautification of the American home became a topic of heightened national interest. Pompeian decoration most strongly conveyed the impression of luxury and elevated social status. However, the complex range of contemporary reactions to the Pompeian style, colored by unease about the expansion of private wealth and luxury building projects during the Gilded Age and the years surrounding it, likewise had a national slant. Finally this chapter aims to transcend a singular emphasis on the self-fashioning of patrons in order to incorporate a wider spectrum of contributors and interpreters, such as designers and taste-makers who shaped these spaces.

Keywords:   Pompeii, Pompeian Revival Style, Neoclassical, Neo-Antique, Aesthetic Movement, Gilded Age, New York

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