HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 24, 2013 – Dr. John Turpin, dean of the School of Art and Design at High Point University, has published his work in Georgina Downey’s book, “Domestic Interiors: Representing Homes from the Victorians to the Moderns.”
The book details how representations of domestic space have embodied changing spatial configurations and values, and considers how we see modern individuals in the process of making themselves “at home.”
Turpin contributed a chapter in the book, titled “The Dining Room: Measuring the Gap between the Edwardians and the Moderns,” which analyzes space – relative to both distance and time – as a way of differentiating the self-imposed class structure and formality typical of the Edwardian culture with that of the more informal lifestyle desired by the growing American middle class during the middle of the 20th century. The Edwardians expanded and territorialized space in order to define their social position, while middle-class Americans collapsed and shared space to enhance and celebrate social interactions after experiencing two world wars and the Great Depression. Dr. Turpin used Charles Dana Gibson’s “A Castle in the Air” (1903) and Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want” (1943) to illustrate his point.
The book includes research from scholars in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Italy and the United States.
“Nine scholars from around the world were asked to participate in the project, and I was the only American selected based on my area of research which explores social and class values and their manifestation in the build environment,” Turpin says.