Thesis: Domesticated Paintings: The Role of Fine Art in Swedish Interiors 1880-1910
Supervisors: Prof Michael Hatt and Dr Claire Jones (University of Birmingham)
I am a PhD student in History of Art at the University of Warwick, funded by the Midlands4Cities Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) doctoral training partnership. I gained both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in History of Art at the University of Glasgow. My dissertations concerned the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi’s monumental painting Artemis (1893-94) and the development of Modernism in Sweden from 1885 to 1930 (with particular reference to the lasting influence of the National Romantic painter Richard Bergh), respectively.
My research interests are mainly in Swedish and Scandinavian visual art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as related histories of architecture and design.
Other interests include:
- Symbolism (movement)
- Cultural history
- Art and society
- Nationalism and the creation of national identities through art
- Aesthetic theory
My project focuses on the presence of fine art objects in Swedish domestic settings around 1900, and investigates the role assigned to this type of visual art by means of considering contemporary discourses on the modern home, nationhood, and cultural reform. Specifically, these aspects are viewed within the context of the emergence of the interior as a concept in late nineteenth-century Western culture, including the new emphasis placed on the decorative arts and on Arts and Crafts ideals.
The main research questions are concerned with why the popularisation of paintings and other forms of visual art was deemed necessary by Swedish intellectuals and artists, and how they worked toward the realisation of this potentially life-enhancing and character-improving task. Furthermore, my thesis asks how these sentiments were developed locally, thereby instigating an exploration of alternative models for researching Swedish art and design histories. Here, Denmark, in particular, is understood as emerging as an exemplary model in the minds of many Swedish intellectuals around the turn of the century.