The Memory Palace: Domesticity, Objects, and the Interior
Domestic interiors and the politics of display were the subjects of The Memory Palace: Domesticity, Objects, and the Interior. Throughout social, cultural, and art history, homes represent the dichotomy between private and public—the truths of who we are and the truncated version we share with our guests. In the 19th century Victorian home, exquisitely-tailored public spaces, such as the formal parlor, denoted the homeowner’s culture and comforts through carefully-culled displays. These “memory palaces,” storerooms for objects of learning and the comforts of home—books, exotic specimens, works of art, and handmade decorations—signaled gentility, status, and gender. But, the raw, unfettered truths of the family hide beyond the music room and dining room, in the, private spaces where guests do not enter.
The Memory Palace: Domesticity, Objects, and the Interior reinterprets these Victorian conventions of home. Works in multiple media, from our Permanent Collection and in installations by contemporary artists, blur the line between public and private, interior and exterior, and question the role of the domestic object. Permanent Collection works by Wallace Nutting, Richard Yarde, and Marion Pooke provided a framework within which we came to understand the role of the interior in art. Installations of works by contemporary artists Lindsey Beal, Marie Craig, Leslie Graff, Molly Lamb, and Astrid Reischwitz reflect on the object as symbol and expose, in sometimes disruptive and jarring ways, our most private objects.