Historic Interiors Affiliate Group (HIG) of the Society of Architectural Historians
Spring 2023 Newsletter and Calendar
February 15, 2023
Now in its third year as an organization, HIG continues to build community and promote the advancement of the study of historic interiors, both within existing SAH membership and beyond. As of early February, our membership rolls are holding steady at 315. This past fall was fully scheduled with an array of well-attended events, roundtables, and workshops, and as we look ahead to Spring 2023 HIG’s goals are to provide more programs, better communications to our members, and increased involvement in our working committees.
Current chair and co-founder Paula Lupkin, after three years of leadership, will be stepping down in May 2023 but will remain an active member of the group. According to our by-laws, a process of nominations will take place this spring and an election by the HIG membership will be held, supervised by an ad-hoc election committee. A call for members to participate as Election Committee Members has already been distributed by email. Nominations and self-nominations for the role of Chair will be due March 17th, and the Election Committee will carry out the online election between March 20th and April 7th. The results will be announced during our HIG General Business Meeting and by Zoom at SAH Montreal on Friday April 14th.
Spring 2023 Events
- February 18: HIG-SAH@CAA Meetup Tour and Drinks at the Met @ 5:30 pm EST
- February 24: New Books on 19th Century Interiors Event hosted by HIG Events Committee and the William Morris Society of America at 1:00 pm EST
- April 1: Interior Provocations Symposium “Upkeep” organized by Pratt Institute and California College of the Arts. Full Day (8am-6pm). Details can be found here.
- April 12-15: SAH Annual Meeting in Montreal
- Friday: HIG Business Meeting/Announcement of Election for HIG Chair 2023-2025, 1:30-2:30 pm
- Friday: HIG-endorsed Session: Material Religion through the Sacred Interior, 3-5:10 pm
- Saturday: HIG Montreal Evening Pub Crawl with Olivier Vallerand: explore downtown bars and diners
- May 20: “Vernacular Architecture and the Historic Interior” A session at the 2023 VAF Annual Meeting in Plymouth, MA
- June 9: Third Annual Emerging Scholars Symposium
HIG Emerging Scholars in the News
Congratulations to Laura C. Jenkins, one of HIG’s emerging scholar leaders, on the organization of a successful international conference: “Boiseries: Decoration and Migration from the Eighteenth Century to the Present,” sponsored by the University of Buckingham, UK. Jenkins is a PhD Candidate in the History of Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art. After several years of dedication to the Historic Interiors Group, in particular the Emerging Scholars Committee, she is stepping down to complete her dissertation, ‘Civilising Decoration: French Interiors in the American Gilded Age.’ HIG wishes her well in this next important phase of her career, and expect to see her again soon, presenting her diss as a book at a HIG event in the near future!
Lauren Drapala, another emerging scholar leader of HIG, is a faculty member at the Pratt Institute and a Ph.D. Candidate in History of Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture, Bard Graduate Center. Drapala attended the Boiseries event and has written a blog post about it for HIG, detailing the excellent presentations. She observes that the conference explores a timely topic: the period room “as installation art” in its own right. HIG looks forward to more discussion of period rooms and their reinstallation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Period Room Curatorial Tour Meet-Up on February 18.
Many congratulations to Michelle Jackson-Beckett on her appointment as Curator of Drawings and Archives at the Avery Library of Columbia University. A HIG visit to the treasures of the Library is planned for the fall. Her research focuses on modern European and US cultural history, with a specialization in design, material culture, and the built environment. She is currently preparing a manuscript on exhibitions of Viennese interior design and housing from 1918-1938 for publication with Oxford University Press. As a leader of HIG, Michelle hosted the 2022 Emerging Scholars Symposium, and hosted a fall panel on publishing academic research and dissertations on interiors and architectural history in partnership with Bloomsbury publisher James Thompson, editor of JSAH and associate professor Alice Y. Tseng, and assistant professor Freyja Hartzell.
Research and Pedagogy News and Activities
Events and Conferences Committee member Imogen Hart organized a February 24th book event to be co-hosted with the William Morris Society of America. Building on her own expertise in the history of arts and crafts and the relationship between science and art, she invited authors Andrea Wolk Ranger and Brian Holmes to speak about their newly published works on interiors work by Edward Burne-Jones and the Oxford Museum of Natural History. Following a Ph.D. from the University of York and postdoctoral and curatorial roles at the Yale Center for British Art, Hart co-edited Rethinking the Interior 1867-1896: Aestheticism and the Arts and Crafts (Ashgate, 2010) and Sculpture and the Decorative (Bloomsbury 2020).
As part of an ongoing project of SAHARA, the Society of Architectural Historians’ open-source collection of architectural photography, Research Committee member Meral Ekincioglu published “SAHARA Highlights: East Coast Public Interiors.” Meral, whose area of specialty is archives, is currently developing a Spring 2023 virtual event on Interiors and Archives with the SAH-HIG Research Committee members, Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler, Paola Ardizzola, Cameron Macdonell, Evan Pavka, Eva Storgaard and Elizabeth Carroll. Its date isgoing to be announced soon. In addition, with a focus on interior design, architecture, and public health, she is going to present her paper on the MIT’s McCormick Hall’s Archive at the Society of Architectural Historians Conference in March.
Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler, associate professor of design history at Purdue University and author of Open Plan: A Design History of the American Office (Bloomsbury 2021), moderated a research committee roundtable, “Architecture, Interiors, and the Expanded Field.” This working session examined a research database developed by Paula Lupkin on the historiography of interiors history in journals such as Journal of Design History, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and Winterthur Portfolio. Plans and ideas for interpretation and publication of this dataset were actively considered by attendees, who were invited to take part in future work on this HIG project.
William Littmann, Karen White, and the Pedagogy Committee organized an event this fall address our roles as teachers of the history of interiors: “Teaching Interiors: 2022 Educational Roundtable.” Admired and experienced educators Mark Hinchman (Emeritus, University of Nebraska – Lincoln), Anca Lasc (Pratt Institute), Yelena McLane (Florida State University), and Mary Anne Beecher (Ohio State University), reflected on their teaching practice, followed by open discussion with a large enthusiastic Zoom audience. Similar events, as well as syllabus exchange and collection, are planned to continue supporting and networking our teacher-members.