Image of painting titled Under Mannen Bridge in the Fukagawa

Personal Taste

"… the private home is the foundation of the public state … there is no better means of measuring … artistic culture than by examining … the arrangements of his house …" Harriet Spofford, Art Decoration Applied to Furniture, 1878

The home was a symbol of wealth and power. It was the place where influential individuals were able to display their taste and collecting preferences. The home provided a palette to demonstrate achievement and refinement. Public spaces in the home, such as the drawing room, dining room, and library were often lavishly furnished and filled with well-crafted furniture, sculpture, mementos, and refined works of art. Aesthetic and decorating choices were seen as reflections of social class and the prevailing cultural taste of the period.

The paintings, sketches, and artworks on paper that distinguished Americans chose to decorate their homes reveal personal taste in an intimate and direct way. They provide a window into the private lives of public figures.


Image of painting titled (Lakeside Village of St. Gilgen)

Image of Painting titled (Cornish Landscape)