Domestic and Institutional Interiors
in Early Modern Europe

Victoria & Albert Museum, London
19-20 November 2004

This is an additional conference to the programme of the AHRB Centre for the Study of the Domestic Interior, planned in order to explore in a European and interdisciplinary perspective the relationship between domestic and institutional living spaces. Studies on the domestic interior have focused so far on the spatial, material and visual features of the home. However, early modern people did not only live in houses, they also made their homes in monastic institutions, houses of the poor and hospitals, some just for short periods, others for all their lives. It is well known that many connections existed between those who lived in institutions and their families and the surrounding community. To what extent did these connections also extend to the physical and material features of the living spaces? This two-day conference examines this novel and still under-researched topic and the reciprocal influence between the domestic and the institutional interiors in the age of the Reformations, a period marked, in many European towns, by the growing presence of religious and charitable institutions. It brings together social, architectural and art historians to explore the relationship between interiors, gender and class; the way in which spatial arrangements contributed to forging the inmates’ behaviour and, in turn, the way in which the inmates themselves shaped the institutional space they inhabited; the range of objects that were available and circulated between houses and institutions; the transfer of rituals and models in interior decoration, furnishings, images from the domestic to the institutional interior and vice versa.


Registration: Full delegate fee: £60, Student delegate fee: £30. Fee includes sandwich lunch, morning coffee and afternoon tea. Deadline for registration is 5th November 2004. Please complete and return the downloadable booking form, along with a cheque made payable to Royal College of Art. For further information, contact; t. +44 (0)207 590 4183.