A Network of Associations: Aesthetic Painting and Its Patrons, 1870-1914


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art History


Through a series of case studies, this dissertation offers a new account of Aestheticism's transatlantic evolution and significance, returning Aesthetic paintings to the three-dimensional interiors for which they were created and to the economic, social, and psychological contexts in which they were produced. Aesthetic paintings were physically and conceptually designed to fit into larger systems and arrays, and in this way they articulated, rather than evaded, the essentially incorporated and networked character of the commercial and political arenas in which their patrons were intimately involved. Much more than mere status symbols or escapist decorations, Aesthetic paintings pictured and evoked a connected and expanding world controlled by and shaped around the patrons themselves.