The research group The Inside Story: Art, Interior and Architecture 1750-1950 (ThIS), launched in 2016 by Marjan Sterckx, investigates art as related to the interior and to architecture, between c. 1750 and 1950. We focus on the role and place of art within the context of the interior and of architecture, on the history of interiors, the decorative arts, and arts and the decorative, departing from the artwork, art object or artist, and inspired by the challenges of present-day living and the possibilities of new technologies and methods. ThIS concerns an interdisciplinary, collaborative research group between Ghent University (UGent) and the Free University of Brussels (VUB), between departments of Art History and of Architectural Engineering.
Geographically, ThIS mainly focuses on Belgium, albeit in an international context, as there is still a great deal of research potential. In order to encourage research into art as related to design, interiors and architecture between 1750 and 1950 in Belgium and abroad, ThIS annually organises a colloquium in Ghent, entitled Studiedag Historisch Interieur en Design, that brings together heritage professionals and researchers from various disciplines and institutions. Within heritage policy, historic interiors are still underexposed in Belgium: often unknown and inaccessible and thus vulnerable. Through knowledge and expertise exchange, impetus can be given to better protection and preservation of exceptional interiors.
Keywords: art, architecture, interior design, historic interiors, design, applied arts, long 19th century, 18th century, interwar period, gender, space
ThIS will focus on the following topics:
Fine arts and/in historic interiors & architecture
- Fine arts in/and architecture, e.g.: ornamental sculpture; monumental painting; monumental sculpture;...
- The artistic representation of the (historic) interior; the material culture of historic interiors
- The (artistic) presentation of art in the interior (public or domestic); art collections; art salons
- Artists’ studios and homes, Studio practices
Decorative arts & design, arts & the decorative
- The (artistic) decoration of the interior
- Sculpture, painting and the decorative; the decorative arts at (world) exhibitions; art, craft and technology/industry;
- Interiors, decorative arts, and gender;
- Textile and fashion history