Never content to let the Harvard crowd have all the fun, Yale’s contribution to digital exhibitions related to student rooms launched this week.
Recently, I discussed the FDR Project and much the same I love There’s No Place Like Home for capturing the spirit of a time through interiors and objects. This particular exhibition was curated by a fellow Winterthur Program graduate, Dana Byrd, whose work I admire greatly.
From the site –
In the late nineteenth century, Yale College students took great care furnishing their dormitory rooms, filling them with personal mementos, artistic objects, and the accouterments of academic life. Between 1869 and 1894, new dormitories, monumental in scale and lavish in design, were built along the New Haven Green on College Street in the area known today as Old Campus, gradually creating a self-contained quadrangle that quickly became the psychological center of campus. The new student rooms provided a marked contract to the austerity and coldness of many of the university’s other facilities. To commemorate their living spaces, students commissioned professional photographers to document their fashionable interiors and to record intimate traces of their personal tastes and habits. The extensive decoration and photography of student rooms was not limited to Yale; it occurred at other elite academic institutions across the country. This online exhibition is dedicated to exploring the ways in which students used objects to create a distinctive home for themselves at Yale.
I have selected a few objects from the exhibition that really spoke to me. These are after the jump.