Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


An Egyptian Revival Reception Room, Cedar Hill, Warwick, Rhode Island, 1872-1877 Open Access

In seeking to develop a better understanding of the Egyptian revival in the post-Civil War years of the 1870s, the master's thesis provides an analysis of the Egyptian revival reception room at Cedar Hill, a country house in Warwick, Rhode Island. A close examination of the interior decoration and furnishings offers insight into the tastes of a prominent Rhode Island family, as Cedar Hill was built as a wedding gift from the textile manufacturer, William Smith Slater, to his daughter, Elizabeth Ives Slater Reed upon her marriage to Alfred Augustus Reed, Jr. The study of the original records documenting the individuals and firms involved in creating the room reclaim the important contributions of the Rhode Island architect, William R. Walker, the Boston design firm, W. J. McPherson & Co., the carver, Charles Dowler of Providence, Rhode Island, and the Boston furniture company, Doe & Hunnewell. An analysis of Cedar Hill's reception room within the context of Orientalism and cosmopolitanism, contemporary design books and manuals, and in comparison to other documented interiors in exotic non-Western styles, such as the Oriental or Turkish smoking room craze, sheds new light on the Egyptian revival as an aspect of American domestic interior decoration and design. Appendix 1 includes related bills, correspondence, and receipts from Cedar Hill spanning from 1872 to 1877.

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