The Design of the Children's Nursery from 1850 to 1914
School of Humanities
MA History of Design, 2015
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Title of Dissertation: The Design of the Children's Nursery from 1850 to 1914
My MA dissertation looks at the design of the children’s nursery from 1850 to 1914 from a design historical perspective. The changes in society’s perception and treatment of children, which advanced through the nineteenth and into the early twentieth century, and which related to certain artistic, social, cultural, economic and scientific developments of the time, have been explored and expanded upon within this dissertation with the aim of determining if, how and why the nursery space and its material contents from that time might have reflected these changes. In this dissertation, it is argued that although ideas about the nature of the child and how it should be brought up and treated were developed and discussed before the nineteenth century, it was only during the second half of the nineteenth century that they were adopted, developed, promoted and realised by a combination of social reformers, design reformers, scientists and domestic advice writers. These groups called to attention the importance of children’s domestic objects and spaces, and influenced the way in which they were designed.
- BA, Art History & English, University of St Andrews, 2013