Research Project: Gilded Age Art & Technology

I am excited to announce that in September I will be joining the Preservation Society of Newport County (Rhode Island) for a one-year research fellowship under the theme of Gilded Age Art & Technology.

In the Gilded Age, technology was one of the key features that distinguished American houses from their European counterparts. My research will examine the impact of technology on the 'great house' tradition in this period, positing the American mansion as the successor to the English country house, and will focus specifically on modern bathroom design, decoration, and discourse.

I will be posting regular updates on my progress here, as well as on Instagram (@lauracjenkins), and will add a more detailed description of the proposed research shortly for those who are interested. If you have any information which might be of interest, or would like to discuss any aspect of the study, please feel free to contact me directly using the message box in the Contact section.


Above left: Detail of an urn located near the entrance of The Breakers, Newport, RI, Richard Morris Hunt for Cornelius II & Alice Vanderbilt, 1892-95. Above right: View of an electric switch near the entrance to the drawing room from the conservatory at The Elms, Newport, RI, Horace Trumbauer for Mr. & Mrs. Edward Berwind, 1898-1901.