The main focus of my research is the artistic and visual culture of domesticity in France 1880-1940 as framed by questions deriving from feminist methodologies. On the one hand my research lies in painterly, avant-garde, domesticities and, on the other, in mass-consumed, mediated domesticities. Either way, I consider how and to what historical effect these domesticities are productive of subjectivities that are sexually differentiated.
Currently I am completing a book examining the personal and social politics of domesticity in the work and working arrangements of French Nabis artist Edouard Vuillard, Edouard Vuillard: Art and the Politics of Domesticity at the end of the Nineteenth Century. This will constitute the first book-length feminist engagement with Vuillard and Intimisme more generally. I am also curating an international loan exhibition of Vuillard's paintings of his mother, ‘Maman: Vuillard and Madame Vuillard’, to be shown at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, October 2018 to January 2019. An exhibition catalogue under my editorship will accompany the show. A further article on the historiography of Intimisme, ‘Intimisme: Private Life of a Critical Category’ is planned.
I am also currently researching mass media publications associated with the hugely popular interwar Salon des Arts Ménagers (1923-1983), including the journal L'Art Ménager and the annual exhibition poster. Specifically, I am writing an article 'Mechanical Housewives and New "Feminist" Domesticity in Interwar France' that critically analyses the representation of housewife-automata in SAM publicity materials and it is expected that this article will be published in spring 2017. A further article on the topic of interwar French mass-media domesticity, ‘Housework, The Eighth Art’, is also in progress.
A special issue of the Oxford Art Journal, ‘Feminist Domesticities’, co-edited by myself and Dr Jo Applin (Courtauld Institute of Art, London) is forthcoming spring 2017.
I have been researcher on two RCUK funded collaborative research projects: as co-investigator to AHRC Suburban Birmingham: Spaces and Places, 1880-1960 (University of Birmingham, Birmingham Museums Trust, Library of Birmingham, 2009-2012) and as postdoctoral research fellow at AHRC Centre for the Study of the Domestic Interior (Royal College of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2001-2003).