Revealing Interiors

Artists have long conceived of domestic interior spaces as settings for a wide range of figurative subjects, which often incorporate human introspection or interiority. This selection of prints and drawings, spanning the early sixteenth century to the present, demonstrates how inhabited interiors—whether observed or imaginary, real or theatrical—reveal themes of spirituality, artistic creativity, or domesticity through details such as furniture and objects on the wall. While most of the earlier interiors are clearly private rooms—notably, Albrecht Dürer’s Saint Jerome in His Study and Louis-Marin Bonnet’s boudoir scenes—more ambiguous spaces emerge in the later works, including Edouard Vuillard’s psychologically charged L’intérieur au paravent (Interior with a Screen), which blurs the distinction between private and public functions. The inclusion of a screen in Vuillard’s lithograph references the important influence on Western art of Japanese woodcut prints, represented here by Suzuki Harunobu’s intimate and spatially complex scene. Rounding out the selection is a group of crowded interiors dominated by single figures: the prints by Works Progress Administration artists Minetta Good and Dox Thrash evoke issues of gender and racial identity, respectively—which also are addressed by Elizabeth Colomba’s recent watercolor.