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Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Dr. Charles Brownell


Electricity has a long and continuing history. This paper explains the impact that electrical light had on interior design. The focus of this explanation is those interiors closest to the advent of electricity and one turn-of-the-century designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). Beginning by comparing electrical light with its closest rival gaslight, this paper continues with a look at three factors in electrical history that affect its appearance in interiors. The focus narrows to the fashions appearing for the new illuminant. Finally, to understand how architects and designers applied electricity at the turn of the century, one must examine their work individually. Mackintosh is the subject of the case study embarked on in the last chapter, which examines how his lighting designs contribute to or detract from the designer's place on the cusp of Modernism.


Part of Retrospective ETD Collection, restricted to VCU only.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008