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Queer Interwar Design: Eyre de Lanux and her Sapphic Spaces


Queer Interwar Design: Eyre de Lanux and her Sapphic Spaces

Shields-Rivard, Sara (2021) Queer Interwar Design: Eyre de Lanux and her Sapphic Spaces. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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This thesis examines the designed interiors of Elizabeth Eyre de Lanux (1984-1996), an American writer, artist, and designer expatriated in Paris during the interwar period. Active primarily from 1928 to 1932, she designed her interiors collaboratively with her romantic partner, the British textile designer Evelyn Wyld (1882-1973). This thesis looks to interior design history, queer studies, and decolonial theories within the decorative arts to frame the analysis of de Lanux’s work and, when relevant, her life. This thesis posits that she designed hybrid spaces—rooted in Art Deco, gleaning from Modernism—as a reflection of her own hybrid identity, as a queer woman engaged in female masculinity, same-sex intimacies, and polyamories. The first section explores de Lanux’s gendered, sexual, and stylistic hybridities in her early collaborative interior displays with Wyld, exhibited at various Parisian Salon exhibitions, positioning them as imagined spaces for the modern queer/sapphic woman. Serving as blueprints for her designed modern Parisian dwellings, her displayed interiors prompt the study of the pied-à-terre apartments designed for queer, single, or widowed women, serving as the second and final chapter of this thesis. While these interiors remain decorative in nature, they demonstrate an engagement with, and subversion of, modernist sight, while also employing a kind of queer performance of identity, navigating queer in/visibility of space. The visual and material analysis of her designed attempts to create for the modern queer/sapphic woman—both as imagined spaces on display and subsequent inhabited apartments—allow for creative interventions into the understanding of modernism and identity politics in interwar Paris.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Shields-Rivard, Sara
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:August 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Potvin, John
Keywords:interior design, eyre de lanux, hybridity, primitivism, art deco, modernism, female masculinity, queer time, queer space, queer utopia
ID Code:988727
Deposited By: Sara Shields-Rivard
Deposited On:29 Nov 2021 16:49
Last Modified:29 Nov 2021 16:49
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