Join curator Elizabeth Lay, a regular lecturer on the topics of fashion, textiles, and American furniture, for an image-rich lunchtime lecture series focusing on decorative arts and design topics.
Sleeping Around Virginia
Most people today think of their bedrooms as private spaces not generally shared with visitors—while in past centuries, the opposite is true. Bedchambers were sick rooms, birthing rooms, bathrooms, and a place to conduct business, or entertain close friends and children, away from the more formal entertaining in dining rooms and parlors.
Much more than just purely decoration, even the more basic textiles made the difference between comfort, and “just getting by.” Beds conveyed wealth and status, and for many, were the most expensive object in the home. Textile historian Natalie F. Larson uses primary sources to look at the variety of sleeping arrangements from slave dwellings and Indigenous populations to the homes of middle-class and upwardly aspiring Virginians.
Other Sessions in this Series