Interior Forms - Interior Functions - 'Interior Motives': - Rooms, Objects, and Meaning in Atlantic Canada Homes

Interior Forms - Interior Functions

'Interior Motives':

Rooms, Objects, and Meaning in Atlantic Canada Homes

Gerald L. Pocius
Memorial University

Abstract

Most research dealing with aspects of Atlantic Canada interiors has been largely concerned with documenting artifacts but little attention has been paid to the relationship between object form and spatial context so that studies commenting on room usages are often more social than artifact histories. This paper proposes that future research must deal with house interiors as artifact systems which serve as metaphors for behavior deemed culturally appropriate.

Résumé

Jusqu'à présent, les chercheurs se sont surtout attachés, dans leurs travaux sur les intérieurs domestiques dans les provinces de l'Atlantique, à faire des recherches sur les artefacts et se sont peu intéressés aux relations entre la forme de l'objet et le contexte spatial, de sorte que les études sur l'utilisation des pièces de la maison sont plus de l'histoire sociale que de l'histoire des objets eux-mêmes. L'auteur de cette communication est d'avis que la recherche future devra traiter les intérieurs des maisons comme des ensembles d'artefacts symbolisant un comportement considéré comme acceptable sur le plan culturel.

1 The door to the front room had been closed for weeks. It was winter, and the warmth from the black stove was locked in the kitchen. With the door open, heat would trickle into the parlour, transforming its tactile dimension for the impending visit. The smell of the burning spruce junks left the kitchen to mingle with the musty smell of the parlour, of glossy varnishes on the little-used furniture and of straw stuffings in the settee. The "room," as the parlour was always called, was much quieter than the kitchen. Voices of the children could be heard, but only indistinctly, filtered through the walls of the kitchen where they played, muffled by the layers of coats hung in the hallway and the years of wallpaper thickening the parlour walls. Even with the newly installed thirty-watt bulb overhead, the room seemed dark. The brown pitch-pine planking on the ceiling, the near-black sideboard, all were the same sombre colours of the pews in church. The fancy cut glasses had been taken down from the sideboard's shelves and the fingerprint-smudged bottle of sherry -bought before anyone could remember and seemingly always half full — were readied. The man from away would be here soon, and it just seemed fitting that the front room fostered the reverent attitude for such a visit.1

2 Again and again, the respected visitor has politely sat in a parlour like this one on the Southern Shore, treated with deference and polite aloofness. The visit is proper, the room also. The objects are metaphors for deeper concerns. There is still a chill in the air, the chairs are immobile, the walls, floors, and even furniture have decorations primarily on the surface. A room filled with reminders of the past — family likenesses of forgotten uncles — a room where the eternal past begins for every person with a wake.

3 The visit of the stranger most appropriately occurred in this the front room of the house, just as heated neighbour-hood gossip flared around the blazing stove in the kitchen.2 Interiors are not random arrays of objects; they are not static entities. Rather, they are dynamic interactions of both people and objects, governed by certain rules of daily life. We know little about the complex interior mingling of artifact and emotion, activity and experience, which moves us ro encounter more easily the day to day scenes of our culture. This conference marks an important first step in trying to understand how to read these interior complexities.

4 Specific artifact research has been done in varying degrees in each of the Atlantic Provinces.3 Certain types of objects have already been researched: furniture, glass and ceramics,4 metal wares,5 textiles,6 and the like; other artifacts await research. Yet, it is important at this point to comment on what are the more fundamental issues that need to be confronted if the study of Atlantic Canadian interiors is to advance.

5 Two major approaches to the study of interiors seem to be prevalent. The first can be considered as an atomistic approach; artifacts which are generally found within the interior are delineated and designated for specific research.7 Added to these artifact classes are the surface coverings of the walls, ceilings, and floors of the room. Artifact genres, such as furniture or wall coverings, or subgenres, such as chairs or wallpaper, become the sole focus of research. Most of these studies are both typological in nature, attempting to delineate the broad range of forms of a specific artifact, and historical, tracing changes over time.8

6 The art historian's crusade for neat chronological styles orders many of these studies, for often they involve the organization of specific artifacts into groups that mirror supposedly sophisticated design movements. Folk objects are often defined by negatives — if it does not follow an accepted high art style, it must be folk. If it does not resemble Chippendale, it must be a product of what recently has been labelled "folk stupidity."9 And if it has no recognizable style and sophistication, it must be a pure folk chair.10 Such a negative approach misses the entire point that "folk" is not a style, but rather a common rubric that blankets many regional styles which follow rules as complex as the supposedly more advanced Heppelwhite or Sheraton designs.11 Local styles, too, often incorporate portions of elite styles, becoming syncretistic products, not poor copies.

7 And this elitism often applies to materials and technology. We worship at shrines made of mahogany and fastened with dowels and dovetailed joints, having been converted by the craft technologies of urban elite cabinet-makers.12 Such pieces quickly achieve artifact salvation by being placed in permanent (eternal) museum collections, while those poor sinners made of softwoods, wire nails, or — heaven forbid — plywood languish away in purgatorial stables or attics.

8 Besides the atomistic or object-centred approach to the study of interiors, there is a second approach - the focus on room usage. Specific social events are delineated — those that take place inside the house - and the structure and dynamics of those events are described. Family roles as they relate to interiors may be investigated along with the subsequent responsibilities for proper maintenance of order and even decoration.13

9 So these two major emphases - objects and events or roles —are usually the subject of research on interiors. Yet, are they really what the study of interiors should comprise, or are they focused on artifacts or activities quite apart from their immediate context? I would argue that much object research deals not with interiors, but artifacts per se. The study of the history of a chair type or the changes in paint finishes over time really does not depend on the actual location of the object. Indeed, in many cases it is not known where or how the object was originally used in the room; it is simply a part of a collection.14 The objects become ends in themselves.

10 The study of events and role patterns has a different bias. Although researchers may be interested in events that take place within the home as well as who uses and cares for which portions of the house, little reference is actually made to the artifacts per se, to their types and placements.15 As long as it is known that an event takes place in a certain room, then little is said about how the actual artifacts in that room relate to the event, let along whether these objects must have specific designs and finishes to be considered appropriate for the room and the normal events that take place within it.

11 This lack in the study of both artifacts and interior events relates to a basic bias in our thinking about interiors generally. We assume that objects are static entities that are easily delimited and fill our rooms, and that human behaviour within those spaces is limited solely to people's acts.16 We fail to recognize that objects are as much behaviour as a dance or conversation.17 The entire room becomes a cultural statement with three types of expression: objects; spatial relationships among the artifacts; daily use that incorporates the former two.

12 The study of interiors is much like the study of language. The objects that are found in the rooms are like words. In studying interiors, we have good historical studies of objects, like early dialect dictionaries published in the British Isles. Through these historical studies, we learn a great deal about questions of origin and style, but little about performance.18

13 It is the systematic relationship among various discrete items — be they words or pieces of furniture — that tells us most about interiors.19 Pieces of furniture placed in a room have a certain relationship to other pieces, both in terms of their type (why certain objects and finishes are considered right for certain rooms), as well as their placement (our culture likes to put objects around the outer walls of a room). These relationships provide a certain order, much like the order of words in a sentence. We can research lists of words, but without sentences we cannot communicate. And so it is with interiors. Cultures provide specific rules of relationships among proper "interior sentences" and indicate the ranges of behaviour that are possible, given the contents, their types, and relationships.

14 This interior statement then interacts with the daily events, moulding them, shaping them, at times constraining them to take accepted forms. Most studies of interior uses rarely recognize the importance of objects to the activities. It may be quite direct. One researcher found in Northern Ireland, for example, that the size of the kitchens limited the numbers of participants in the Christmas mummers play, as well as how the play itself was performed.20

15 During a recent wake that I attended on the Southern Shore, the type of chairs in each room indicated the conversational behaviour that could take place. In the front room, where the casket was placed, most of the seats were large stuffed chairs or a sofa. They were obviously immobile and, once you sat down, you spoke with the person next to you. This often meant conversations between strangers and thus talk centred on the most obvious topic, the deceased. The kitchen, however, was filled with small, mobile wooden chairs, and when an empty one was located it could easily be moved to whatever conversational group one chose, giving greater choice to engage with closer friends on more personal and perhaps less solemn topics. In just this one small example, interior behaviour was partly artifactual and partly conversational, neither one totally understood without the other, each dependent on the other, each one a product of more fundamental meanings.

16 Most of our work with interiors centres on the easily quantifiable and delimited - we focus exclusively upon objects or events. Yet writers have commented on the multitudinous variety of experience that the use of interior spaces entails. Our culture has attempted to reduce it, but the earlier house often was a myriad of smells as well as paint finishes. Barrels of flour in the pantry, bread baking in the wood stove, stale air in the parlour. And what about sounds? Crackling of the stove, rain on the thin upstairs roof, noises from the kitchen below. These kinds of experiences are not easily counted and measured and dated, so researchers shy away from them. They seem to border too much on feeling, and thus they are overlooked.21

17 Besides a definite bias in the actual choice of topics to study, we also have a certain attitude toward the time period of the specific objects. When we study interiors from the past, we assume that all artifacts found within the home are worthy of documentation and research. Anything associated with the past has value attached to it simply because of its historical component.22 The closer we get to the present, however, the more suspect the interiors and their artifacts become, until finally some objects fall under the rubric of "kitsch."23 We assume that all objects made in the past — the earlier the better — follow some norm of good taste and design, while objects that people own today are often trivial and non-cultural. But of course what is today's kitsch becomes tomorrow's collectable and the museum's future collection.24 Although we are at least beginning to look at some of the issues that deal with interiors of the past, we know little about the interiors of today.25 Current mass-produced articles are no less culturally revealing than the mass-produced items of the eighteenth century imported from Britain, or the local factory articles of the nineteenth.26

18 We claim that our goal is the noble one of understanding people, but many of us research only those types of objects that we would want in our own homes. Thus, our studies often indicate more about our own cultural group, rather than those we have so graciously blessed by our inquiries.27

19 If our studies of Atlantic Canadian interiors are to prove more than simple antiquarian exercises, then not only must we carefully document the artifacts and enumerate the events that are a part of past eras, we must go beyond that. The study of interiors must involve asking why people constructed the kinds of interior grammars that they did, why it was considered appropriate to construct or purchase certain styles and types of furniture, why they were placed where they were — all products of accepted mental rules.

20 By carefully looking at past interiors, we may be able to eliminate some of the fallacies of the past. Houses were filled with every possible denial of nature, unlike the common pioneer stereotype. Quite different from the current craze for "natural" materials, interiors of the past were highly finished. Furniture was extensively painted or varnished, interior materials that could be seen were often purchased rather than locally fashioned, and layer upon layer of paint, varnish, or wallpaper often covered what would be considered as natural.28 Indeed, certain items like walls were either painted annually, or received another strata of wallpaper. The natural was denied, not displayed.

21 We assume in our research that the local artifact is the most regionally distinctive, so we search out the local craftsman or artisan. In many cases, however, the imported object was considered of more value than the local, revealing the widespread emulation of trends from outside the region. The desire for the new is not new, and an intense regionalism has always been juxtaposed with a taste for the imported. Even today, many of us drink French wine and turn to Canadian vintages only when our money or taste is wanting; distinctive regional wares like Chipman's Golden Glow are relegated to poverty ridden classes like students. And so it was with interior objects in the house. The finest piece, that is, the piece that was made outside the region and bought, was placed in the front room; this has always been so whether we look at the object made in a St. John's factory of the past or the more contemporary analog in Atlantic Canadian homes, Woolco Provincial or early K-Mart designs.29

22 We must take the entire interior and attempt to read the order that lies there. Interiors are holistic phenomena, and our goal must be not just careful documentary delineations of simple artifacts, events, or roles, but rather the complex conveyance of what Gaston Bachelard refers to as the poetics of space, the poetics of interiors.30 We have spoken much about the need to place objects in their context, but context is a word tossed about lightly with little agreement as to what its recording entails. Context for interior objects ultimately is the acknowledgement that people create meaning in their lives through their conceptions of the proper ordering of their actions and surroundings. An interior is not a collection of objects or a delineation of roles. Rather, it is a front room rarely used, opened for the stranger, with stark spatial metaphors. Filled with façades of decorative designs and chilled musty air. Immobile chairs, where everyone's place is clearly fixed. Dark, the room of death. As John Szwed phrased it, a public imagery is often at odds with private culture, for what the stranger sees as open hospitality, the local inhabitant may see as social restraint.31

23 We must not be content to stop at objects, whether they are the earliest, most regional, or most exceptional. Objects are part of a larger experience, and it is important to emphasize the notion of experience. To look only at objects is like trying to study how people communicate by reading the dictionary. And to neglect the specific objects in the study of interior events and roles is akin to trying to understand sentences without the words. Unless we recognize the pervasive meanings conveyed within the home, that objects and events are part of a more fundamental ordering to produce such meaning, then in spite of the most careful of chronological categories and exegesis of events, interiors will remain little more than empty rooms.

NOTES
1 The entire issue of how to describe homes has received little attention; novelists and poets probably succeed best in providing rich descriptions. For comments and examples see Dennis Sharp, "House," Architectural Association Quarterly 12, no. 2 (1980): 2, 20-21, 34-35,42-43,52-53.
2 Erving Goffman discusses the importance of what he calls "front regions" in his The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Garden City: Doubleday Anchor, 1959), 107ff.
3 Much of the research on Atlantic Canadian artifacts has appeared in the Canadian Collector, but these articles are too numerous to summarize here. However, the special issues dealing with each of the Atlantic Provinces should be noted: New Brunswick, 10, no. 3 (1975); Nova Scotia, 7, no. 1 (1972); Prince Edward Island, 8, no. 1 (1973); Newfoundland, 10, no. 2 (1975). Besides individual artifact studies, several attempts have been made to survey complete artifact traditions of a region; examples are Robert Cunningham and John B. Prince, Tamped Clay and Saltmarsh Hay: Artifacts of New Brunswick (Fredericton: Brunswick Press, 1976); Jean-Claude Dupont, Histoire populaire de l'Acadie (Montréal: Leméac, 1978).
4 Works include Donald Webster, Early Canadian Pottery (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971), chap. 5; George MacLaren, Nova Scotia Class, Nova Scotia Museum, Occasional Paper 4, Historical Series 1 (Halifax, 1974); Gerald Stevens, Early Canadian Glass (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1960), pt. 3. Much research on ceramics has been conducted by historical archaeologists, and site reports often appear in the Canadian Historic Sites, Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History series. Examples are: no. 7 (Signal Hill, Newfoundland); no. 9 (Fort Amherst, Prince Edward Island); no. 10 (Fort Gasperaau, New Brunswick); no. 13 (Beaubassin, Nova Scotia).
5 For examples see Harry Piers and Donald Mackay, Master Goldsmiths and Silversmiths of Nova Scotia (Halifax: Antiquarian Club, 1948); Donald Mackay, Silversmiths and Related Craftsmen of the Atlantic Provinces (Halifax: Petheric Press, 1973); George MacLaren, The Romance of the Heating Stove (Halifax: Nova Scotia Museum, 1972); Ken Gilmour, "On the Trail of a Nail," Occasional 3, no. 3 (1976): 18-23.
6 Examples are Florence MacDonald Mackley, Handweaving in Cape Breton (Sydney, 1967); Marlene Davis et al, A Nova Scotia Work Basket: Some Needlework Patterns Traditionally Used in the Province (Halifax: Nova Scotia Museum, 1976); Mary Conroy, 300 Years of Canada's Quilts (Toronto: Griffin House, 1976); Gerald L. Pocius, Textile Traditions of Eastern Newfoundland, National Museum of Man, Mercury Series, Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies, Paper 29 (Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1979); Colleen Lynch, The Fabric of Their Lives: Hooked and Poked Mats of Newfoundland and Labrador (St. John's: Memorial University of Newfoundland Art Gallery, 1980); Harold B. and Dorothy K. Burnham, Keep Me Warm One Night: Early Handweaving in Eastern Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972).
7 For comments on the atomistic approach see Juan Pablo Bonta, Architecture and Its Interpretation: A Study of Expressive Systems in Architecture (London: Lund Humphries, 1979), 80ff.
8 The study of the history of objects can be considered as "material history." For various statements about this approach see Barbara Riley, ed., "Canada's Material History: A Forum," Material History Bulletin 8 (1979). Museums must concentrate on this approach for the careful documentation of their collections. For comments about Atlantic Canadian museum approaches, see Peter E. Rider, ed., The History of Atlantic Canada: Museum Interpretations, National Museum of Man, History Division, Paper 32 (Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1981); Stephen Hornsby and Graeme Wynn, "Walking Through the Past," Acadiensis 10, no. 2 (1981): 152-59. However, one of the dangers of conducting only material history research is that the objects themselves tend to become equated with doing history. But, as Cary Carson has recently pointed out, "facts do not become historical evidence until someone thinks up something for them to prove or disprove"; see Carson, "Doing History With Material Culture," in Material Culture and the Study of American Life, ed. Ian M.G. Quimby (New York: Norton, 1978), 44. Anthropologists and folklorists use material history as a means to the end of studying material culture: how people provide meaning in their lives through objects, both in historical and contemporary time periods. Good introductory statements are Henry Glassie, Folk Housing in Middle Virginia: A Structural Analysis of Historic Artifacts (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1975), 8-12; James Deetz, Invitation to Archaeology (Garden City: Doubleday Anchor, 1967), 5-11.
9 Shane O'Dea and Gerald L. Pocius, "Folk Stupidity: Crossing the Ethnocentric Boundary" (unpublished manuscript).
10 The assumption that folk objects must be judged by how closely they do or do not follow elite styles also permeates folk art research, and many of the statements applied to furniture styles are similar to criticisms of folk art. For comments on this approach, see Henry Glassie, "Folk Art," in Encyclopedia Americana (1979 éd.); for a survey of attitudes typical of folk art research in Atlantic Canada, see Diane Tye, "A Contextual Study of a Newfoundland Folk Artist; Patrick J. Murphy, Bell Island" (M.A. thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1981), 1-22.
11 Vernacular pieces are often seen as poorer copies of higher styles. Typical assumptions are that Chippendale was "the standard of elegance throughout the English-language world": Donald B. Webster, "Canadian Georgian Furniture," Canadian Collector 14, no. 6 (1979): 24; the most important pieces of furniture exhibited "various degrees of style" judged by elite stylistic periods: Donald B. Webster, English-Canadian Furniture of the Georgian Period (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1979), 26; in those cases where styles do not follow elite norms they are considered "aberrant": Richard H. Field, "Some Furniture from Prince Edward Island," Canadian Collector 11, no. 5 (1976): 32. One of the few studies that analyses a regional furniture tradition as a product of its own logical rules is Robert F. Trent, Hearts and Crowns: Folk Chairs of the Connecticut Coast (New Haven: New Haven Colony Historical Society, 1977).
12 The concern with cabinet-makers' products as the most advanced form of furniture is found in George MacLaren, Nova Scotia Furniture (Halifax: Petheric Press, 1969), esp. 4; Charles H. Foss, Cabinetmakers of the Eastern Seaboard: A Study of Early Canadian Furniture (Toronto: Feheley, 1977). For biases toward mahogany, see George MacLaren, Antique Furniture by Nova Scotian Craftsmen (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1961), 36; A. Gregg Finley, Heritage Furniture/Le mobilier traditionnel (Saint John: New Brunswick Museum, 1976), 32. For typical attitudes toward construction, see Nineteenth Century Pictou County Furniture (Pictou: Hector Centre Trust, 1977), 9.
13 For example, see the section on traditional cleaning methods in Elizabeth C. Sellars, "Aspects of the Traditional Life of French Newfoundlanders of Black Duck Brook (L'anse Aux Canards, Port-au-Port, Newfoundland), With Special Emphasis on the 'Role of Women,'" (M.A. thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1978), 84-105.
14 Compilations of interior drawings or photographs can sometimes help in placing objects in their interior context. Examples include Harold L. Peterson, Americans At Home: From the Colonists to the Late Victorians (New York: Scribner's, 1971); William Seale, The Tasteful Interlude: American Interiors Through the Camera's Eye, 1860-1917 (New York: Praeger, 1975); Joseph Byron, New York Interiors at the Turn of the Century (New York: Dover, 1976); David Lowe, Chicago Interiors: Views of a Splendid World (Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1979); Russell Hawes Kettell, Early American Rooms (1936; reprint, New York: Dover, 1967); Meyric R. Rogers, American Interior Design (1947; reprint New York: Arno, 1976); Iris Brooke, Four Walls Adorned: Interior Decoration, 1485-1820 (London: Methuen, 1952); Susan Thompson Good, "Interior Life: An Iowa Farmhouse in the Late-1800's," Palimpset 60 (1979): 34-47.
15 Good studies of artifact placement in interiors are J.W. Fernandez, Fang Architectonics, Working Papers in the Traditional Arts, 1 (Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1977) and Albert E. Schlefen with Norman Ashcraft, Human Territories: How We Behave in Space-Time (Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, 1976).
16 A good historical study of interior objects and acts is John Demos, A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970).
17 For an excellent discussion of the common patterning of various kinds of behaviour, see Robert P. Armstrong, The Affecting Presence: An Essay in Humanistic Anthropology (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971).
18 My notions about performance and context come from Dell Hymes, Foundations in Sociolinguistics: An Ethnographic Approach (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1974), pt. 1.
19 This is one of the fundamental assumptions of structural analysis. Good introductions are Edmund Leach, Culture and Communication: The Logic By Which Symbols Are Connected (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976); Michael Lane, ed., Introduction to Structuralism (New York: Basic Books, 1970).
20 Henry Glassie, All Silver and No Brass: An Irish Christmas Mumming (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975), 88-93.
21 Comments about recreating sounds and smells are found in Brooke Hindle, Technology in Early America: Needs and Opportunities for Study (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966), 11. Archaeologists attempt to learn about earlier use patterns through "ethnographic analogy," trying to recreate the original functions of the object. For comments about this methodology as well as its limitations, see Robert Ascher, "Analogy in Archaeological Interpretation," in Man's Imprint from the Past: Readings in the Methods of Archaeology, ed. James Deetz (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971), 262-71, and Gerald L. Pocius, "Folk Culture Research, Ethnographic Analogy and the Museum," in Association for Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums, Proceedings of the Annual Meetings Held at Ottawa, Sante Fe, and Old Sturbridge, 1978-1980, ed. Virginia Briscoe (Washington, 1981), 38-44.
22 An excellent statement on this attaching of past values to artifacts is found in David Lowenthal, "Past Time, Present Place: Landscape and Memory," Geographical Review 65 (1975): 1-36.
23 This neglect of contemporary objects is pointed out in Yi-Fu Tuan, "The Significance of the Artifact," Geographical Review 70 (1980): 463.
24 For the study of kitsch, see Curtis F. Brown, Star-Spangled Kitsch (New York: Universe, 1975); Gillo Dorfles, Kitsch: The World of Bad Taste (New York: Universe, 1969) and Matei Calinescu, Faces of Modernity: Avante-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1977).
25 For one of the few examples of a study of contemporary objects, see Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Eugene Rochberg-Halton, The Meaning of Things: Symbols of the Development of the Self (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).
26 An example of the cultural uses of mass-produced objects can be found in Gerald L. Pocius, "Holy Pictures in Newfoundland Houses: Visual Codes for Secular and Supernatural Relationships," Laurentian University Review 12, no. 1 (1979): 101-25.
27 Among the few studies have been done of artifact collectors are Elizabeth Stillinger, The Antiquers (New York: Knopf, 1980); Hart M. Nelsen, "The Democratization of the Antique: Meanings of Antiques and Dealers' Perceptions of Customers," Sociological Review 18 (1970): 407-19; Bevis Hillier, "Why Do We Collect Antiques?" in Our Past Before Us: Why Do We Save It? ed. David Lowenthal and Marcus Binney (London: Temple Smith, 1981), 70-82. Many folk cultures stress reuse rather than restoration, and those in Atlantic Canada seem to be no exception; for comments on furniture pieces that have been altered substantially for reuse, see "Nova Scotia Furniture," in Donald B. Webster, ed., The Book of Canadian Antiques (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1974), 77; Walter W. Peddle, "Newfoundland Outport Furniture," Canadian Antiques & Art Review 2, no. 1 (1980): 39-4 1.
28 Henry and Barbara Dobson note the removal of original paint finishes from furniture by collectors and museums: see The Early Furniture of Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces (Toronto: Feheley, 1974), [8]. See also Sheila Stevenson, Colchester Furniture Makers (Truro: Colchester Historical Museum, 1979), 5; Thomas Lackey, Decorated Nova Scotia Furnishings (Halifax: Dalhousie Art Gallery, 1978), 3-5.
29 For comments about contemporary furnishings in a Newfoundland community, see Gerald L. Pocius, "Calvert: A Study of Artifacts and Spatial Usage in a Newfoundland Community" (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1979), 297-314.
30 Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans. Maria Jolas (Boston: Beacon Press, 1964).
31 John Szwed, Private Cultures and Public Imagery: Interpersonal Relations in a Newfoundland Peasant Society, Newfoundland Social and Economic Studies, 2 (St. John's: Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1966).