II-114793 | Interior, Mrs. Snyder's house, Montreal, QC, 1896

Interior, Mrs. Snyder's house, Montreal, QC, 1896
Wm. Notman & Son
1896, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , Photograph (77678) , residential (1255)
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Keys to History

By 1896 post-Confederation city interiors are undergoing many changes. Designs, colours and brightness shift in tone. In this room, the overhead central light and centre table are both absent. Patterned curtains hang straight down from a thin rod, without valance or fringe, in keeping with the aesthetics of Eastlake and Morris. The plaster wall mouldings and wallpaper borders are narrow, not overwhelming. Combined with a more restrained artistic design and arrangement is a conscientious regard for use and comfort at moderate expense. But this interior is still crowded, the floors, walls and furnishings still busy. The wicker chair and Oriental screen are fancifully painted. A showy house plant sits on a festive Arts-and-Crafts-style vase. The curtains are covered in bold floral patterns. Objets d'art cover every available surface. Hardly a retreat from the outside world, the home absorbs every new discovery and fashion. A consumer society is born with domestic accumulation.

Source : Crowding the Parlour [Web tour], by Jane Cook, McGill University (see Links)

  • What

    This is a drawing room crowded with colourful rugs, elaborate wicker chairs, full-length printed curtains and much more.

  • Where

    This parlour was in a house in or around Montreal - possibly Westmount.

  • When

    The photograph was taken in April 1896.

  • Who

    The house belonged to Mrs. Snyder. The photographic studio was owned by William Notman and Son.