Saturday, January 9, 2010: 2:50 PM
Manchester Ballroom H (Hyatt)
From the 1890s until the Revolution, male consumers, architects, interior designers, and urban planners discussed the meaning and practice of upper middle class and elite masculinity as they debated national architecture and sought to “modernize” the national capital. As Mexico City grew, the city’s mixed use, multi-class colonial-era central districts were abandoned for posh new subdivisions where class homogeneity, greater space, new technology, and new ideas about how to design and decorate interior spaces made possible the emergence of large homes that afforded men many new functionally-specific spaces where they could forge new ideas about their class, gender, and race. Using correspondence, memoirs, and architectural texts written by key players such as architects Mariscal and Torres Torrija, as well as federal and municipal authorities such as Limantour, Landa y Escandón, Fagoaga, and Galindo y Villa, this paper explores the development of domestic masculinity (not to be confused with masculine domesticity, in which men do women’s jobs) to understand how upper middle class and elite men living in exclusive, class homogeneous suburbs, through dabbling in hobbies such as interior decoration and home design. Particularly in the design of their home offices, studies, drawing rooms, galleries, and libraries, they were able to explore and value the country’s colonial Hispanic heritage, thanks in part to the signifying and mnemonic function of the collections of heirlooms and objets d'art these rooms displayed. Men thus performed an important part in the enhancement and construction of their family's class identity in the home.