Performing Upon Her Painted Piano: The Burne-Jones Pianos and The Victorian Female Gender Performance
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This thesis centers around three pianos designed and/or decorated by the Victorian artist Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones: the Priestley Piano, the Graham Piano, and the Ionides Piano. I read and interpret the Burne-Jones pianos not only as examples of the artist’s exploration of the boundaries of visual art and music, but also as reflections of the Victorian era female gender performance. Their physical forms and decorations, both designed and executed by Burne-Jones, enhance the piano as an instrument and accentuate their respective female performers. The music emanating from these pianos and the domestic space in which they inhabit prompt and contribute to the Victorian female performance of gender.