Just as expressions like “corridors of the mind” and “window to the soul” illustrate a link between architecture and our inner world, the artists featured in Lived Space explore our psychological and physical attachments to the places we build and inhabit. In their work, interior rooms function as receptacles of memory, emotion, and identity. Some artworks show the human body merging with the built environment, while others present imaginary structures that exist solely in the artist’s mind. Drawn from deCordova’s permanent collection, the exhibition addresses our impulse to adapt and relate to our architectural surroundings, as well as the ways in which these spaces shape and inspire us.
Shown in the Dewey Family Gallery, Lived Space also considers deCordova’s architectural history, which has undergone several transformations since its original construction. Inspired by their travels abroad, museum founders Julian and Lizzie de Cordova remodeled their summer home in 1910 to resemble a European castle. When the building became a contemporary art museum in 1950, the gallery transitioned from a private to public space. These architectural shifts, prompted by Julian and Lizzie’s personal history, dreams, and passions, suggest an intimate exchange between humans and their spaces that extends far beyond one of basic needs.