Dioramas Inspired by 19th-Century Women Novelists

By Judy Berman

This is what the red room from Jane Eyre looks like, in miniature, flooded.

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Julia Callon, The Yellow Wallpaper No. 2
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Jane Eyre. Wuthering Heights. The Awakening. The Lifted Veil. "The Yellow Wallpaper." What these works have in common is, of course, that they're all pieces of fiction written by women authors in the 19th century. Undoubtedly as a result, they all share an explicit or latent fixation with the domestic sphere to which so many women were relegated at the time -- and with the psychological implications of that confinement.

These are the subjects of Julia Callon's Houses of Fiction, a series of photographed models that depict rooms from these novels, exploring both their sedate surfaces and their chaotic subtext. "The dichotomous representation of women -- mad or sane -- is crucial to represent in this series," Callon writes. "Therefore, each story is presented as a diptych: one image represents the passive, subservient woman, while the other represents 'madness.'" Below are selections from Houses of Fiction, which we spotted via Eyresses, and visit Callon's website for more of her work and information on how to purchase the photos.

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Julia Callon, Wuthering Heights No. 1

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Julia Callon, Wuthering Heights No. 2

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Julia Callon, Jane Eyre No. 1, 40" x 26", edition of 5

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Julia Callon, Jane Eyre No. 2, 40" x 26", edition of 5

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Julia Callon, The Yellow Wallpaper No. 1, 40" x 26", edition of 5

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Julia Callon, The Yellow Wallpaper No. 2, 40" x 26", edition of 5


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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/11/dioramas-inspired-by-19th-century-women-novelists/265664/