John Potvin, associate professor of art history, has been awarded the Historians of British Art Book Prize for his book, Bachelors of a Different Sort: Queer Aesthetics, Material Culture and the Modern Interior in Britain, published with Manchester University Press.
In Bachelors of a Different Sort, Potvin shows that bachelors once held an ambivalent, uncomfortable and sometimes unfriendly position in society. That was especially true for “bachelors of a different sort” — queer men.
The book gives readers an inside look at turn-of-the century bachelorhood by offering case studies of the private lives and homes of several prominent gay bachelors living in Britain. Potvin explores a largely unseen side of queer sexuality by showing how these bachelors used interior design to set themselves apart from the stifling constraints of the hetero-patriarchy that surrounded them.
The Historians of British Art Book Prize recognizes scholarship related to British art and architecture, broadly conceived in terms of place and time.