By Gail Caskey Winkler’64
University of Pennsylvania Press
Philadelphia, Pa., 2013
Though it meticulously documents a specific aspect of home decoration, Capricious Fancy is anything but a typical interior design book. In its pages, Gail Caskey Winkler’64, a lecturer in the graduate program in historic preservation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, offers keen historical commentary on the evolution of drapes and curtain design, specific to Industrial Revolution-era Europe and the United States. Through a series of chronological essays illustrated with more than 300 images of curtains, draperies, and textiles, she describes the types and styles of textiles used to adorn windows, doorways, bedframes, and mantels, but also the way in which certain styles were disseminated throughout Europe and America. Winkler draws from historical pattern books, workroom manuals, trade catalogs, and period books on interior design, providing a resource for decorative art historians, architects, interior designers, and others interested in historical re-creation.