Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Committee Member

Amalia Leifeste

Committee Member

Frances H. Ford

Committee Member

April Wood

Committee Member

Nestor Gonzalez


This research diachronically examines color in three parlors in Charleston, South Carolina: 35 Legare Street (ca. 1790); 18 Bull Street (ca.1800); and 61-63 Smith Street (ca. 1823-24) in order to determine the impact of wealth on pigment and binder selection. Cross-sectional analysis of interior finishes reveals the layers of paint on architectural elements, which identifies the evolution of color in an interior space. With additional types of analysis such as fluorochrome staining and scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), the samples also provide insight into the evolution of pigments and binders. Interpretation of the findings results in an increased understanding about the individual properties and allows for comparative analysis. Historical research, documentation, and analytical techniques reveal that wealth did not play a significant role in the type and quality of pigments and binders used in Charleston parlors. However, the wealth of the house's occupants influenced other aspects of interior finishes such as the frequency of repainting, surface preparation, and how well hand-made paints were mixed.



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