Revisiting the Past in Museums and at Historic Sites demonstrates that museums and historic spaces are increasingly becoming "backdrops" for all sorts of appropriations and interventions that throw new light upon the objects they comprise and the pasts they reference.
Rooted in new scholarship that expands established notions of art installations, museums, period rooms, and historic sites, the book brings together contributions from scholars from intersecting disciplines. Arguing that we are witnessing a paradigm shift concerning the place of historic spaces and museums in the contemporary imaginary, the volume shows that such institutions are merging traditional scholarly activities tied to historical representation and inquiry with novel modes of display and interpretation, drawing them closer to the world of entertainment and interactive consumption. Case studies analyze how a range of interventions impact historic spaces and conceptions of the past they generate. The book concludes that museums and historic sites are reinventing themselves in order to remain meaningful and to play a role in societies aspiring to be more inclusive and open to historical and cultural debate.
Revisiting the Past in Museums and at Historic Sites will be of interest to students and faculty who are engaged in the study of museums, art history, architectural and design history, social and cultural history, interior design, visual culture, and material culture.
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of contributors
Introduction: Space Unlocked, History Unfrozen: Revisiting the Past in Museums and at Historic Sites
Anca I. Lasc, Andrew McClellan, Änne Söll
Section I: Historic Sites
Chapter 1: A Way Forward for Plantation Sites: Reimagining Space and Relations in the Wake of Black Lives Matter
Hannah Scruggs and Tiya Miles
Chapter 2: Hollywood and Changing Interpretations of a Historic Plantation
Kathleen Powers Conti
Chapter 3: Reanimating Literary House Museums in France: The Homes and Haunts of George Sand and Honoré de Balzac
Chapter 4: Holiday Decorations, Commercialism and Nostalgia in the UK Historic House Interior
Anne Nellis Richter and Morna O’Neill
Chapter 5: Housing Remembrance: Simon Fujiwara’s Appropriation of the Anne Frank House
Section II: Museums
Chapter 6: Negotiating Tsarist Heritage: Marxist Everyday-Life Museum Displays in the Soviet Union, 1920-1930s
Chapter 7: Dwelling in the Past Continuous: Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark and the Hermitage’s Genii Loci
Chapter 8: Salvador Dali’s Rainy Taxi at the Museum: The Disruption of Surrealist Installations
Chapter 9: A Refuge and Asylum: Perforating the Boundaries of the Hermetic Exhibition Space in the 1960s and 1970s
Chapter 10: Revolting Hunting Trophies: Art Orienté Objet at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
Section III: Period Rooms
Chapter 11: The Period Room as a Crystal of Time
Chapter 12: The Gilded Age Revisited: Yinka Shonibare CBE at The Newark Museum of Art
Chapter 13: Bringing Stories Back into Spaces: "Living Rooms" at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
Alexander I. Bortolot and Jennifer Komar Olivarez
Chapter 14: Moving Reality TV into the Period Room: 1900 House
Anca I. Lasc is Associate Professor of Design History in the History of Art and Design Department at Pratt Institute, USA.
Andrew McClellan is Professor of Art History at Tufts University, USA.
Änne Söll is Full Professor for Modern Art History at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany.