Revisiting the Past in Museums and at Historic Sites  book cover
1st Edition

Revisiting the Past in Museums and at Historic Sites

ISBN 9780367707224
Published November 2, 2021 by Routledge
274 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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

Elizabeth Emery

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

Stefan Krämer

Section II: Museums

Chapter 6: Negotiating Tsarist Heritage: Marxist Everyday-Life Museum Displays in the Soviet Union, 1920-1930s

Maria Silina

Chapter 7: Dwelling in the Past Continuous: Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark and the Hermitage’s Genii Loci

Véronique Protoeau

Chapter 8: Salvador Dali’s Rainy Taxi at the Museum: The Disruption of Surrealist Installations

Sandra Zalman

Chapter 9: A Refuge and Asylum: Perforating the Boundaries of the Hermetic Exhibition Space in the 1960s and 1970s

Ana Torok

Chapter 10: Revolting Hunting Trophies: Art Orienté Objet at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

Sarah Wade

Section III: Period Rooms

Chapter 11: The Period Room as a Crystal of Time

Marie-Ève Marchand

Chapter 12: The Gilded Age Revisited: Yinka Shonibare CBE at The Newark Museum of Art

Christa Clarke

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

Hélène Valance


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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.

A¨nne So¨ll is Full Professor for Modern Art History at Ruhr-Universita¨t Bochum, Germany.