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Historic House Museums in the United States and the United Kingdom : A History (Hardcover) (Linda Young)

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Historic House Museums in the United States and the United Kingdom: A History addresses the phenomenon of historic houses as a distinct species of museum. Everyone understands the special nature of an art museum, a national museum, or a science museum, but ‘house museum’ nearly always requires clarification. In the US it’s almost synonymous with historic preservation; in the UK, it’s simply unfamiliar, the very idea being conflated with stately homes and the National Trust.

By analyzing the motivation of the founders, and subsequent keepers, of house museums, the author identifies a typology that casts light on what they were intended to represent and their significance (or lack of it) today.

The book examines:
· Heroes’ houses: once inhabited by great persons inhabited them (eg, Shakespeare’s birthplace, Washington’s Mount Vernon);
· Artwork houses: national identity as specially visible in house design, style, technique etc (eg, Frank Lloyd Wright houses; the handful of Modernist houses opened by the National Trust);
· Collectors’ houses: a microcosm of collecting in-domestic-situ, subsequently presented to the nation as the exemplars of taste (eg Sir John Soane’s Museum, Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Museum);
· English country houses: the palaces of the aristocracy, maintained thanks to primogeniture; threatened with redundancy and rescued as museums to be touted as the peak of English national culture – whose historical context did not travel to the new world, but whose influence as an image of prestige formed (or deformed) many house museums in the New World;
· Everyman/woman’s social history houses: the modern, demotic response to elite houses, presented as social history but tinged with generic ancestor veneration (eg, tenement house museums in Glasgow and New York).
Number of Pages: 299
Genre: Business + Money Management, Architecture
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc
Author: Linda Young
Language: English
Street Date: December 13, 2016
TCIN: 51632574
UPC: 9781442239760
Item Number (DPCI): 248-27-9854
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