Research Week Review: A home is a house that’s lived in

A historic house is one of the few museum sites where the transportation back to the past is presented unproblematic and without questions. It is preserved as it was and in that way is a testimony to its own identity as an artefact from the past. New museology has hit the general museum world and posed questions about presentation, authenticity and the role of the audience, but what has happened to the historic house seem to have escaped these critical questions.

Kieran Burns is in his PhD looking at historic houses or homes in Ireland and trying to incorporate a critical approach. He does not see the audiences as empty vessels, but instead people that project their own ideas of history onto the historic sites when focusing on what stories historic houses tell and how.

The one idea that I found really interesting is Kieran’s idea about the perceiving at the house as a concept of home. A home is a shared idea across cultures and everyone can relate to what a home is. In this way he is not just dealing with big estate homes, but also with smaller scale history with homes of working class families or buildings converted to provide refugees with a home.

How do the audience relate to these different concepts of home? How do they perform their own identity in relation to the way they experience the historic home?


J said…
Mmm, I love the idea of interacting with a home, not a house. That completely explains why visitors to castles seem much more intrigued by servant's quarters and kitchens and bathrooms, rather than throne rooms and ball rooms. It's all about what you can relate to; I think I've come to the same conclusion in my research, too.

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