Tag Archives: Australia

Review: Historic House Museums in the US and UK by Linda Young (2017)

Young House MuseumsHistoric House Museums in the United States and the United Kingdom: A History by Linda Young. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. v + 299 pp.; bibliography, index; clothbound, $85.00; eBook, $80.00.

Historic house museums are one of the most popular ways that the public experiences history in the United States, although we only have a fragmentary understanding of their history. Linda Young tackles this topic not only for the United States but also the United Kingdom, with occasional examples from her homeland in Australia.

Linda Young is a senior lecturer in cultural heritage and museum studies at Deakin University in Melbourne, trained as a historian focused on nineteenth-century Britain. She has also worked as a curator at several house museums. After completing a survey of house museums in Australia, she expanded her scope to include the United Kingdom and United States in order to develop transnational comparisons that would reveal patterns in the motivations for transforming private houses into public museums (a process she calls ‘‘museumization’’). Furthermore, she wanted to distinguish house museums from other types of museums, giving them a distinctiveness and prominence that the museum field rarely considers. In a sense, she is giving house museums their own history and identity.

Her research into guidebooks, directories, Wikipedia entries, articles, and books, as well as field trips, convinced her that there are Continue reading

Video: The Ragtrade: The Story of Flinders Lane

Melissa Rymer wrote, directed and produced this 14:50 video which was made in conjunction with an exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Australia. It is a small snapshot of some of the Jewish run businesses that operated out of Flinders Lane, the fashion district of Melbourne in the late 1940s through to the late 1980s.  It includes historic images intercut with oral histories of former employees and employers.

Video: Luminous Hall

The Centenary of the University of Western Australia was celebrated with “Luminous Hall” on February 8, 2013, a 20-minute performance created by Illuminart.   Luminous Hall is a “narrative architectural projection” on the exterior of the historic Winthrop Hall that combines mapped projection with music, stories, and drama interpreting the history of the university and local community. Moving beyond son et lumier, the form engages the viewer in history in an extraordinary way.  Other examples using Norwood Town Hall and a Night Mural Picnic are available.