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Disciplining conservation: conservators, conservation and the V&A, a London national museum

Malkogeorgou, P.; (2011) Disciplining conservation: conservators, conservation and the V&A, a London national museum. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

In my thesis I am looking at how National Museums create their own identity and try to give us a sense of being in the world all of their own, which is distinct for each one museum. I am asking how conservation contributes, as an integral part of their physical substance, through a sense of familiarity and homeliness which the Museum constructs around authentic objects and its own collections. The concept of behind the scenes is examined from the bottom up with regard to museum practice by looking at conservation in a particular context and at a particular time. I investigate this idea of creating museum ‘homeliness’ through the concept of truth, the process of ascribing value to objects, the visual aspect of the practice of conservation, the object’s materiality in relation to ideas of tangible and intangible in conservation, the quest for origins in relation to object’s biography and how exclusivity is constructed. In particular I am investigating the role of the conservator in the construction, preservation and transmission of cultural knowledge and, within the setting of the Victoria and Albert Museum, I aim to gaining a better understanding of how conservation practices are shaped and adapted to the requirements of a major national institution as a particular moment is fixed, and who we are, or wish to be, is affirmed in the process of object preservation.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Disciplining conservation: conservators, conservation and the V&A, a London national museum
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology

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