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Visualisations of Identity: The Malta National Collection of Paintings and Sculptures in the Making (1903-1974)

Debono, Sandro (Alexander); (2019) Visualisations of Identity: The Malta National Collection of Paintings and Sculptures in the Making (1903-1974). Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis seeks to understand the making of Malta’s national collection of paintings and sculpture during the twentieth century, with the establishment of the Malta museum institution in 1903 and the inauguration of the National Museum of Fine Arts in 1974. It seeks to underpin the dialectic between Malta’s very specific geopolitical context and how this informs the development of the collection. I will argue that the context informs the collection as a visualisation of identity. My project seeks to understand the process behind the development of the national collection and the elements which define, inform and shape it rather than its history. Through my research I establish and articulate the distinct type of Maltese national identity which shapes and informs the national collection and the ways and means how this happens. What the collection stands for, described and understood as a visualisation of identity, goes beyond the mere representations of nationalistic subject, topics or national authors to include a metaphorical visual narrative informed by aspirations to consolidate a national identity. The thesis identifies a range of strands which inform, influence and determine the collection’s iterative development. This thesis contributes to a better understanding of the Malta national collection of paintings and sculptures and contributes towards a better understanding of the ways and means how national collections effectively contribute, help shape and indirectly inform identity construction. Indeed, this thesis seeks to show how collections are powerful identity constructs, albeit informed by art history narratives. It concludes that national collections pertaining to liminal culture ecologies have their own characteristics which are distinct and go beyond art history.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Visualisations of Identity: The Malta National Collection of Paintings and Sculptures in the Making (1903-1974)
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request. - Some third party copyright material has been removed from this e-thesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073379
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