Centre for Studies of Home and ‘Living with the past at home’ conference.
Custodians of Home
Friday 31 January 2014, at The Geffrye Museum of the Home
Those who are responsible for historic houses and domestic artefacts in a professional capacity in the museum and heritage sector and those who are concerned with the historic dimensions of their own homes negotiate similar questions about what is of historical value. Maintaining what is deemed to be historically valuable has to be reconciled with processes of change in terms of the use and form of domestic spaces and structures and with processes of material decay. In both cases, what is done to homes in terms of maintenance, selective restoration, redecoration or reconstruction by ‘custodians’ of different kinds involve varied approaches to issues of choice, authority and responsibility.
This conference explored questions of the meaning and nature of renovation, restoration, preservation and conservation across the domains of ordinary private domestic homes and the homes or reconstructed domestic spaces that are curated and open to the public. It brought together museum and heritage professionals, lay-expert practitioners and academics across a range of disciplines and fields who are interested in considering how the material form and contents of domestic homes are attributed historical significance and how that significance is attended to in managing the continuous process of change in both lived-in and curated homes.