Art History: Keeping Up Appearances: authenticity and the representation of historic house museum interiors
Keeping Up Appearances: authenticity and the representation of historic house museum interiors
Historic interiors are important as they bear witness marks to the personal lives and individual choices often of public figures or of particular times. When these interiors are in public ownership as historic houses, there is an understandable public expectation of access to an ‘authentic’ interior. Focusing on houses in its portfolio, this paper looks at the nature of authenticity and the role and influence of the professional curator in the 1980s and 1990s in the Historic Houses Trust of NSW (since December 2022 known as Museums of History NSW) in enabling a best practice conservation and interpretation of the historic house museum interior.
Suzanne Bravery curated house museums at the Historic Houses Trust of NSW from 1986-2008. She was a General Manager at Museums and Galleries NSW, Manager of the Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne and a Head Curator at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.
Vaucluse House Kitchen Stove, Yingchen Liu May 2021