Constructing architectural history at the open-air museum: the highland village of Nova Scotia and the Highland Folk Museum of Scotland

Clarke, Amy (2013). Constructing architectural history at the open-air museum: the highland village of Nova Scotia and the Highland Folk Museum of Scotland. In: Alexandra Brown and Andrew Leach, Open: The 30th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, (517-528). 2-5 July, 2013.

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Author Clarke, Amy
Title of paper Constructing architectural history at the open-air museum: the highland village of Nova Scotia and the Highland Folk Museum of Scotland
Conference name Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Conference location Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Conference dates 2-5 July, 2013
Proceedings title Open: The 30th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Place of Publication Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Publisher SAHANZ: Society of Architectural Historians, Australia & New Zealand
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
ISBN 9780987605504
098760550X
Editor Alexandra Brown
Andrew Leach
Volume 2
Start page 517
End page 528
Total pages 12
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Though not the most common location to seek out and analyse architectural history, the open-air museum, a type of institution which typically has folk-culture, agriculture or early industrial change as its focus, exhibits architectural history in the form of numerous and closely arranged buildings selected for their ability to represent an era, structural use or innovation. One of the primary challenges experienced by museum managers is to ensure a collection of architectural exemplars that adequately represents the culture or time period the museum has as its focus, and to organise these buildings in the landscape in a way that visitors can understand. There is more than one type of visitor to the open-air museum, however—aside from the typically under-informed tourist, these museums support and indeed are supported by a community, often of a specific cultural background. This paper will focus on two museums, the Highland Folk Museum in Scotland and the Highland Village Museum in Nova Scotia, and the ways that their associated Highland Gaelic communities engage with and authenticate the architectural history exhibited at the museums. This paper will suggest that despite being moderated by the often academic approaches of the museum management, as the buildings included on site are used for accessing memories and traditions by their related communities in the present-day it is this community authority which dictates the inclusion, appearance and use of the buildings. As such, this paper will conclude that open-air museums, which have faced criticism in the past from architectural historians and heritage conservationists as being locations of fakery and fiction, can in some instances be genuine sites of cultural and community response and as such provide architectural historians with the opportunity to examine an altogether more modern history – that of the selection of and interaction with architectural history by communities for the purpose of extending cultural memory.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 03 Sep 2013, 11:20:50 EST by Amy Clarke on behalf of School of Architecture