In this course we will explore the decorative arts, architecture and social identity of royal and noble sites in Scotland from the golden age of the Stuart monarchy through the Victorian era. The main focus will be on how objects, interiors, and exterior spaces functioned in their historical contexts and how these factors intersect with current trends in cultural heritage presentation and museum interpretation. Centering on sites of royal and noble connection, we will explore their historic fabric, material culture and expression of dramatic narratives within evocative settings; and, embracing the chequered histories of royalty in Scotland, we will utilise museum and gallery collections to encompass the various discourses of image, object and display that lie at the heart of issues of national identity. In doing so, we will encompass differing approaches to collecting and connecting, informed by constructions of identity and pride in ancient family, the Enlightenment, concepts of antiquarianism, scholarship and connoisseurship, and the introduction of new and varied courtly tastes
INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of the period, issues and material covered by the course;
- critically evaluate, within written work, a variety of sources and approaches relevant to the study of royal and noble heritage in Scotland;
- use a range of advanced and specialised descriptive and analytical skills appropriate to the study of relevant material culture, architecture, design and social history, and their contexts within the history of taste, collecting and heritage;
- discuss the range of approaches used by historic site architects, designers and craftsmen and women, as well as in interpretation and site presentation.
Most of the learning and teaching will take place in situ during visits to the houses and museums. Other classes will be held in History of Art, No. 8 University Gardens, room 101. All sessions to be led by Dr. Thea Stevens with additional guest lecturers and contributors. You will have access to books in both the main University Library and in the History of Art Resource Centre.