The following is a summary of Dr. Radu’s upcoming presentation:
Historic house museums are a common, if often overlooked, feature of the Canadian heritage landscape. As national historic sites, and community museums, they address cultural, social, historical and political facets of the past. Whether they recount the life of a previous owner, focus on how chores in early households were completed, give visitors a sense of how their foundations were built or walls were decorated, they reflect different regional identities, varied stories of domestic life and different architectural traditions. This presentation looks across examples from the west coast (British Columbia) to the east (Nova Scotia) and offers references to local examples in between. It looks at how closets are transformed into display cabinets for historic housewares, how antique lighting fixtures are converted into appropriate “Exit” lights and how entire dining table sets become frozen for viewing.
In exploring these transformations, the presentation looks at how private, domestic spaces are re-envisioned as public institutions. It further looks at how multisensory exhibits, interactive displays and participative programs are used to restage the environment of historic homes for the enjoyment and education of museum visitors. Be ready to step inside of Canada’s historic homes and as well as back in time.