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Relics of Another Age: Art History, the ‘Decorative Arts’ and the Museum

Martin, Matthew (2010) Relics of Another Age: Art History, the ‘Decorative Arts’ and the Museum. Journal of Art Historiography (3). ISSN 2042-4752

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URL of Published Version: https://arthistoriography.wordpress.com/number-3-december-2010/

Identification Number/DOI: 10.48352/uobxjah.00004237


This paper traces an historiography of the problematic category ‘decorative arts’ and considers how the aesthetic hierarchies implicit in this term are given concrete expression in the display strategies of the art museum. The manner in which the art museum, as a framing device for material culture, might actively participate in the breaking down of these traditional hierarchies of Art History is considered. It is suggested that a juxtaposition of differing display strategies, bringing to the fore the art museum’s role in the imputation of contingent meanings to the artefacts it displays, may provide a way forward for encyclopaedic art museum collections.

Type of Work:Article
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
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This article is archived in ePapers for preservation purposes

Date:December 2010
Keywords:decorative arts, museum display, Alois Riegl, reliquary, Fred Wilson, National Gallery of Victoria
Subjects:N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Copyright Status:Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. Authors may subsequently archive and publish the pdfs as produced by the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. Copyright restrictions apply to the use of any images contained within the articles. This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
ID Code:4237
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