The British country house continues to provide a fine example of contested culture – and to create a lot of interesting work for our CMCI expert, Dr Ruth Adams.
Ruth explains that the continued popularity of country houses is evident both in the exponentially growing membership of the National Trust, and the very large viewing figures (both at home and abroad) of television programmes like “Downton Abbey”.
Now Ruth’s academic journal article on the subject has been cited in a feature in Country Life magazine, written by Sir Roy Strong, a former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
You can read Ruth’s original article at: https://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/museumstudies/museumsociety/documents/volumes/adams13.pdf
As we reported here earlier this autumn, Ruth staged a symposium at King’s called ‘Forty Years of English Heritage: The Legacy of “The Destruction of the Country House”‘. She was then invited to participate in a further symposium, organised by the V&A and SAVE Britain’s Heritage, a very influential campaigning charity on country house issues. The event and gave Ruth the chance to speak alongside Sir Roy Strong, Marcus Binney (President of SAVE), and John Harris – formerly Architectural Editor of Country Life magazine, all of whom reflected on the importance of the 40th anniversary of the landmark exhibition ‘The Destruction of the Country House’ at the V&A, which Ruth says played a fundamental role in changing both policy and public attitudes to conservation in the UK, and helped enshrine stately homes as a key element of the British cultural identity.