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Domesticating History: The Political Origins of America’s House Museums

Domesticating History: The Political Origins of America's House Museums

English | ISBN: 1560988363, 1560988118 | 256 Pages | EPUB | May 17, 1999 | 4.99 MB

Celebrating the lives of famous men and women, historic house museums showcase restored rooms and period furnishings, and portray in detail their former occupants’ daily lives. But behind the gilded molding and curtain brocade lie the largely unknown, politically charged stories of how the homes were first established as museums. Focusing on George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and the Booker T. Washington National Monument, Patricia West shows how historic houses reflect less the lives and times of their famous inhabitants than the political pressures of the eras during which they were transformed into museums.

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