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    Introduction: mediating the materiality of the past, 1700–1930

    Boehm, K. and Mills, Victoria (2017) Introduction: mediating the materiality of the past, 1700–1930. [Editorial/Introduction]

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    The cultural history of the antique has always been tightly linked to the rise of new techniques of print and engraving. As Elizabeth Eisenstein has famously argued, the validation of material objects as carriers of historical information and the growth of new antiquarian fields of knowledge dedicated specifically to the study of antiquities—developments which were well underway in the seventeenth century—did not mark a shift away from printed matter. Instead, it was the reproduction of antiquities in prints and engravings that propelled the emergence of material objects as ‘artefacts’ worthy of the antiquary’s and historian’s attention: ‘Once a finding could be permanently registered in print, the way was paved for an unending series of discoveries and for the systematic development of investigatory techniques.’1 Textual and visual renditions of artefacts that could be widely circulated, systematized, and recontextualized became the foundation on which object-oriented approaches to the past could be built and through which new epistemologies could be tested. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the proliferation of printed matter that translated three-dimensional antiquities into two-dimensional representations taught large and heterogeneous audiences to think about the past as a vast museum or collection of artefacts.


    Item Type: Editorial/Introduction
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Antiquarianism, Victorian history, Pompeii, Material Culture, material texts, gender
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Vicky Mills
    Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 14:37
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:41


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