Catalogue


Voices from the back stairs : interpreting servants' lives at historic house museums /
Jennifer Pustz.
imprint
DeKalb : Northern Illinois University Press, c2010.
description
x, 244 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0875806228 (clothbound : alk. paper), 9780875806228 (clothbound : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
DeKalb : Northern Illinois University Press, c2010.
isbn
0875806228 (clothbound : alk. paper)
9780875806228 (clothbound : alk. paper)
contents note
Shrines, slave quarters, and social relevance : the changing historic house museum -- Interpretation of domestic service at post-Civil War house museums -- The ideal, the real, and the servant problem -- Photo essay I: The servant problem illustrated -- Using the servant problem to interpret domestic life -- Case studies in domestic service interpretation -- Photo essay II: Contemporary interpretations of domestic service -- Appendix 1: Text of mail questionnaire sent to historic house museums -- Appendix 2: Additional resources.
catalogue key
6987212
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [229]-236) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Jennifer Pustz holds a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Iowa and has worked as a historian in historic house museums for more than a decade. She is the museum historian at Historic New England where she conducts and presents research for the organization and its historic sites.
Reviews
Review Quotes
“ Voices from the Back Stairs will be a great benefit to curators and educators who work at historic sites. It not only provides the latest scholarship on domestic servants but many practical techniques for improving the interpretation of their work and lives.”-Max van Balgooy, Director of Interpretation and Education, National Trust for Historic Preservation
" Voices from the Back Stairs will be a great benefit to curators and educators who work at historic sites. It not only provides the latest scholarship on domestic servants but many practical techniques for improving the interpretation of their work and lives."-Max van Balgooy, Director of Interpretation and Education, National Trust for Historic Preservation
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Historic house museums-one of the most prevalent types of history museums in the country-have long depicted the owners of the house and their families, but representing the servants has introduced a unique set of challenges. While museum professionals have increasingly incorporated women, immigrants, African Americans, and other minorities into portrayals of the past, these portrayals often show an idealistic world without class antagonisms or ethnic conflict. Exploring the domestic conflicts that may have existed between mistress and servant often creates a more vivid and believable experience for guests. Through her examination of the pitfalls of interpretation, Pustz offers advice for museum professionals on programming accurate and compelling depictions of those who lived their lives in the back stairs and kitchen rather than in the parlor. Based on extensive surveys of historians at historic house museums, this informative study presents examples of successful interpretation programs, including those that have made the kitchen and servants’ quarters the most popular stops on the tour. Pustz encourages museum curators to look beyond the archives of their own institution and explore other era-appropriate sources, including advertising and housekeeping guides, when trying to create a complete picture of the house’s servants, who often left behind few records.
Main Description
Explores the importance of and challenges surrounding accurately and fairly interpeting the household servants at historic house museums.
Main Description
Historic house museums-one of the most prevalent types of history museums in the country-have long depicted the owners of the house and their families, but representing the servants has introduced a unique set of challenges. While museum professionals have increasingly incorporated women, immigrants, African Americans, and other minorities into portrayals of the past, these portrayals often show an idealistic world without class antagonisms or ethnic conflict. Exploring the domestic conflicts that may have existed between mistress and servant often creates a more vivid and believable experience for guests.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 3
Shrines, Slave Quarters, and Social Relevance-The Changing Historic House Museump. 13
Interpretation of Domestic Service at Post-Civil War House Museumsp. 34
The Ideal, the Real, and the Servant Problemp. 75
The Servant Problem Illustratedp. 105
Using the Servant Problem to Interpret Domestic Lifep. 119
Case Studies in Domestic Service Interpretationp. 141
Contemporary Interpretations of Domestic Servicep. 183
Appendix lp. 193
Appendix 2p. 199
Notesp. 207
Works Citedp. 229
Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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