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Subject: Studentship at the Hampton Court Palace

Studentship at the Hampton Court Palace

From: Sebastian Edwards <sebastian.edwards>
Date: Thursday, May 24, 2007
PhD Studentship
(UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral
    Award)
Kingston University and
Historic Royal Palaces
<URL:http://www.postgraduatestudentships.co.uk/>

Please note that the application deadline has been extended to 8
June 2007 but we would appreciate it if applicants could contact
Sebastian Edwards (HRP) and Emerald Day (Kingston) by 29 May 2007 to
confirm their interest.

Making the bed: An investigation of the day-to-day care and
conservation of bedchambers at Hampton Court Palace 1686-1838

The School of Art and Design History at Kingston University, and
Historic Royal Palaces are offering a funded full-time PhD
studentship, tenable for 3 years, commencing October 2007. The
studentship is funded through the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards
Scheme.

This project aims to examine critically the historic practices and
processes through which Hampton Court Palace has been cared for and
conserved for use and presentation. Examining the broad period of
the palaces history from 1686 until the end of its life as a royal
residence in 1838, the project seeks to uncover and chart the early
development of the housekeeping techniques that both informed and
evolved into the duties of Collection, Conversation and Care that
still exist within the Palace today.

The project proposes a highly interdisciplinary investigation of
Hampton Court Palace and its histories, which draws upon established
architectural, design historical and museological methods and
approaches but will through necessity, also engage the social and
cultural histories of the period. The successful candidate will be
expected to have studied at a postgraduate level in one of these
areas. It is envisaged that s/he will spend at least one day per
week working in the curator+IBk-s team at Hampton Court Palace.

Applicants must meet the AHRC+IBk-s academic criteria and residence
requirements and should normally be in receipt of, or about to be
awarded, a masters degree in a relevant discipline.

To apply, please complete the application form (separate Adobe
attachment) along with a 500 word proposal outlining your ideas and
how you plan to carry out the project.

The closing date is the 29 May 2007 and applications are to be sent
to:

    Emerald Day
    Research Administrator
    Kingston University
    Knights Park
    Kingston upon Thames
    Surrey KT1 2QJ
    UK

This project aims to examine critically the historic practices and
processes through which Hampton Court Palace has been cared for and
conserved for use and presentation. Examining the broad period of
the palaces history from 1686 until the end of its life as a royal
residence in 1838, the project seeks to uncover and chart the early
development of the housekeeping techniques that both informed and
evolved into the duties of Collection, Conversation and Care that
still exist within the Palace today.

The project proposes that investigation of the historical contexts
and practices of conservation and care at Hampton Court Palace
provides a fascinating and important guide for contemporary
understanding and interpretation. It suggests an understanding of
changing attitudes to conservation and care situated in a historical
context and an understanding of how its historiography and discourse
has developed can make present day curators, conservators and carers
more aware of their own work and how it reflects current societal
preoccupations.

Though in recent years the history of housework, housekeeping and
servants has received a limited amount of academic enquiry none has
been done upon the specific duties of conservation and care within a
royal household and none in such a way as to explain the history of
techniques, practices and materials within the context of the
individuals doing this work. The undertaking of this research will
reveal a story of Hampton Court Palace that has been utterly
neglected and is therefore highly significant.

The project proposes a highly interdisciplinary investigation of
Hampton Court Palace and its histories. This will draw on
established architectural and design historical methods and
approaches but will through necessity, also engage social and
cultural histories of the period.

The student will be encouraged to develop a detailed research
proposal with the supervisors, in response to broad project aims:

    *   The investigation is concerned to explore and document the
        period of 1686 until the Palaces opening to the public in
        1838

    *   The project proposes to consider the historical care and
        conservation of the Palaces bedchambers in this period. This
        is interpreted very broadly to include the architecture and
        decoration of the bedchamber itself, the objects and fabrics
        that furnished these spaces and those more transient objects
        that might have passed through these rooms according to use
        and consumption.

    *   The focus upon a particular historical space which occurs in
        a number of different places and contexts within the Palace
        provides a contextual emphasis for this investigation into
        historical collection and care practices. One of the tasks
        of the project will be to develop a more specific focus for
        the investigation and it is anticipated that this should be
        object-centred. Such an approach will allow the research to
        document the biography and movement of objects and object
        types around the palace and social structures across the
        period.

    *   Research upon a space and its objects within the Palace will
        work to complicate much of the existing, though limited,
        studies of historic care and conservation practices. Having
        been drawn more explicitly from the technical perspective of
        museological conservation these studies have tended to
        emphasize specific materials, problems and techniques such
        as paintings or textiles, and have only rarely considered
        these objects within the context of other objects and their
        care and conservation.

    *   The project aims to uncover the changing social
        responsibility for the care of the Palace and its objects
        and the manner in which this responsibility represented and
        demarcated social and class structures of the Court.

For an informal discussion of the project please contact

    Dr Trevor Keeble
    Head of the School of Art and Design History
    +44-20-8547 2000
    t.keeble [at] kingston__ac__uk

    Sebastian Edwards
    Deputy Chief Curator and Head of Collections
    Historic Royal Palaces
    sebastian.edwards [at] hrp__org__uk
    +44-20-3166 6407


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:6
                  Distributed: Saturday, May 26, 2007
                        Message Id: cdl-21-6-008
                                  ***
Received on Thursday, 24 May, 2007

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