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March 25, 2019
9781625344151
English
248
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.85 Pounds (US)
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v2.1 Reference
Hardback
April 28, 2019
9781625344144
English
248
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6.00 Inches (US)
$90.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Taking Possession

The Politics of Memory in a St. Louis Town House

West of downtown St. Louis sits an 1851 town house that bears no obvious relationship to the monumental architecture, trendy condominiums, and sports stadia of its surroundings. Originally the residence of a fur-trade tycoon and now the Campbell House Museum, the house has been subject to energetic preservation and heritage work for some 130 years.

In Taking Possession, Heidi Aronson Kolk explores the complex and sometimes contradictory motivations for safeguarding the house as a site of public memory. Crafting narratives about the past that comforted business elites and white middle-class patrons, museum promoters assuaged concerns about the city's most pressing problems, including racial and economic inequality, segregation and privatization, and the legacies of violence for which St. Louis has been known since Ferguson. Kolk's case study illuminates the processes by which civic pride and cultural solidarity have been manufactured in a fragmented and turbulent city, showing how closely linked are acts of memory and forgetting, nostalgia and shame.

About the Author

HEIDI ARONSON KOLK is assistant professor in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts and assistant vice provost of academic assessment at Washington University in St. Louis.

Review

"Kolk's prose is sharp and often elegant; her work provides scholars and museum professionals with a model for probing the connection between artifacts and public memory."—Andrew Hurley, author of Beyond Preservation: Using Public History to Revitalize Inner Cities

"With a wide range of sources and well-crafted narratives, Kolk makes a significant contribution to public history by establishing the individual house museum as a rich and substantial primary source."—Patricia West, curator of Martin Van Buren National Historic Site and author of Domesticating History: The Political Origins of America's Historic House Museums

University of Massachusetts Press
Public History in Historical Perspective

9781625344144 : taking-possession-kolk
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April 28, 2019
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