Issues of authenticity in a museum setting: a case study of Brighton's Royal Pavillion

Kisko, Stephen (2010) Issues of authenticity in a museum setting: a case study of Brighton's Royal Pavillion. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (8MB)


    Whether in a museum or in reference to a work of art, the term authenticity is not easily defined. A series of documents have discussed, explained and defined their own ideas and importance of authenticity, notably the Athens Charter (1931), Venice Charter (1964) and the Nara Document (1994).

    The aim of this study is to explore the definition of authenticity within a museum setting, using the experiences of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion. The evolution of this iconic and controversial Royal palace has over time, encountered many authentic conundrums and formulated its own technical and practical solutions.

    The hypothesis suggests that authenticity at the Pavilion is a combination of the process and the outcome of restoring and sustaining its original 1820s appearance. Five objectives evaluate the attitudes of George IV and his artists, those of the Pavilion’s subsequent purchaser, Brighton Council, the issues facing modern conservation and the availability of finance. Evidence is collected from secondary sources, site visits, group tours and interviews with conservators. The meaning of the original interior, the politics of ownership, the accuracy of the recreation and the method of conservation form the foundation on which authenticity at this site is defined.

    The current Pavilion restoration programme has benefitted from the enthusiasm of long term conservators. Their decision to nominate the 1820s as the period to conserve and recreate is the result of inheriting previous policies. However, this decision has been modified to allow exceptions necessary to override obstacles, such as limited funding and a lack of historical information. The hypothesis is correct in its theory that the Council has focused its attention on recreating the 1820s interior. It further proves that authenticity involves the production and sustainability of ongoing conservation policies.

    This case study has succeeded in providing an insight into the nature of the problems facing those trying to achieve and discuss authenticity. No conclusive definition was achieved. Moreover, this work demonstrates that while discussions are useful, variations of interpretation and support for authenticity mean a universal definition is meaningless.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: ?? EDAM ??
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2011 16:35
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:17

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...