Stewards of the Nation's Art: Contested Cultural Authority 1890-1939

Andrea Geddes Poole

© 2009

Between 1890 and 1939, the groups of men involved in running Britain's four main public art galleries - the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery, the Wallace Collection, and the National Portrait Gallery - were embroiled in continuous power struggles. Stewards of the Nation's Art examines the internal tensions between the galleries' administrative directors, the aristocrats dominating the boards of trustees, and those in the Treasury who controlled the funds as well as board appointments.

Andrea Geddes Poole uses meticulous primary research from all four of these institutions to discuss changing ideas about class, education, and work during this period. The conflicts between aristocratic trustees and administrative directors were not only about the running of the galleries, but also reflected the era's strain between aristocratic amateurs and nouveau riche professionals. Stewards of the Nation's Art is an absorbing study that explores the extent to which the aristocracy was able to hold on to cultural power in an increasingly professional and meritocratic age.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP002905

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2010

    From: $59.25

    Regular Price: $79.00

    ISBN 9780802099600
  • PUBLISHED FEB 2010

    From: $56.25

    Regular Price: $75.00

Quick Overview

Stewards of the Nation's Art examines the internal tensions between Britain's four main public art galleries' administrative directors, the aristocrats dominating the boards of trustees, and those in the Treasury who controlled the funds as well as board appointments.

Stewards of the Nation's Art: Contested Cultural Authority 1890-1939

Andrea Geddes Poole

© 2009

Between 1890 and 1939, the groups of men involved in running Britain's four main public art galleries - the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery, the Wallace Collection, and the National Portrait Gallery - were embroiled in continuous power struggles. Stewards of the Nation's Art examines the internal tensions between the galleries' administrative directors, the aristocrats dominating the boards of trustees, and those in the Treasury who controlled the funds as well as board appointments.

Andrea Geddes Poole uses meticulous primary research from all four of these institutions to discuss changing ideas about class, education, and work during this period. The conflicts between aristocratic trustees and administrative directors were not only about the running of the galleries, but also reflected the era's strain between aristocratic amateurs and nouveau riche professionals. Stewards of the Nation's Art is an absorbing study that explores the extent to which the aristocracy was able to hold on to cultural power in an increasingly professional and meritocratic age.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.1in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    'This book provides a compelling example of the interdisciplinary value of museum studies and of the museum's importance as a place at which culture, history, and society intersect... Poole's book contributes to debates about the making of the British upper class and to the way in which its gendered identity was negotiated at London's museums.'
    Gordon J. Fyfe
    American Historical Review: April 2011

    ‘Anyone who loves the great London galleries will find this dissection of their behind-the-scenes controversies both entertaining and enlightening.’
    Nancy W. Ellenberger
    Canadian Journal of History, vol 47: 2012
  • Author Information

    Andrea Geddes Poole is a historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain and of philanthropy to the arts. She is also the author of Stewards of the Nation’s Art: Contested Cultural Authority, 1890–1939.

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