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Maya Rae Oppenheimer

MA work

This is a study of the modern predisposition to entertain nostalgic urges for the past and the reverberating effects of historic explorations beyond traditional mimetic forums.

British popular interest in its chivalric past is manifest in the expanding popularity of historical re-enactment in which traditions and objects, as representations of the past, are arranged into a design of modern making that satisfies contemporary needs and wants.

British re-enactors favour Tudor history. The history of Tudor re-enactment as leisure practice involves gradual, experiential interaction with nostalgic notions of history. Individuals throughout the twentieth century were exposed to participatory forms of history ranging from revivals and pageants to amusement parks and historic live-ins. I argue that Tudor re-enactment underwent multiple developmental phases, each articulating how participants and observers navigated the motives and rewards for play.

The underlying theme in this research is the individual’s engagement with, and production of, material space in an attempt to formulate a relationship with history via standards of authenticity. Case studies include revivals such as the Eglinton Tournament (1839) and the Earl’s Court Tournament (1912), various reproduction Tudor Utopias known as Merrie England Villages (1910–1980) and recent re-enactment societies or living history spaces such as Kentwell Hall (1978–present). The resulting narrative is not a definitive history of re-enactment but provides a design historical account of performed history and craftsmanship.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2009

  • This is a study of the modern predisposition to entertain nostalgic urges for the past and the reverberating effects of historic explorations beyond traditional mimetic forums.

    British popular interest in its chivalric past is manifest in the expanding popularity of historical re-enactment in which traditions and objects, as representations of the past, are arranged into a design of modern making that satisfies contemporary needs and wants.

    British re-enactors favour Tudor history. The history of Tudor re-enactment as leisure practice involves gradual, experiential interaction with nostalgic notions of history. Individuals throughout the twentieth century were exposed to participatory forms of history ranging from revivals and pageants to amusement parks and historic live-ins. I argue that Tudor re-enactment underwent multiple developmental phases, each articulating how participants and observers navigated the motives and rewards for play.

    The underlying theme in this research is the individual’s engagement with, and production of, material space in an attempt to formulate a relationship with history via standards of authenticity. Case studies include revivals such as the Eglinton Tournament (1839) and the Earl’s Court Tournament (1912), various reproduction Tudor Utopias known as Merrie England Villages (1910–1980) and recent re-enactment societies or living history spaces such as Kentwell Hall (1978–present). The resulting narrative is not a definitive history of re-enactment but provides a design historical account of performed history and craftsmanship.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Art History (major) and Drawing (minor), University of Manitoba and Mount Allison University, Canada, 2005
  • Experience

  • Internship, Medieval & Renaissance Galleries Project, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2008; Guest Lecturer, Textile Sciences Department, The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, 2006 & 2008; Curatorial Assistant, The Costume Museum of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada, 2005-7; Exhibitions Educator, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada, 2002-7
  • Awards

  • Basil Taylor Memorial Award, 2008; Gold Program Medal, LL Fitzgerald School of Art, University of Manitoba, 2005; Mount Allison University Tuition Scholarship, 2002