It’s all relative: the small craft museum's contribution to intangible cultural heritage

Cordes, K. 2018. It’s all relative: the small craft museum's contribution to intangible cultural heritage. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Humanities

TitleIt’s all relative: the small craft museum's contribution to intangible cultural heritage
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsCordes, K.
Abstract

The Heritage Crafts Association’s Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts illustrates the importance of perpetuating the intangible cultural heritage of heritage crafts in the UK. This study considers the ways in which small craft museums contribute to the UK’s intangible cultural heritage. This is achieved through the exploration of five small heritage craft museums: The Clockmakers’ Museum, The Fan Museum, The Lace Guild Museum, The Quilt Museum and Gallery, and The Stained Glass Museum.
This study seeks to elucidate the characteristics of these individual organisations, each of which serve two separate yet mutually dependent purposes that are atypical for most museums; 1) the perpetuation of their specific heritage craft and 2) the support of the individual communities of people that have a connection to the craft and without whom the specific craft practice could face extinction. This thesis is concerned with the importance of these heritage crafts in so far as they are the ‘raison d’être’ of each of these small museums, rather than a definitive exploration of the minutia and skills required for the individual handcrafts.
This thesis demonstrates that small heritage craft museums offer an important avenue for the continuous transfer of explicit and tacit knowledge between craft practitioners and non-practitioners and an important resource for practical and social interaction through their communities of practice. The continued viability of these museums and their heritage crafts is contingent upon inspiring future generations to actively engage in perpetuating the intangible cultural heritage of these crafts.

Year2018
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