Search results - Culture of the English Country House
|Location||Oxford - Ewert House|
|Dates||Mon 14 Jan to Mon 18 Mar 2013|
Time of meeting: 2.00-4.00pm
Number of meetings: 10
|Subject area(s)||Architectural History|
|Application status||Course ended|
|Course contact||If you have any questions about this course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.|
OverviewThis course will explore the culture of the English country house from its architectural form, social manners and distinctions to the furnishings and artistic manifestations of taste, as an expression of power and influence in a changing society.
DescriptionThis illustrated course will explore the English country house as a developing institution through five hundred years of history; a focus of social and cultural activities and an expression of power and ideologies. The architecture of the house was an opportunity not only to advertise wealth but also values and its built configuration directed the social engagement within. The country house also acted a repository for collections of art and artefacts indicating both taste and wealth. From the Middle Ages when the connection of the elite house with the holding of land was established, the country house became in the Tudor period a vehicle for the display of new wealth, in the later seventeenth century for a shift towards commodities of comfort, in the eighteenth century for the wealth, refinement and taste of oligarchs, and in the nineteenth century for new industrial wealth. This course will examine all of these aspects of an institution which has now become a central part of national heritage.
Programme detailsWeek 1: Introduction and overview of the course. Seeing the country house as institution set in the context of a wider society. Week 2: The Mediaeval elite house, as an expression of the social group and the connection with the landscape. Week 3: The Tudor and Stuart country house as an expression of a re-ordering of society, and as a complement to the emergence of the culture of the court, and the translation of the house into a domain of differential engagement. Week 4: The Carolinian country house; the aquisition of ‘curiosities’, commodification and the focus on ‘comfort’. Week 5: The Palladian country house; a fusion of power and ‘taste’, in conjunction with the Grand Tour. Week 6: The mid eighteenth century country house; a culture of sensibility mirroring the urbane model? Week 7: The Neo Classical country house; taste displayed in ‘enlightenment’ and in Romanticism. Week 8: The Victorian country house; national wealth reinvested by the old and flaunted by the new industrial elites, in a well ordered and differentiated social construction. Week 9: The late Victorian reformed country house; expressing social and cultural sensibilities in the Aesthetic and Arts and Crafts house. Week 10: The Edwardian country house; the ‘long weekend’ and culmination of country house culture. Summary and conclusions. The changing nature and role of the country house set in a changing British society. Background Reading: Girouard, Mark: Life in the English Country House: a Social and Architectural History Strong, Roy: The Spirit of Britain (chapters 10-34 inclusive) Airs, Malcolm: The Making of the English Country House 1500-1640
Dr Antony Buxton
Antony Buxton tutors design history and domestic culture for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, and other institutions. He has...more
Course aimsCourse aim:
To provide a good understanding of the multifaceted nature and development of the English country house.
1. To enable the participant to identify the diverse elements of the country house: material, social and conceptual
2. To give the participant the critical framework and tools to interpret the country house
3. To examine the development of the country house in its wider political, economic and social context
Assessment methodsFormative assessment of participation in class sessions and discussion
Formal written assignments
Teaching methodsSessions will take a seminar format ; PowerPoint presentations with discussion
Handouts will be employed where appropriate to backup teaching and may be complemented by online resources
It is intended that a visit to a local country house will form part of the course
Teaching outcomesBy the end of the course students will have:
1. A wide ranging knowledge of the various facets of the English country house.
2. The critical tools to interpret the institution of the country house
3. An awareness of the development of the country house.
- Programme Fee
- Home/EU fee: £165.00
- Non-EU fee: £165.00