‘Country House Collections: Their Past, Present and Future’

17th Annual Conference, 13-15 May 2019

Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates,
History Department, Maynooth University

The theme for the Seventeenth Annual Historic Houses Conference, to be held at Maynooth in May 2019 will be ‘Country House Collections: Their Past, Present and Future’.

The conference will look at how and why Country House collections were amassed, examine their break up, and consider the afterlife of objects as they moved into the art market, the museum world, or elsewhere. How does the identity of a house change if its contents have been removed? What were the reasons for such dispersal, were these actions chosen or enforced? What happens to a collection once it has begun to be dismembered, and how are objects viewed and understood in new locations by different audiences? The conference will also discuss the role of art in country houses today, particularly how historic collections combine with, or react to, contemporary installations.

Papers on any aspect of the above relating to collections in Ireland, the UK, or Europe, will be considered. Enquiries and abstracts of no more than 400 words should be sent to Professor Terence Dooley and Professor Christopher Ridgway before 5 January 2019 at the following addresses: , and .