Project Title

Stepping Into a Moment: A Historical Reconstruction of Lord Dunmore’s Portrait

Author Names

Slade NakoffFollow

Authors' Affiliations

Slade Nakoff, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Culp Room 219

Start Date

4-6-2022 1:15 PM

End Date

4-6-2022 1:30 PM

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

History

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

John Rankin

Additional Sponsors

Jennifer Adler

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Competition Type

Non-Competitive

Type

Boland Symposium

Project's Category

History

Abstract or Artist's Statement

The discipline of material culture study has long been estranged from mainstream academic discourse and has been viewed commonly as the study of pots and pans. Historians are beginning to realize that material culture and cultural reconstruction offer vital insights into the past. Building upon new developments, my thesis sought to reconstruct the items painted by Joshua Reynolds in his famous painting of Lord Dunmore. Such an analysis allowed for the steps of unnamed tradesmen to be retraced, making a few people who were lost to history known once again. This was achieved by recreating every object in the portrait as it would have been done in context, through primary written documentation in tandem with extant artifacts.

This study put to the test the benefit of material culture study and its place amongst academic history. the utilization of interdisciplinary means brought to light new insights into the past through combining experimental archeology, material culture studies, and academic history.

The findings of this research provide insight into the effectiveness of the experiential analysis technique for the purpose of historical study and how it benefits, not only current understanding of artifacts themselves, but also fills gaps in the lives of those who created an used these items.

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Apr 6th, 1:15 PM Apr 6th, 1:30 PM

Stepping Into a Moment: A Historical Reconstruction of Lord Dunmore’s Portrait

Culp Room 219

The discipline of material culture study has long been estranged from mainstream academic discourse and has been viewed commonly as the study of pots and pans. Historians are beginning to realize that material culture and cultural reconstruction offer vital insights into the past. Building upon new developments, my thesis sought to reconstruct the items painted by Joshua Reynolds in his famous painting of Lord Dunmore. Such an analysis allowed for the steps of unnamed tradesmen to be retraced, making a few people who were lost to history known once again. This was achieved by recreating every object in the portrait as it would have been done in context, through primary written documentation in tandem with extant artifacts.

This study put to the test the benefit of material culture study and its place amongst academic history. the utilization of interdisciplinary means brought to light new insights into the past through combining experimental archeology, material culture studies, and academic history.

The findings of this research provide insight into the effectiveness of the experiential analysis technique for the purpose of historical study and how it benefits, not only current understanding of artifacts themselves, but also fills gaps in the lives of those who created an used these items.