After finishing my PhD project A century of Swedish Gustavian style: Art history, cultural heritage and neoclassical revivals from the 1890s to the 1990s in 2017 I have been part of research projects focusing on the heritage processes in a former psychiatric hospital. (Funded by The Swedish National Heritage Board 2017-2019, Formas 2020-2022). My research interest include stagings of cultural heritage in different media, e.g. furniture design, museum exhibitions, public art and silent film.
I have a professional background as a conservator of built environment at Gunnebo House and Gardens, Mölndal and also as a museums assistant at the Museum of Mölndal and The Linnean Gardens of Uppsala. Since I started my PhD studies I have been teaching students at different levels in subjects such as architectural history, cultural heritage, environmental history, art and gender. 2014-2016 I collaborated in the project Kulturarvet som högskolepedagogisk resurs. The aim was to facilitate and develop the use of Uppsala University's cultural heritage as an educational resource. I also work as a senior lecturer in cultural studies at Karlstad University since 2019. See: https://www.kau.se/en/researchers/hedvig-mardh
A Century of Swedish Gustavian Style investigates the cultural history of the concept of style, its uses and influences on the processes of heritage. The study includes some of the most important arenas for mediations of the Gustavian style: written text, illustrations, exhibitions, artworks, advertising, furniture, films as well as historically informed performances from the 1890s until the 1990s. Moreover, the study shows how academia, Swedish art history, commercial enterprises, historical societies and museums have supported and generated narratives about the Gustavian style that have kept the style relevant in a changing society. The Gustavian style has played an active role as a compelling expression of a politics of representation that has reflected current power relations. Canonisation, institutionalisation and professional networks have, in different ways, supported the Gustavian style, making it part of an officially sanctioned cultural heritage, and the national art historical canon. Furthermore, it has been used to promote certain aesthetic and commercial arguments concerning national identity and ideas about taste and class. It has often been claimed by the elite, but has also been popularised, recognised and used by many. It has thus become a neutralised and dominant way of understanding Swedish history, and part of an authorised heritage discourse.
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