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Hedley Swain
Brighton & Rove Museums

The Royal Pavilion, Brighton England: reconsidering a royal pleasure palace in a post-imperialist age
The Royal Pavilion Brighton is a unique building. Designed for George IV with a fantasy eastern inspired exterior, Chinoiserie interiors and picturesque garden, its aim was to show off royal wealth and taste and be used for opulent entertainment. But what were the underlying influences on its design and how should we be interpreting it to contemporary audiences? After providing a short introduction to the building and its interior decoration, and touching on some of the challenges of conservation, I will discuss this question of influences and how it might affect future curation of the building.

Hedley Swain is the CEO of Brighton & Hove Museums, a charitable trust that cares for a group of museums in Brighton and Hove England including the Royal Pavilion. An archaeologist by training Swain worked for a long time at the Museum of London and lectured for the Institute of Archaeology and Birkbeck College, University of London. More recently he has been National Director for Museums and Area Director for South East England at Arts Council England. He has lectured and published widely including writing the book An Introduction to Museum Archaeology for Cambridge University Press and he drafted the UK government guidance on dealing with human remains in UK museums. He is a Fellow of The Society of Antiquaries of London.

Thursday, May 2, 12:15 pm
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

Refreshments will be served starting at noon. Registration required.

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