Book Chapter

Curating Domestic Profusion



Morgan J & Macdonald S (2020) Curating Domestic Profusion. In: Harrison R, DeSilvey C, Holtorf C, Macdonald S, Bartolini N, Breithoff E, Fredheim H, Lyons A, May S, Morgan J & Penrose S (eds.) Heritage Futures: Comparative Approaches to Natural and Cultural Heritage Practices. London: UCL Press, pp. 202-222.

First paragraph: Fieldwork visits to talk with people in their homes about ‘profusion’ were often characterised by a common experience. This was learning about what one person called ‘my cupboard of doom’. ‘Packed to bursting point’, as she put it, with various household items – clothes, sports equipment, luggage, computers, Christmas decorations, gardening tools and children’s toys – she thought that such cupboards ‘are probably common to lots of other homes’. Her perception was confirmed by our research. It was not uncommon for people to refer to, or sometimes to even show us, a specific storage cupboard (or loft, basement, chest of drawers or purpose-designed ‘storage solution’) perceived to be full to the brim. Indicating their ubiquity, these were usually spoken about in a matter-of-fact way, and often accompanied with expressions hinting at a perceived unruliness, or even burden of the things contained within – ‘I really do need to sort it all out’; ‘I can’t even show you because there is no space to get in’. Although a common feature of domestic life, such spaces are typically unremarked upon and kept out of sight of visitors.

FundersArts and Humanities Research Council
Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online20/07/2020
PublisherUCL Press
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN 9781787356023

People (1)


Dr Jennie Morgan

Dr Jennie Morgan

Senior Lecturer, History