Victorian Identity and Material Culture

by Claire Ross

Faculty mentor: Dr. Laurn McMillan

The plantation house at Sherwood Forrest Plantation (44ST615) was home to two upper-class white families in the latter portion of the 19th-century. During the 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons of the University of Mary Washington field school, an American Civil War-era midden was excavated in the yard behind the plantation house. Through this excavation, various artifacts associated with both families were uncovered, including a German-made, hard-paste porcelain clown head. The presence of this artifact, in addition to other items of “bric-a-brac,” indicate that at least one of these two families were participating in the home decorating trend of conspicuously displaying decorative objects. The possession of and choice in these objects could signal the social class, cultural literacy, and cultural capital of a victorian individual or family. In this paper, I will further explore this victorian relationship between constructed identity and material possessions.

Victorian Identity and Material Culture

4 Replies to “Victorian Identity and Material Culture”

  1. Claire – it has been a pleasure to see the amount of hard work and dedication you have put into your research this past semester, as well as your resilience when classes moved online. I am so happy for you and I can’t wait to see where you go from here!

  2. Claire, I am impressed with your research and presentation. I enjoyed listening and thought it was very interesting. As always, I am very proud of you!

  3. Claire- I enjoyed your presentation and am impressed with your research. You did a great job presenting it in this online platform. Congratulations on all your hard work!

  4. Claire – well done! Your dedication, hard work and insight are inspiring. Don’t ever stop learning, dreaming and achieving. Brava!

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