Architectural Paint Research and the Archaeology of Buildings

Mcdonnell, Phillipa (2020) Architectural Paint Research and the Archaeology of Buildings. The Archaeological Journal, 177 . ISSN 0066-5983

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/00665983.2019.1615748

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

Architectural Paint Research (APR) is the archaeological study of interior and exterior applied decoration. Over time, applied layers of paint and other decorative finishes build-up on the surface of a built structure, encapsulating microscopic deposits of material evidence. This evidence can be used to inform the phase dating of a structure, or illuminate the historic function of a space. It can challenge preconceived ideas of how specific areas were decorated, and track the changes in aesthetics over time. It can identify when architects’ ideologies have been balanced by practical considerations. It can provide an insight into the intangible and ephemeral atmosphere that decoration gives to a room. Finally, it can examine the dirt trapped between layers of decoration and thus categorize the physical environmental conditions that surrounded a building at varying points in its history. Although used in the commercial heritage and conservation sectors, Architectural Paint Research is almost completely unknown to building archaeologists. This article aims to introduce APR to a new audience, and argues that is an invaluable tool in the archaeological interpretation of buildings.

Keywords:Architecture, buildings archaeology, material culture, methodology, paint, decorative surfaces, interior design
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V350 History of Art
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V360 History of Architecture
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V490 Archaeology not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V450 Archaeological conservation
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V370 History of Design
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
ID Code:35834
Deposited On:03 May 2019 08:07

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