ABSTRACT FOR “III SYMPOSIUM OF SAHN: THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF SWEDISH ARCHITECTURE.”
The use and abuse of architectural history for a changing concept of culture
This paper takes its point of departure in formulations made in the Swedish government bill on cultural policy 1974. The government bill, which was primarily based on the Swedish Arts Council’s report New Cultural Policy 1972, but such also included reports delivered by the 1965 committee on museums and exhibitions, concurred with the Overarching objectives of cultural policy that was stated by the Arts Council. In the government bill the responsible minister interpreted and summarized the overarching objective of cultural policy as an emphasis of the important role of cultural policy as an instrument to transform society. More concrete goals were formulated in a number of points relating to freedom of speech, active creation instead passive reception, democratization, etc. The goals were formulated in terms of how cultural policy should support, assist, facilitate, promote these different purposes. Only in one case the goal was formulated in a compulsory modus: cultural policy was to guarantee that the culture of older times were safeguarded and that it was vivified. In this paper I will investigate why this was so important and how this was connected to a new form of preservationist practice that emerged during the same period. By adopting a use of history perspective and a theory of narrative history I will examine the historiography of this emerging practice and discuss the apparent necessity of an architectural history of operative character being able to support cultural policy in its role as an instrument to transform society.
Fredrik Krohn Andersson completed his Ph.D. at dept. of Art History, Stockholm University, in march 2012. Now working as a substitute lecturer at Stockholm University and Södertörn University.