Since CSI Norton Folgate was published earlier this week, the good people at Dennis Severs House have supplied some additional photos. They are in approximate chronological order and illustrate the meticulous attention to detail that can be found in the rooms. The photos are by Roelof Bakker and used with the agreement of Dennis Severs House.
Although Dennis Severs had the imagination to create the concept of the house, as his health declined he was unable to offer much practical assistance to the execution of the idea and installation of the artefacts. A friend of Dennis, Mick Pedroli, should be given credit for completing the work and managing the house during its early years to establish the venue.
The early Georgian dining room
The early Georgian kitchen
The late Georgian drawing room
The late Georgian smoking room
The early Victorian “Dickens” room
The late Victorian parlour
In describing Dennis Severs’ House it’s difficult to avoid creating the impression that it’s a museum to be visited if you have free time in London. If you go with that intention then I can imagine you might be disappointed as it doesn’t conform to the expectations of traditional museum-goers. There aren’t clearly ordered and labelled specimens laid out for your inspection. You can’t attempt a hands-on experience to see if those things really work.
It’s more accurate to consider it as an art installation, a series of 3-D (or 4-D) tableaux that you can walk through, experience, engage with, make sense of, or be puzzled by – sometimes all of those things at the same time.
Dennis Severs described it as a “still-life drama”. I still see it as crime scene.
“Either you see it, or you don’t,” as Dennis said.