The visitor to a twentieth-century interior displayed within a museum, such as the

Frank Lloyd Wright office in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, or the Lucie

Rie interior in the Kaiserliche Hofmobliendepot (the Imperial Furniture Collection in

Vienna) – the subject of Chapter 9 in this volume – does not perhaps expect to see

evidence of private life. Such museums are primarily concerned with showcasing the

best examples of design and the decorative arts. However, different issues are raised

in the case of the ‘house museum’, a particular site where the modern interior has

been a home. The visitor to a house museum expects to have information about the

former occupants, as well as the architectural design or interior decoration. They are

interested in the inhabitants as much as the interiors, and through that, how the

rooms were used. The narrative of the domestic spaces and the lives lived out within

them is particularly problematic, however, since domestic life within interior spaces

changes over time, and the interiors themselves are often reconstructed to accom-

modate this, as has been remarked by other authors in this volume (Chapters 3 and

10). There is also the question of respecting the wishes of the former owners, of

terms of the bequest or other instructions, such as those left by Jim Ede for Kettle’s

Yard, discussed by Sebastiano Barrassi in Chapter 8.