This lecture reflects upon the personal, national, and collective African American experiences and illustrates how they have influenced American art.
Matthew Thurlow is Assistant Director of Development, Major Gifts, and Planned Giving at the Winterthur Museum, Delaware.
Nancy Carlisle is Senior Curator at Historic New England
Soon after their marriage in March 1805, Philadelphians William and Mary Willcocks Waln retained architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe (British, 1764–1820) to design and build a new mansion at the corner of Seventh and Chestnut Streets. After three years of construction, Latrobe also began to design the furniture and the painted wall ornament for the drawing room, the social center of the house. The drawing room furniture is all that is left of the house, which was razed in 1843, and it embodies the aspirations of its designer and the merchant who commissioned the furniture.
Thomas Jefferson was among the first Americans to adopt classical design for domestic structures and to advocate furnishing such homes with innovative furniture to further inspire their inhabitants with republican virtue. Among the distinctive pieces that caught his imagination was the Campeachy chair, a Latin American seating form introduced to the United States following the Louisiana Purchase.
Joseph P. Gromacki will tell us about his house, which was built in the first half of the 18th century, and its collection of 17th- and early 18th-century American furniture and decorative arts. Kelton House Farm is named for the family that built it, in the bucolic landscape of the the upper Connecticut River Valley, near Deerfield, Massachusetts.
Tim Martin is the president of S. J. Shrubsole, specializing in the sale of antique American and British silver from the 19th century and earlier. His stepgrandfather, Sydney James Shrubsole, founded the company in London in 1912. Martin will explain how museum collections, such as those at the Portland Museum of Art and the Huntington Museum in San Marino, California, were assembled. He will explain how Eric Shrubsole helped the idiosyncratic Sir Arthur Gilbert (nee Bernstein) assemble the 20th century’s greatest collection of English silver.
In 1790, Abigail Adams wrote that Philadelphia, as a city filled with parties, balls and salons, was “equal to any European city.” Aristocratic Charlestonians—many of whom grew accustomed to Philadelphia while serving in US Congress—established both city and country residences there.