4th Annual Charleston Heritage Symposium October 7-9, 2016 with Keynote Presentation by The Duke of Devonshire

Posted on 04/04/16 No Comments



Exclusive Event Draws Antique and Decorative Arts Collectors to Charleston

4th Annual Charleston Heritage Symposium Kicks off on October 7-9, 2016 with Keynote Presentation by The Duke of Devonshire

Charleston, S.C. – Charleston period mansions that have stood the test of time are often filled with priceless collections of decorative arts and antiques. A few lucky individuals get the exclusive access to these privately owned homes, among them are the attendees of the 4th Annual Charleston Heritage Symposium, taking place on October 7-9, 2016 in Charleston, SC. The theme of the 2016 Symposium is Charleston – Family Collections and Inspiring Connections. Peregrine Cavendish, the Duke of Devonshire, will be this year’s keynote speaker; in addition, the three day lecture series will feature leading antiques and decorative arts experts.

The event kicks off with an Opening Cocktail Reception and presentation by the keynote speaker at the Old Federal Courtroom of the Confederate Home and College on Friday evening, October 7, 2016. The Duke of Devonshire will be spending the weekend with the attendees, sharing his experience as the owner of one of the most prestigious English homes, Chatsworth House which has appeared in numerous movies such as Pride & Prejudice, The Duchess; and lately in the BBC documentary series titled Chatsworth which documents the entire 2011 season.

“We are most pleased to welcome His Grace the Duke of Devonshire to Charleston. He will join a prominent and exciting group of world renowned experts. Through the theme of Charleston – Family Collections and Inspiring Connections, the speakers will examine various English, West Indies and Colonial connections as well as family collections that were instrumental in inspiring Charleston life, artisans and architecture,” says Pat Prioleau, Board Member of the Symposium.

The event will feature the following speakers:

  • Susan L. Buck, Ph.D., is a conservator of painted surfaces and architectural materials as well as lecturer at the University of Delaware Graduate Program in Art Conservation. She brings real-world projects into the classroom, including the analysis and conservation of the paints and gilding on the interior of the 1771-76 Emperor’s Lodge of Retirement in the Forbidden City in Beijing, early wallpapers and paints found trapped in the walls at Montpelier, the paints on the interior and exterior of the Mount Vernon Gardener’s House, the Joseph Manigault House and original exterior paints from Colonial Williamsburg.
  • Dana Byrd, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Bowdoin College. She is a scholar of American art and material culture. Her research includes the role of objects and collections in everyday life on the plantation. Her book manuscript, Reconstructions: The Material Culture of the Plantation, 1861-1877, examines the experience of the plantation during the Civil War through the end of Reconstruction. She is presently developing a project that examines the nineteenth-century representations of sociable interiors in three cosmopolitan cities: New Orleans, Paris and London.
  • Brandy Culp served as the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in the Department of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She also worked at the Bard Graduate Center in the Exhibitions Department and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For the past nine years, she was a curator at Historic Charleston Foundation. Ms. Culp’s lecture will focus on the strong connection between Charleston, the West Indies and Newport, from colonial times up to the Civil War.
  • George H. McNeely, is a Vice President for Strategic & International Affairs at World Monuments Fund. His focus will be on the Middleton family and their extraordinary collections of portraits, family furniture, silver, porcelain and other decorative arts. Since the 18th century, the Middleton family has played important roles in politics, international affairs, commerce and culture. Mr. McNeely traces the family through triumphs and despair, from Charleston to Philadelphia to Newport to London and back using items in their collections to tell the story and step back in time.
  • Louis P. Nelson, Ph.D., is a Professor of Architectural History, the Associate Dean in the School of Architecture, and the Director of the Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Virginia. He is a specialist in the built environments of American colonial architecture and the architectures and landscapes of the early modern Atlantic world.The majority of his work focuses on the early American South, the Greater Caribbean and the Atlantic rim. His lecture will highlight the origins of and influences on the Charleston Single House.
  • Robert A. Leath is the Chief Curator and Vice President of Collections & Research at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Old Salem, NC. He is the Symposium’s Moderator and Curator-in-Residence.

“During the weekend, our guests will be introduced to the fascinating local history through the city’s decorative arts collections and connections to other parts of the world. The unique combination of social events such as the Opening Night Reception, Saturday Evening Soiree, Sunday Brunch and series of lectures and tours uncovers what makes Charleston such an exceptional place,” says Mrs. Prioleau.

The event is limited to 80 participants. This intimate number of attendees affords a great opportunity to create new friendships, spend quality one on one time with the speakers and use this unique opportunity to soak up Charleston’s rich history and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s past.

In the inaugural year, the Symposium Board created the Sallie E. Simons Scholarship. This special scholarship will underwrite registration and lodging as well as up to $350 in travel expenses for a current student in the field of historic preservation, art history, history, museum studies, decorative arts or a related field.  To apply, please contact Lauren Kelley at lkelley@preservationsociety.org or call 843-722-4630.

The registration fee is $550 ($600 after July 10, 2016) and includes all lectures, events, receptions listed on the schedule, plus a visit to a privately-held historic home and a behind the scene tour of a collection of Charleston decorative arts. Tickets go on sale on May 20, 2016. To register, visit www.charlestonheritagesymposium.org or call 800.770.1817. $200 of the ticket is tax deductible.

The Vendue, Charleston’s first art hotel, is the partner hotel of the event. Please mention the Charleston Heritage Symposium at the time of reservation to receive a special rate. Call The Vendue at 800.845.7900 or visit www.thevendue.com.

About the Charleston Heritage Symposium:

The Charleston Heritage Symposium is a three day decorative arts lecture series presented by an all-volunteer board to benefit the Preservation Society of Charleston. Established in 1920 by Susan Pringle Frost, the Preservation Society of Charleston is the oldest community-based preservation organization in the United States, dedicated to recognizing, protecting and advocating for the Lowcountry’s historic places. Membership in the Preservation Society is open to everyone. For more information about the Society, please visit: www.preservationsociety.org.


Media Contact: Vladia Spencer, vladia@styleepr.com, 843-345-3275




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