Janet and I will be speaking at this symposium, Saturday, April 24, 2010, at Belmont Mansion, Nashville. See the mansion's website for more information.
You are invited to join scholars, collectors, and historians from diverse backgrounds as they examine and interpret the material culture and decorative arts of the South with an emphasis on Tennessee.
Many of the early items used by Tennesseans were made out of necessity, for functional use, by local craftsman using local materials and later evolved into “fancy” works of art, furniture, and architecture. Since Tennessee was one of the first Federal territories to present itself for admission to the union outside the original colonies, an understanding of its role in the development of the South and the Nation is of great value. Tennesseans have played important roles in shaping the character of our Nation. Three presidents—Jackson, Polk, and Johnson have called Tennessee home and their involvement at the national level impacted many of the cultural affairs of Tennessee during the 19th century.
Tennessee’s three “grand divisions”— Middle Tennessee with its foothills and basin, East Tennessee with its mountainous terrain, and West Tennessee with its plains offered a variety of native materials and resources that were used by settlers in the early development of the state. This conference will highlight specific examples and recent discoveries which will enable you to see the stylistic changes clearly exhibited in the decorative arts of Tennessee and their origin. This symposium aims to address the ever growing interest in the decorative arts of Tennessee and to encourage the sharing of ideas and information. Seating is limited to 100 persons and advance registration by mail, fax, or online is required. Registration will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.