CHARLESTON, SC.- The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum will be held Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, March 22, 2009. A major component of Charleston’s celebrated “Antiques Week,” the 2009 Forum will examine urban and rural America before 1860 through its material culture in a program entitled Town and Country: Life in Early America. Leading scholars will illuminate architecture, furniture, paintings, silver and ceramics through a series of lectures and tours. Now in its twelfth year, the nationally acclaimed Charleston Art & Antiques Forum benefits the education programs at the Gibbes Museum of Art.
The 2009 Keynote Address, co-sponsored by The Royal Oak Foundation, opens the Forum on March 18. James Hervey-Bathurst, President of Britain’s Historic Houses Association since 2003, has been invited to speak. Recognizing that historic houses are an integral part of a nation’s cultural heritage, he has worked tirelessly with the HHA to assist private owners in maintaining their historic properties, whether in the city or country. Mr. Hervey-Bathurst will provide a personal perspective with an ancestral home built in the early 1800s in his lecture, The Restoration and Redecoration of Eastnor Castle, a Regency Mansion on the Welch Borders.
Wendell Garrett, Editor at Large of The Magazine Antiques, writes “The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum stages the best fine and decorative arts program in the country today.” A highlight of the 2009 program promises to be the afternoon of discovery “on-site” with curators at Drayton Hall, one of America’s most important country houses. This year’s schedule also includes lectures by experts from major museums, historic properties and private collections; beautiful receptions in landmark buildings; and four optional tours, including a trip to Friendfield Plantation, a privately-held antebellum rice plantation near Georgetown, South Carolina.
In addition to Mr. Hervey-Bathurst, the 2009 Forum presenters are: Daniel K. Ackermann, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem; William Nathaniel Banks, author and collector; Chip Callaway, Callaway and Associates, Inc. Landscape Architects; Francis Coolidge, Ropes and Gray LLP Attorneys; Brandy S. Culp, Historic Charleston Foundation; Robert Hunter, Chipstone Foundation; Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Ronald D. Long, Charlton Hall Galleries Inc.; Angela D. Mack, Gibbes Museum of Art; George McDaniel, Carter C. Hudgins, Craig Tuminaro, and Joyce Keegan, Drayton Hall; Bruce Perkins, Flather & Perkins Inc. Fine Arts Insurance; J. Thomas Savage, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate; Matthew Webster, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; and David Warren, Bayou Bend Collections and Garden, Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
“The Gibbes Museum of Art is delighted to once again be working with The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum,” said Angela D. Mack, Gibbes Executive Director and Chief Curator. “The Forum attracts scholars and patrons from throughout the country to Charleston, while the proceeds underwrite arts education programs in our community throughout the year.” Superb examples of Charleston furniture from the Rivers Collection are part of The Charleston Story, a rotating exhibition of paintings, sculpture and miniature portraits from the museum’s permanent collection, will be on view at the Gibbes during the Forum.