Through this four-part “mini” course, participants will explore topics inspired by the Preservation Society’s houses and the collections within. Classes provide an opportunity for participants to take a deep dive into topics selected by Preservation society staff specialists and are designed to be conversational. This course is limited to 20 participants and must be subscribed to as a series. Admission is $95 for Preservation Society members, $110 for the general public.
Beyond the Collections: Paintings, Paneling, Portraits & Pottery
Paul Miller, Curator
Mondays, January 22 & 29, February 7 & 12, 2018
6 – 7:30 p.m., Preservation Society Headquarters, 424 Bellevue Avenue, Newport
Sift through the seemingly contextual jumble of rooms within the Preservation Society houses to uncover a number of often overlooked masterpieces. Join curator Paul Miller for this exploration of the many nuances and intricacies of “unseen” paintings, paneling, portraits, and pottery to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the Preservation Society’s collections and interiors.
Architectural Paintings: Ceilings and Walls
Designed to create an architectural backdrop for Newport interiors of the mid-19th through early 20th-centuries, the ceiling and wall paintings of the Preservation Society’s houses represent the most significant grouping of fine art in the collections, yet generally receive but a passing glance. Their subservient role as part of the decorative scheme conceals the fact that many are Old Master paintings by internationally recognized artists and well merit a closer look.
Paneling: From Pine Moldings to Pendant Trophies
From the geometric raised moldings of painted pine decorating the ground floor rooms of Hunter House to the carved and painted oak musical trophies in the paneling of The Elms, the interiors of Newport shelter some of the most significant architectural carving in the nation. We will explore the evolution of this wall decoration and its thematic lore and legend through study of period rooms in the Society’s houses.
From Alexander to Ury, Portraitists at Work in Newport
For over two centuries, prominent Newporters sat for portraits by some of the leading artists of the day; the names of many of these portraitists may still resonate while others have faded. We will rediscover, amongst others, Cosmo Alexander’s work in the 18th-century town and the curious role of Adolfo Muller Ury whose work constitutes a large percentage of surviving Gilded Age portraiture in the Preservation Society collections.
Pottery: From Tiles to Tureens
Although porcelain is not known as one of the strengths of museum collections in Newport, the rangeinstead of 19th-century art pottery on exhibition in the Society’s houses forms an overlooked but comprehensive overview of Aesthetic Movement designers at work in Europe and America. Whether selected by architects or collected by artistically-minded patrons, the range of production is highly revealing.
Advance registration is required. Admission includes all four sessions. Preservation Members $95 / General Public $110
or call 401-847-1851