The 25th annual Newport Symposium, Gilded Age Art, Design & Technology,, will be held Sunday, April 23 to Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in the historic houses and buildings of Newport, Rhode Island. Presented by The Preservation Society of Newport County, with support from U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Franklin & Company and Christie’s, the Newport Symposium is an international forum for the study and discussion of a diverse range of arts and historical issues. Enthusiasts in the fields of history, fine and decorative arts and design are invited to join museum professionals, collectors and scholars to hear lectures by renowned experts from around the country.
The Gilded Age arose from the effort to reconcile modern industrial technology with the artistic vocabulary of the past – both real and imaginary. Many of Newport’s summer colonists made their fortunes in industry, and were instrumental in promoting the widespread adoption of advances like steam engines, electric lighting, central heating, refrigeration and automobiles. But jubilation at modern progress was tinged with nostalgia for pre-industrial styles and craftsmanship, giving rise to a host of inventive, eclectic expressions in material culture. From the romantic Medievalism of Ruskin, Henry Adams and William Morris to the bold new iconography of the Statue of Liberty and the Newport mansions, this symposium will explore the range of ways in which Gilded Age patrons and designers forged a new American identity, celebrating innovation while remaining firmly rooted in tradition.
Lecturers will include:
- Kelly Conway, Curator of American Glass, Corning Museum of Glass
- David de Muzio, Executive Director, Audrain Automobile Museum & Collection
- Ulysses Grant Dietz, Chief Curator and Curator of Decorative Arts, Newark Museum
- Ted Eayrs, Partner, Blackburn Building Conservation LLC
- John Stuart Gordon, Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, Yale University Art Gallery
- Stephen Harrison, Curator of Decorative Art & Design, The Cleveland Museum of Art
- Jill Jonnes, Historian & Author
- Paul Miller, Curator, The Preservation Society of Newport County
- Libby O’Connell, Historian & Author, Chief Historian Emeritus, The History Channel
- Richard W. Rydell, Professor of History and Director of Humanities Institute, Montana State University
- Richard Guy Wilson, Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History, University of Virginia
- Karen Zukowski, Art Historian & Author
Lectures, tours, receptions, and dinners will take place in various historic buildings in Newport, as well as the Hotel Viking. Admission is $550 for Preservation Society members, $600 for non-members, which includes a one-year individual membership in the Preservation Society. Academic rates and student scholarships are available. For additional information and to register, please email Symposium@NewportMansions.org, call (401) 847-1000 ext. 154, or visit www.NewportMansions.org.
The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes and decorative arts. Its 11 historic properties—seven of them National Historic Landmarks—span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.