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The Charleston Symposium is delighted to have been able to present an exceptional roster of decorative arts scholars and new scholarship since 2012, while donating more than $350,000 to support the Preservation Society of Charleston’s preservation and advocacy initiatives. It has truly been a team effort by the Symposium’s dedicated volunteer board and advisory board, our generous sponsors, loyal patrons, gracious home owners, wonderful advertisers, and the talented PSC staff.

As this review reveals, we learned to be flexible long before COVID entered our lives . . . trying both fall and spring dates; experiencing cancellations due to timing in the changeover of PSC Executive Directors, a hurricane, and a pandemic; and organizing a special weekend event. It has all worked! And now, together, we can look forward to the Symposium’s next decade of stimulating programming and continuing support of the Preservation Society’s vital work.

Robert A. Leath, Executive Director, Edenton Historical Commission, Edenton, NC, has been the Moderator and Curator-in-Residence for the CHS continuously since 2012.

2023 – Charleston ~ Convergence of Cultures

KEYNOTE: Dorothy Moss, Ph.D.; Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The National Portrait Gallery;
Washington, DC
Facing History: Portraits from 1600 to the Present

Jenny Garwood, Manager of Museum Education and Adjunct Curator of Textiles, Old Salem Museums & Gardens & The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, [MESDA];
Winston-Salem, NC
Charleston’s German School of Needlework

Harlan Greene, Scholar-in-Residence, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston;
Charleston, SC
A Portion of the People: Charleston’s Jewish History

Jessica B. Harris, Ph.D., Author, Lecturer, Consultant, Culinary Historian;
Brooklyn, NY
Charleston: The History is on the Plate

William [Bill] R. Sargent, Independent Curator; Senior Consultant in Chinese Art, Bonhams (NY);
Museum Expert Adviser (Historical Pictures) Hong Kong Museum of Art;
and former H. A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum; Salem, MA
From the Far East to the East Coast: Chinese Export Art for American Homes

Corbett E. Toussaint, D.P.M., Independent Researcher, Collector, Curator, Author;
Columbia, SC
Edgefield District Stoneware: A Potter’s Legacy

2022 - Celebrating Charleston and Voyages of Discovery

KEYNOTE: Stewart D. McLaurin; President, The White House Historical Association;
Washington, DC
James Hoban, Architect of the White House

Daniel K. Ackermann, Ph.D.; Chief Curator & Director of Research, Collections, and Archaeology, Old Salem Museums & Garden & The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts [MESDA]; Winston-Salem, NC
If These Walls Could Talk: Art and Abolition on the Walls of a Lowcountry Home

Elizabeth (Betsy) Kirkland Cahill, Chairman of the Board, Preservation Society of Charleston,
Charleston, SC
Preservation Society Overview

Nonie Gadsden; Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Museum of Fine Arts; Boston, MA
Tiffany’s Parakeets: The Biography of a Window

Carter C. Hudgins, Ph.D.; President & CEO, Drayton Hall Preservation Trust; Charleston, SC The Draytons vs. The Griswalds – an 1806 Vacation Adventure

Emilie Johnson, Ph.D.; Associate Curator, Thomas Jefferson Foundation; Monticello, VA Discovering Robert Mills, American Cultural Influencer

Glenn F. Keyes, FAIA; Glenn Keyes Architects LLC; Charleston, SC
Leading Study Tour of John Ravenel House, 5 East Battery

Richard D. Marks, III; President and Owner, Richard Marks Restorations, Inc.; Charleston, SC Leading Study Tour of John Ravenel House, 5 East Battery

J. Thomas Savage; Director of Educational Travel and Conferences,
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Williamsburg, VA
Imported British Furniture for the South

2021 - the Symposium was skipped because of the COVID-19 crisis

2020 - Charleston and the Renaissance of the 1920’s and 1930’s

KEYNOTE: Sylvia Yount; Director, American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art;
New York, NY
Southern Passages: Charleston Renaissance Artists and Issues in a National Context

Lauren Brunk; Vice President, Brunk Auctions; Asheville, NC
The Commerce of Authenticity

Harlan Greene; Scholar-in-Residence, Addlestone Library at the College of Charleston;
Charleston, SC
The Past and Its Presence: Charleston and Its Renaissance

Ralph Harvard III; Ralph Harvard, Inc.; New York, NY
The 1927-1928 “Renascence” of Carter’s Grove

Kristopher B. King; Executive Director, Preservation Society of Charleston; Charleston, SC “Now is the time......tomorrow will be too late”

Robert A. Leath; Chief Curator and Vice President of Collections and Research, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem; Winston-Salem, NC
The 9 Lives of Robert Deans

2019 - Charleston and Global Encounters, Trade Across the Seas

KEYNOTE: Becky MacGuire; Senior Vice President, Senior Specialist Chinese Export Art, and Director The Exceptional Sale; Christie’s, New York, NY
The China Trade: Power, Profit, Paintings, and Porcelain

Adam Bowett; Independent Furniture Historian; North Yorkshire, UK
The British and American Mahogany Trades in the Colonial Era

Dennis Carr; Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Boston, MA
The Four Corners of the World: How Transoceanic Trade Shaped the Colonial Americas

Linda Eaton; John L. & Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles, Winterthur Museum; Winterthur, DE
Patterns of Fashion: The Transatlantic Textile Trade

Daniel Finamore; The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, Peabody Essex Museum; Salem, MA
A Voyage of the General Wolfe: Exporting Furniture from Colonial Massachusetts

Sumpter Priddy, III; Museum and Historic Furniture Consultant, Sumpter Priddy III, Inc.; Alexandria, VA
Decoding the Furniture of Norfolk, Virginia and the Lower Chesapeake Region: 1680-1775

2018 – Charleston Entertains, Then and Now

KEYNOTE: Marcee F. Craighill; Director and Curator, Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. State Department; Washington, D.C.
Designed for Diplomacy: The Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U. S. Department of State

Carol Borchert Cadou; SVP Historic Preservation and Collections, George Washington’s Mount Vernon; Mount Vernon, VA
Huzzah to the General and President: Dining with George Washington

Harlan M. Greene; Director of Archival and Reference Services, College of Charleston; Charleston, SC
Saints and Sinners and Three O'Clock Dinners: Some Episodes in Charleston's Entertainment History

John Stuart Gordon; Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts, Yale University Art Gallery; New Haven, CT
The Design of Drinking, From the Jazz Age to the Space Age

William Hosley; Cultural Resource Marketing & Development Consultant, Terra Firma Northeast; Enfield, CT
It’s All Greek to Me: An Entertaining Look at Greek Revival Architecture

Philip Zea; President, Historic Deerfield; Deerfield, MA
Asleep at The Switch: Repose and Room Use in Early America

2017 – Weekend with the Duke, November 3, and 4

Following the cancellation of the 2016 program where he was to be the Keynote Speaker, Peregrine Cavendish, the Duke of Devonshire, graciously offered to come to Charleston the following fall. The Symposium sponsored a special weekend with an evening reception for the Duke at the Miles Brewton House, followed by his lecture the following day on Chatsworth House, family seat of the Cavendish family for 16 generations.

2017 - Charleston ~ Family Collections and Inspiring Connections

KEYNOTE: John A. Hays; Deputy Chairman, Christie’s Americas; New York, NY
Lost and Found: American Art Rediscovered

Susan L. Buck, Ph.D.; Conservator and Paint Analyst Lecturer, Winterthur/University of Delaware Graduate Program in Art Conservation; Winterthur, DE
Under the Microscope: Discovering Hidden Paint and Wallpaper Treasures in Charleston Buildings

Dana E. Byrd, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor of Art History, Bowdoin College; Brunswick, ME Striking a Chord: Looting of the Civil War Plantation

Brandy S. Culp; Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; Hartford, CT
Interwoven Connections – Charleston, Newport, and the West Indies

George H. McNeely; Architectural Historian; New York, NY
Reimagining a Lost Collection: The Middleton Family’s Collections Lost and Found

Louis P. Nelson, Ph.D.; Professor Architectural History, University of Virginia; Charlottesville, VA
The Charleston Single House in Atlantic Context

Ramsay H. Slugg; Managing Director, US Trust; Dallas, TX
Coloring Outside the Lines: Planning with Art & Collectibles

2016 The 2016 Symposium was postponed to March 2017 due to Hurricane Matthew

2015 – Charleston ~ British and Beyond

KEYNOTE: Dr. Tessa Murdoch, FSA; Deputy Keeper, Department of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass, Victoria and Albert Museum; London, England
Huguenot Artists, Designers and Craftsmen in Great Britain and Ireland 1680-1780

KEYNOTE : William G. Allman; Curator, The White House; Washington, D.C.
Something of Splendor: Decorative Arts from the White House

Daniel K. Ackermann, Ph.D.; Associate Curator, the MESDA Collection, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem; Winston-Salem, NC
A House of God in the Holy City: Architecture and Identity of Charleston’s Early Jewish Community

Gary J. Albert; Editorial Director and Adjunct Curator of Silver and Metals, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem; Winston-Salem, NC
Probability & Provenance: Jacob Sass and Charleston’s Post-Revolution German School of Cabinetmakers

Ralph Harvard III; Ralph Harvard, Inc.; New York, NY
Lowcountry Baroque

Maurie D. McInnis, Ph.D.; Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs University of Virginia; Charlottesville, VA
“Black and White all Mix’d Together”: African American Artists in the South

2014 Tthe 2014 Symposium did not take place

2013 – Colonial Charleston ~ Inside and Out

KEYNOTE: Sir Simon Jenkins, FRSL; Chairman of the National Trust for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, Journalist and Author; London, England
Bringing 18th Century Houses to Life for the 21st Century

Jonathan P. Clancy; Director, American Fine and Decorative Arts Program, Sotheby’s Institute of Art; New York, NY
“The City Fairly Swarms with Painters”: A New Look at Painting in 18th Century Charleston

Wendy A. Cooper; Curator Emerita of Furniture, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate; Winterthur, DE
The Kaufman Collection: The Pursuit of Excellence and A Gift to the Nation

Robert Hunter; Editor, Ceramics in America; Yorktown, VA
18th Century Tea and Punch Rituals: Examples from Charleston

Ronald L. Hurst; Vice President for Collections, Conservation and Museums; Carlisle H. Humelsine Chief Curator, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Williamsburg, VA
Southern Furniture Studies: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going

2012 - Inside Neoclassical Charleston ~ Inaugural Year

KEYNOTE: The Hon. Simon Howard; Castle Howard (1701-1811);Yorkshire, England
Castle Howard: The Ups and Downs of a Family Home Over 300 Years

Andrew Brunk; Senior Specialist and Partner, Brunk Auctions; Asheville, NC
“Going, Going, Gone!”: Opportunities in the Marketplace

Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser; Curator of the American Wing, The Metropolitan Museum Art; New York, NY
Framing the Young Republic: The Making of American Art

J. Thomas Savage; Director of Museum Affairs, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate; Winterthur, DE
Neoclassicism in Charleston

John Martin Taylor; Food Historian and Author; Savanah, GA
Charleston's Culinary Heritage