Friday, November 25, 2011

Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia to host decorative arts symposium

The Georgia Museum of Art (GMOA) at the University of Georgia will hold its sixth Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts February 2–4, 2012.

“Homecoming” is the title and theme of the symposium, representing the museum’s expanded facility, the return of the Edwin Smith’s portraits of native Georgians Robert Ransome Billups and Elizabeth Ware Fullwood Billups to Clarke County and the return of the symposium to Georgia-related topics.

Georgia native and premier art dealer Deanne Deavours (Levison) will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m. in the Georgia Center for Continuing Education’s Mahler Auditorium, where all lectures will be held. She will discuss her career in the field of American decorative arts, in which she is acclaimed for her skill and expertise. Deavours is a nationally prominent antiques dealer and independent scholar who has also been central to much of the scholarship surrounding Georgia’s decorative arts traditions.

Dale Couch, adjunct curator of decorative arts at GMOA, describes Deavours as an “indispensable supporter of GMOA programs” and “an invaluable member of the Decorative Arts Advisory Committee.”

The keynote lecture is sponsored by the Georgia Humanities Council and is free and open to the public.

Thursday night will feature an opening reception at the museum from 7:30 to 9 p.m. organized by the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art to highlight the winter exhibitions.

Decorative arts exhibitions on view will include “Georgia Bellflowers: The Furniture of Henry Eugene Thomas,” for which Ashley Callahan serves as guest curator, and an exhibition of Lycett porcelain painting co-organized by Couch and Michelle Miller (a recent graduate of UGA). Both Callahan and Miller will speak at the symposium, as will Daniel Ackermann, associate curator at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

Other topics include pottery archeology in Washington County, Windsor chair construction, the African American presence in the decorative arts of the South, historic house restoration, southern needlework and southern clockmakers.

The publication of papers from the last symposium, “Neighboring Voices: The Decorative Culture of Our Southern Cousins,” will be available for purchase for $25 at the symposium and in the Museum Shop.

The symposium is held every other year and is the second largest event of its kind on the East Coast of the United States. Its publications received an award of merit from the American Association for State and Local History in 2008.

All evening events will be at GMOA, with shuttle bus service from the Georgia Center. The full symposium package, including Friday evening’s gourmet homecoming supper, is $250. Attendance at lectures only is $75. UGA students may attend for free but must register. The Georgia Center is handling all registrations and is offering a block of rooms at a discount for attendees. For more information about the symposium, contact the Georgia Museum of Art at 706.542.GMOA (4662).

Museum Information
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see or call 706.542.GMOA (4662).