2014 Lecture Series
Colonial Mansions and Italian Gardens: Hamilton House April 15Richard C. Nylander, Curator Emeritus, Historic New EnglandThis talk will discuss the murals that artist George Porter Fernald created on the walls of the 1784 Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine, a country estate and today a National Historic Landmark. Depicting fanciful Italian-inspired landscapes and local scenes, the murals serve as visual documents that can be explored for what they tell us about two distinct interests in the Piscataqua region in the early twentieth century a fascination with old houses and a passion for gardening, both keenly shared by Richard.Richard Nylanders career at Historic New England spanned over 40 years and included major restorations of Hamilton House, the Harrison Gray Otis House in Boston and the Codman Estate in Lincoln, Massachusetts. A leading authority on historic wallpapers, he is the author of several books on the subject. Over the years, Richard has lent his expertise on interiors to many organizations and continues to serve on the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, where he was involved with the redecoration of the Blue Room and the State Dining Room.
Preserving Whats Present: Mid-Century Modern Architecture in May 20New Hampshire and on the Seacoast, A Panel DiscussionPeter Michaud, New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, ModeratorLisa Mausolf, Architectural HistorianFrank Demers, Mid-Century Modern EnthusiastFrom the vantage point of the 21st century, preservationists are starting to look at Mid-Century Modernism and the architectural styles developed between 1945-1975. The seacoast of New Hampshire has a surprising variety of buildings constructed in modernist vocabularies, ranging from iconic churches to the internationally known Louis Kahn-designed library at Phillips Exeter Academy. Join us for a discussion and appreciation that will look at examples in the Seacoast region, as well as modernist commercial and residential architecture in the state of New Hampshire.Peter Michaud is the National Register, Preservation Tax Incentives and Easements Coordinator at the NH Division of Historical Resources. Peter began his career with Historic New England, where he was the Portsmouth/Exeter site manager responsible for running four historic houses in New Hampshire and providing support to another six houses located in Maine.Lisa Mausolf has worked with communities on preservation issues for nearly three decades. As an intern to Jim Garvin at the NH Historical Society, she prepared her first National Register nomination for the NH State House. After stints at Regional Planning Commissions in Lebanon and Nashua, she has been a full-time preservation consultant since 1995. Her clients include local and state agencies, non-profit organizations, private owners and developers.Frank Demers is the retired President of Badger Licensing LLC of Cambridge, Massachusetts. During the last twenty-five years, Frank and his wife, Jeanne, have been enthusiasts of modernist architecture as well as avid collectors of modern design. They currently reside in a Mid-Century Modern house designed by an internationally known architect. Their house, located in central New Hampshire, was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bringing It All Back Home: Local Objects Crossing the Auction Block June 17Rebecca Davis & Monica Reuss, Specialists/Appraisers, Northeast AuctionsThe objects we fashion for use in everyday life, to delight our senses or to signify status can sometimes take on a life of their own. Some objects outlast their makers and original owners; many wander just as people find far-flung places to call home. But all can tell a story and speak to us from the past if we really look and listen. This presentation will highlight various objects, including ceramics, silver, paintings, textiles, manuscripts, carvings and furniture that have recently sold at auction and have local stories to tell.Rebecca Davis & Monica Reuss are both graduates of the Sothebys New York American Arts Program. Together, they have over 35 years experience working with fine and decorative arts. Ms. Davis, whose background is in art history, is Northeast Auctions Ceramics, Glass & Silver specialist; Ms. Reuss, whose background is in research, is the Fine Art, Prints, Marine & China Trade specialist. Each has worked with major collectors and their collections and sold objects bringing record-breaking prices. They have also conducted numerous appraisals for insurance, gift and estate purposes.
Portsmouth Furniture that Wasn't, or Is It?September 16A Fresh Look at the Saco School of CabinetmakersThomas Hardiman, Jr., Scholar & Keeper of the Portsmouth AthenaeumFifteen years ago, information came to light providing evidence that some of the most spectacular Portsmouth furniture of the Federal Period was actually constructed in a forgotten workshop 40 miles east of Portsmouth in Saco, Maine. New discoveries have revealed the extraordinary variety of furniture forms and decoration made by this school of craftsmen and show how deeply rooted the shops connections were to New Hampshire cabinetmaking. This talk will revisit this remarkable body of craft work and explore what it tells us about furniture fashion and the business of selling fashion in the 1810s.Tom Hardiman, Keeper of the Portsmouth Athenaeum since 2000, has written and lectured extensively on the material culture of northern New England. He is the author of numerous articles, including two on Maine cabinetmaking traditions published in The Magazine Antiques. Previously Tom served as Curator of the Saco Museum, Saco, Maine.
Samuel Chamberlains New England October 21Jane C. Nylander, President Emerita, Historic New EnglandThe beautiful mid-twentieth century photographs of New England by Samuel Chamberlain were carefully composed to convey ideas about an earlier time. Their nostalgic view of tranquil beauty appealed to people faced with the disruptions of war and rapid change. For many people Chamberlains widely distributed books and calendar images still shape popular ideas of the New England scene. Join us for this tour of Chamberlains New England, as Jane sets the scene and provides her own informed commentary.Jane Nylander has been active in New England historic preservation since the 1960s, holding curatorial and directorship positions at Historic New England (SPNEA), Strawbery Banke Museum, Old Sturbridge Village and the New Hampshire Historical Society. She is the author of several books, including Windows on the Past: Four Centuries of New England Homes, Our Own Snug Fireside, and Fabrics for Historic Buildings. Janes research interests are wide-ranging; most recently she spoke to PDAS in 2009 on the topic of parades and parade floats in nineteenth century Portsmouth.