The Alexandria Association is the city’s oldest organization devoted to the preservation of Alexandria’s historic buildings, landscapes, records, and antiquities; and to education in the decorative, fine, and building arts.
Meetings are held at 8 pm
The Lyceum, 201 South Washington St.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Monday, May 15, 2017
201 South Washington Street
at 8 P.M.
“Don’t Forget the Dress: Upholstery on Early American Furniture”
MEMBERSHIP AND GUEST LIST IS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. PLEASE REGISTER GUESTS WITH email@example.com. Fee for guests attending a one-time lecture is $15. MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION AND CALENDAR AVAILABLE AT OUR SITE: ALEXANDRIAASSOCIATION.ORG.
***** Snow Policy: In the event we must cancel a lecture at the last moment, we will attempt to notify you by email and post the cancellation on our site. If you do not have email, or do not see it on the site (as we may not have had enough time to get the message up), please phone the Lyceum to see if it is open, 703-838-4994, before starting out.
Upholstery comprised the most luxurious element of early American furniture. Whether seating furniture was covered in leather, worsted wool, or silk damask, the shape of the under-upholstery was essential to the furniture’s ever-critical proportions and the material, weave, and color of the show cover conveyed its owners’ wealth and sense of fashion. And seating was not the only upholstered surface—hangings for beds and window cornices framed the focal points of parlors, bedchambers, and drawing rooms. This presentation will consider the upholsterers (concentrating on those in Philadelphia) and their work from the early 18th century up to the 1850s, addressing the significance of upholstery to the overall appreciation of early American furniture. Documentary evidence will be compared to surviving upholsteries, and several ongoing projects will be considered.
Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley is The Montgomery-Garvan Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She received her master’s degree from the University of Delaware-Winterthur Program in Early American Culture in 1999. She joined the American Art department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2001 where she has orchestrated numerous acquisitions through gift and purchase. She curated the retrospective “Colonial Philadelphia Porcelain: The Art of Bonnin & Morris” in 2008 and in 2016, with associate conservator Peggy Olley as co-curator, and the groundbreaking exhibition “Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House.” She is currently writing the first-ever catalogue of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s early American furniture collection, set to be published in 2020.
Mrs. Kirtley has spoken at numerous conferences and symposia and published her research in in American Furniture, Ceramics in America, and The Magazine ANTIQUES and several books. She serves on the Curatorial Advisory Board of the United States Senate’s Commission on Art, is a trustee of The Andalusia Foundation, which oversees the Biddle family’s Delaware River estate, and is a member of the Board of Governors of The Decorative Arts Trust. Please join us in welcoming Alexandra back to Alexandria!