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.
MEMBERSHIP AND GUEST LIST IS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. PLEASE REGISTER GUESTS WITH firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
After studying painting in Italy, a young John Gadsby Chapman returned to his native Virginia in 1831 with hopes to take the American art scene by storm. He immediately utilized his family connections and knowledge of the state to carve a position for himself in American history painting, resulting in the 1840 monumental “Baptism of Pocahontas” for the Capitol rotunda. Although critics panned the work and today’s art historians usually dismiss Chapman, his images of Virginia played a crucial role in establishing an iconography of the Republic and the memory of George Washington.
Through a reevaluation of Chapman’s training, oeuvre, and network, Lydia Brandt and Adam Erby will reveal the artist’s enterprising combination of history and landscape painting and will examine the creative ways Chapman took advantage of the burgeoning markets for popular printed images and biographies. They will show how this resulted in new images and memories of early Virginia, Washington, Mount Vernon, and the Revolutionary generation.
Lydia Mattice Brandt is associate professor of art and architectural history at the University of South Carolina. Professor Brandt is known nationwide for her expertise on George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Colonial Revival, the remembrance of America’s early history through material objects. Adam T. Erby is Curator of Fine and Decorative Arts at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, where he oversees the institution’s fine and decorative arts collections, historic interiors, and special exhibitions. He led the curatorial restoration of George and Martha Washington’s Front Parlor, a five-year process of research and reconstruction that culminated in the space’s February 2019 reopening. Please join us in welcoming Lydia and Adam as they reexamine the career and legacy of John Gadsby Chapman.