Trish Smith to Give Public Lecture on Digital Restoration at Drayton Hall

3d-before_after

Digital Restoration:
Marrying Tradition & Innovation at Drayton Hall

presented by

Trish Lowe Smith
Curator of Historic Architectural Resources
Drayton Hall

Thursday, September 29 at 7:00 pm
College of Charleston
Simons Center for the Arts, Room 309
54 St. Philip Street

Free and open to the public.

bookcase

Trish Smith’s latest work includes a 3D rendering of Drayton Hall’s Withdrawing Room with a c. 1740’s desk and bookcase from the Drayton Collection.

Learn MORE about the Digital Restoration of Drayton Hall

Trish_Headshot - resized for web Patricia “Trish” Lowe Smith is the Curator of Historic Architectural Resources at Drayton Hall. After graduating with a B.A. in Art History from the University of South Carolina Honors College, Smith received her M.S. from the Clemson University and College of Charleston joint graduate program in Historic Preservation. Smith came to Drayton Hall in 2010 as a Wood Family Fellow, and joined the staff permanently upon completion of her fellowship. In 2013, Smith was awarded a residential fellowship at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s Digital History Center to study the application of 3D visualization technology for the documentation and interpretation of cultural heritage sites. During her tenure at Drayton Hall she has assembled the site’s first preservation archive, carried out several architectural conservation projects, launched a digital restoration of Drayton Hall, and is currently managing the rehabilitation of Drayton Hall’s iconic portico.

Preparing for Hurricane Season

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Preservation Coordinator Cameron Moon removing one of the 74 louvered shutters from the main house.

 

Hurricane season is officially upon us. Are you ready?

Staff members across all departments have been planning, preparing, and taking necessary steps now in the event a storm should be headed our way. Case in point: the preservation department’s removal of louvered shutters in the main house.

Trish Lowe Smith, curator of historic architectural resources, and Cameron Moon, preservation coordinator, with the assistance of volunteer Stan Younce (not pictured), have been getting their exercise as they removed the 74 louvered shutters from the windows in the house.

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Curator of Historic Architectural Resources Trish Smith after removing one of the louvered shutters from the main house. Volunteer Stan Younce assisted.

“These Victorian-era shutters are not as useful as they once were now that protective UV film* cuts down on damaging light and heat in the house,” explains Patricia “Trish” Lowe Smith. “More importantly, our custom window covers that protect the house during a hurricane cannot be installed with the louvered shutters in place. So, to save precious time if we find ourselves in the path of a hurricane, we’ve taken them down and stored them in a protected space–they can be reinstalled, but at this time we have no plans to do so.”

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HurricanePrepWindowShutters2016 (3)

Shutters will be stored in a protected area; they can always be reinstalled, but with the many practical advantages of the custom window covers, there are currently no plans to do so.

 

Below is Trish’s diagram explaining how the plywood/Tyvek custom window covers work. The window glass is sacrificial in this system. If it breaks, rainwater will sheet down the Tyvek and back out instead of blowing into the house.

Windows Diagram

*In response to questions about what kind of protective UV film we use: it’s Solar Gard SS50. We chose it because it’s removable, doesn’t drastically change the look of the glass, and cuts down a significant amount of UV light and heat. After four years, we’re very happy with it.

About Drayton Hall  Founded in 1738, Drayton Hall is an icon of colonial America and the nation’s earliest example of fully executed Palladian architecture. After seven generations, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, the main house remains in nearly original condition. A National Historic Landmark, Drayton Hall is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is administered by The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust.

When the National Trust acquired Drayton Hall in 1974, it made the decision to “preserve” or stabilize the site. This action—unprecedented in its day—set Drayton Hall on a course unique among historic sites: it preserved its authentic, centuries-old timeline of history rather than restoring it to one specific period. Because it has never been modernized with electric lighting, plumbing, or central heating or air conditioning, the main house remains unfurnished, allowing the beauty of the architectural details to come through.

“John Hope: Botanist of the Scottish Enlightenment”

Henry Noltie headshot

The 2016 Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series – Thursday, April 21

Speaker: Henry Noltie, Ph.D., Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

VENUE: SOUTH CAROLINA SOCIETY HALL, 72 MEETING STREET, CHARLESTON, SC

Today, we tend to imagine that inter-continental travel is a recent phenomenon – in fact it has always taken place, it merely took slightly longer. For example, such was the renown of the Edinburgh Medical School in the 18th century, that it drew students from as far afield as Russia and India in the east, and from the American colonies (including the Caribbean) in the west. One such student was Charles Drayton, who made the transatlantic trip to study botany and materia medica in 1767 under the famed professor John Hope. In keeping with this theme, Dr. Noltie will journey from Scotland to Charleston to speak about the botanical information Charles Drayton brought with him back from Scotland as he made the same trip just about 250 years prior. Dr. Noltie will additionally focus on John Hope and some of his other American pupils, including Benjamin Rush, who was in the same year as Drayton, and an exciting new project that has seen the rebuilding of the house that Hope built, to designs by John Adam, to house his head gardener, and as a lecture room that Drayton would have sat in had he arrived in Edinburgh ten years later.

Since 1986, after studying botany at Oxford and Museum Studies at Leicester, Henry Noltie, Ph.D., has worked at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) as a curator and taxonomist. For 14 years he worked on the Flora of Bhutan project, writing the first account of the plants of that remote Himalayan Kingdom and leading the team for its concluding years. He wrote two of the volumes of the Flora, relating to the monocots, for which he received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. Since 2000, his work has been on historical aspects of the rich herbarium and illustrations collections of the RBGE, especially relating to India, which has combined nomenclatural research with historical and art-history studies and the mounting of exhibitions at the RBGE gallery, Inverleith House. A series of publications on Scottish East India Company surgeons, and the botanical drawings they commissioned from Indian artists in the late 18th and early 19th century, has resulted. This work was extended into SE Asia in a collaboration with the British Library on the collections of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. His work on the Scottish Enlightenment botanist John Hope also took visual materials for its starting point – the unique collection of Hope’s teaching drawings preserved at RBGE led to the writing of a short biography in 2011. His most recent work is a two-volume work on Hugh Cleghorn (1820–1895), a pioneering Forest Conservator, but also the source of one of the largest collections of botanical drawings and books in the RBGE collection.

About Drayton Hall  Founded in 1738, Drayton Hall is the nation’s earliest example of fully executed Palladian architecture and the oldest preserved plantation house in America still open to the public. After seven generations, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, the main house remains in nearly original condition. A National Historic Landmark, Drayton Hall is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is administered by The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust.

When the National Trust acquired Drayton Hall in 1974, it made the decision to “preserve” or stabilize the site. This action—unprecedented in its day—set Drayton Hall on a course unique among historic sites: it preserved its authentic, centuries-old timeline of history rather than restoring it to one specific period. Because it has never been modernized with electric lighting, plumbing, or central heating or air conditioning, the main house remains unfurnished, allowing the beauty of the architectural details to come through.

Click here for information on all of our 2016 Distinguished Speakers.

Doors open at 5:30pm with a Wine and Cheese Reception.
Presentations start promptly at 6:30pm.
No advance reservations; please arrive early as seating is limited.

The 2016 Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series
is sponsored by The Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC.

Francis Marion Hotel

Curating the Black Atlantic: Race, Memory, and Museum Making

Jonathan Holloway

Jonathan Holloway

The 2016 Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series – Thursday, March 24th

Speaker: Dean Jonathan Holloway, Ph.D., Yale College

Venue: South Carolina Society Hall, 72 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC

 

Beginning in the 1970s, museum curators began to search for materials and artifacts they could use to interpret the black experience in the Americas. Their efforts flew in the face of previous scholarship that declared that there were almost no artifacts available to understand the black past. Using new technologies, the new generation of curators argued that their predecessors were wrong. Whereas earlier scholars only saw “absence,” the post-civil rights curators concluded that they were surrounded by evidence of a black past. The absence, it turns out, was the evidence.

How can we make sense of this conclusion? What can we learn by studying the history of absence? What does the black past tell us about how the Atlantic world was made and about the role of museums in making that world?

Jonathan Holloway (GRD, 1995) is Dean of Yale College and Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies. He specializes in post-emancipation United States history with a focus on social and intellectual history. He is the author of Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919–1941 (2002) and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (2013), both with the University of North Carolina Press. He edited Ralph Bunche’s A Brief and Tentative Analysis of Negro Leadership (NYU Press, 2005) and co-edited Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the 20th Century (Notre Dame University Press, 2007). He has written an introduction for a new edition of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk, published by Yale University Press in 2015. He has held fellowships from the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Ford Foundation. He was an Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellow in 2011–2012. Currently, he is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

About Drayton HallFounded in 1738, Drayton Hall is the nation’s earliest example of fully executed Palladian architecture and the oldest preserved plantation house in America still open to the public. After seven generations, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, the main house remains in nearly original condition. A National Historic Landmark, Drayton Hall is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is administered by The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust.

When the National Trust acquired Drayton Hall in 1974, it made the decision to “preserve” or stabilize the site. This action—unprecedented in its day—set Drayton Hall on a course unique among historic sites: it preserved its authentic, centuries-old timeline of history rather than restoring it to one specific period. Because it has never been modernized with electric lighting, plumbing, or central heating or air conditioning, the main house remains unfurnished, allowing the beauty of the architectural details to come through.

Click here for information on all of our 2016 Distinguished Speakers.

Doors open at 5:30pm with a Wine and Cheese Reception.
Presentations start promptly at 6:30pm.
No advance reservations; please arrive early as seating is limited.

The 2016 Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series
is sponsored by The Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC.

Francis Marion Hotel

“The Best Portico: Rehabilitating an Architectural Icon”

3. Drayton Hall-Photographer Ron Blunt

Drayton Hall, an icon of colonial America, with its rare double portico.

The 2016 Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series – Thursday, February 18th

  Speaker: Trish Smith, Curator of Historic Architectural Resources, Drayton Hall

Venue: South Carolina Society Hall, 72 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC

 

Five years ago, Drayton Hall launched the portico rehabilitation project: an effort to remedy serious threats to the portico’s preservation and to visitor safety. After years of careful study and planning, the final construction phase is drawing to a close. Join Drayton Hall’s Curator of Historic Architectural Resources, Trish Smith, as we take a look back at what makes Drayton Hall’s portico so special and how an international team of professionals came together to bring this momentous project to completion.

Trish_Headshot - resized for webPatricia “Trish” Lowe Smith is the Curator of Historic Architectural Resources at Drayton Hall. After graduating with a B.A. in Art History from the University of South Carolina Honors College, Smith received her M.S. from the Clemson University and College of Charleston joint graduate program in Historic Preservation. Smith came to Drayton Hall in 2010 as a Wood Family Fellow, and joined the staff permanently upon completion of her fellowship. In 2013, Smith was awarded a residential fellowship at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s Digital History Center to study the application of 3D visualization technology for the documentation and interpretation of cultural heritage sites. During her tenure at Drayton Hall she has assembled the site’s first preservation archive, carried out several architectural conservation projects, launched a digital restoration of Drayton Hall, and is currently managing the rehabilitation of Drayton Hall’s iconic portico.

About Drayton HallFounded in 1738, Drayton Hall is the nation’s earliest example of fully executed Palladian architecture and the oldest preserved plantation house in America still open to the public. After seven generations, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, the main house remains in nearly original condition. A National Historic Landmark, Drayton Hall is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is administered by The Drayton Hall Preservation Trust.

When the National Trust acquired Drayton Hall in 1974, it made the decision to “preserve” or stabilize the site. This action—unprecedented in its day—set Drayton Hall on a course unique among historic sites: it preserved its authentic, centuries-old timeline of history rather than restoring it to one specific period. Because it has never been modernized with electric lighting, plumbing, or central heating or air conditioning, the main house remains unfurnished, allowing the beauty of the architectural details to come through.

Click here for information on all of our 2016 Distinguished Speakers.

Doors open at 5:30pm with a Wine and Cheese Reception.
Presentations start promptly at 6:30pm.
No advance reservations; please arrive early as seating is limited.
The 2016 Drayton Hall Distinguished Speakers Series
is sponsored by The Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC.
Francis Marion Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

Drayton Hall in the News – January 2016

 

Drayton Hall 2013

Photo by Jack Alterman

Enjoy these two recent articles about Drayton Hall, its staff, and the work we’re doing to preserve this architectural masterpiece.
Online: January 2016 – Charleston Mercury – “Drayton Hall’s ‘Bad Boy’” by Robert Salvo or download the pdf version: ChasMerc DraytonHall’s bad boy fullarticle
Online: January 17, 2016 – Post & Courier – “At Drayton Hall, a New Solution to an Old Problem” by Robert Behre or download the pdf version: P&C Drayton Hall’s Portico full article

 

 

 

 

Building Bridges Symposium Highlights Latest Research and Discoveries from Drayton Hall

header1Join us on January 29 and 30 for Breaking Ground and Building Bridges, a symposium that brings together leading scholars from Charleston’s preservation and history organizations to present new research on the material culture of the Carolina Lowcountry. Over the course of two days, speakers will discuss exciting initiatives and cutting–edge research projects related to archaeology, the decorative arts, social history, and post-Reconstruction Charleston. Critically-acclaimed artist Jonathan Green will give the Keynote Address at the Building Bridges Symposium.

This year, Drayton Hall will be represented in the program by Cameron Moon, Preservation Coordinator, who will present “The Caretaker’s House: Vernacular Architecture and the Postbellum African American Community at Drayton Hall” on Friday at 2:15 pm. Ms. Moon will speak about how her research of the caretaker’s house has led to a better understanding of the African American community living at Drayton Hall from the late 19th to mid-20th century and has helped to develop a more accurate portrayal of the tenant houses and landscape during phosphate mining.

dhph191x3

c. 1915, one of the earlier photographs of the caretaker’s house shows it in its original location next to the main house. This is a rare view, as it is of the back of the house and shows its original footprint before an addition on the back was built in 1923.

The Symposium is a collaboration between Historic Charleston Foundation, Drayton Hall Preservation Trust, The Charleston Museum and Preservation Society of Charleston to facilitate dialogue among many of the Lowcountry Institutions. All proceeds will benefit the sponsoring institutions. Symposium tickets are $125/person for the general public and free for students.

See full schedule and purchase tickets

 

Camerodrayton_hs_06n Moon is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a degree in Historic Preservation and Community Planning and a minor in Anthropology. Her honors thesis chronicled the adaptive reuse of the Cigar Factory on East Bay Street and its relationship with the surrounding neighborhood. Before joining the DHPT staff in September 2014, she worked for Edgewood Builders, where she learned construction, preservation, and restoration techniques at Medway Plantation and houses in the historic district. Cameron is currently working on ongoing Drayton Hall conservation projects as well as converting the museum shop, housed in the former caretaker’s house, into an interpretive museum space.

Drayton Hall’s Collections Objects in New Exhibit

Charles Drayton (1743-1820). Artist unknown. ca. 1760. Watercolor on ivory, supported by burnished bezel case with hanging loop and mounted brooch pin. Drayton Hall Museum Collection, National Trust for Historic Preservation. Gift of Mr. Charles H. Drayton, III. Photograph courtesy of Mr. Russell Buskirk.

Charles Drayton (1743-1820). Artist unknown. ca. 1760. Watercolor on ivory, supported by burnished bezel case with hanging loop and mounted brooch pin. Drayton Hall Museum Collection, National Trust for Historic Preservation. Gift of Mr. Charles H. Drayton, III. Photograph courtesy of Mr. Russell Buskirk.

By Sarah Stroud Clarke, Archaeologist + Curator of Collections

A group of objects from the Drayton Hall Museum and Archaeological Collections are on their way to The Society of The Four Arts in Palm Beach, FL, to be part of the exhibition An Eye for Opulence: Charleston through the Lens of the Rivers Collection at the Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery, November 21, 2015 through January 10, 2016 (opening weekend November 20-22, 2015). The exhibit features the private collection of John M. Rivers, Jr., as well as objects from the Gibbes Museum of Art, Historic Charleston Foundation, The Charleston Museum, and Drayton Hall.

See images from Opening Night here.

Drayton Hall is pleased to be part of this wonderful group of institutions bringing together key elements of Charleston’s past through surviving material culture. Drayton Hall represents the earliest surviving colonial estate in Charleston, South Carolina, and the objects on loan to the Four Arts illustrate the great diversity in the collections found at Drayton Hall. Included are Chinese-export porcelains original to John Drayton’s (1715-1779) ownership of the house, personal items belonging to Charles Drayton (1743-1820), and objects made by enslaved African Americans.

One of the objects, rarely seen by the public, is the exquisite miniature portrait of Charles Drayton (1743-1820) shown above. Painted c. 1760 when Charles was a young gentleman, possibly around the time he was preparing to further his studies in England.

The archaeological collection at Drayton Hall illustrates the many renditions of Chinese-export porcelains that John Drayton (1715-1779) utilized during his lifetime. This nearly intact octagonal saucer, shown below, may represent porcelain purchased in celebration of one of his first two marriages. John Drayton married four times during the course of his life, his first two wives both succumbed to death as the result of childbirth; Sarah Cattell in 1740 and Charlotte Bull (Charles Drayton’s mother) in 1743 just days after Charles’ birth.

Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1740. Hard-paste porcelain with hand-painted underglaze cobalt blue decoration. Drayton Hall Archaeological Collection. Photograph by Mr. Russell Buskirk.

Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1740. Hard-paste porcelain with hand-painted underglaze cobalt blue decoration. Drayton Hall Archaeological Collection. Photograph by Mr. Russell Buskirk.

Colonoware is a type of low-fired earthenware pottery that was created by enslaved African and Native Americans in colonial North America. Shown below, this Colonoware sherd found at Drayton Hall is decorated with a rare example of incised Latin alphabet characters.

South Carolina, possibly the Charleston area, mid-to late 18th century. Low-fired earthenware with incised initials MHD, possibly for Maria Henrietta Drayton (1783-1862), daughter of Charles Drayton. Drayton Hall Archaeological Collection.

South Carolina, possibly the Charleston area, mid-to late 18th century. Low-fired earthenware with incised initials MHD, possibly for Maria Henrietta Drayton (1783-1862), daughter of Charles Drayton. Drayton Hall Archaeological Collection.

We hope you’ll join us in Palm Beach for this fascinating exhibition of over 100 objects from Charleston’s Golden Era.

Sarah Stroud Clarke headshot 2013

Sarah Stroud Clarke is the Archaeologist + Curator of Collections at Drayton Hall, overseeing the archaeological laboratory and recent excavations of the Drayton Hall property and was the 2007 Drayton Hall Wood Family Fellow. She is concurrently working on her PhD in Anthropology at Syracuse University which focuses on the “pre-Drayton” occupation of the property from 1680-1735.

The Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Gallery admission is $5; no charge for Four Arts members and children 14 and younger. Click here for more on the exhibit.

The Society of the Four Arts was founded in 1936 to offer quality cultural programming to the growing resort community of Palm Beach. Each season, The Four Arts offers a dynamic lineup of cultural programing, including notable speakers, concerts, films, educational programs, and art exhibitions. The campus is home to beautiful sculpture and botanical gardens, a library and children’s library, and a state-of-the art educational facility. The Four Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity and all programs are open to the public.

“China of the Most Fashionable Sort” with Suzanne Hood

Suzanne Hood in Chinese Porcelain exhibit at Colonial Williamsburg.

Suzanne Hood in her Chinese Porcelain exhibit at Colonial Williamsburg.

The Drayton Hall 2015 Distinguished Speakers Series Presents Suzanne F. Hood and China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America

October 15th at South Carolina Society Hall, 72 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC at 6:30pm

Suzanne Findlen Hood is the curator of ceramics and glass at Colonial Williamsburg. Her research focuses on ceramics owned and used in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century America with a particular emphasis on archaeological ceramics, Chinese export porcelain, salt-glazed stoneware, and British pottery. Her most recent exhibition, China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, is currently on view at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in Colonial Williamsburg. As part of Drayton Hall’s 2016 Distinguished Speakers Series, Ms. Hood’s presentation of the same title will show how a decorative arts perspective broadens the stories archaeology can tell by highlighting one of the largest groups of artifacts recovered from Colonial America archaeological sites: Chinese Export Porcelain.

First crossing the Atlantic with the settlers at Jamestown, this porcelain was a valuable commodity that served not only as a symbol of the society the settlers had left behind, but of the wealth and status of those who owned them. Using archaeological evidence, Ms. Hood will bring complexity and nuance to the curatorial understanding of the Chinese porcelain that was present in the colonial South. Within this context, her presentation on October 15th will include images of Charlestonian examples of pre-Drayton and Drayton owned pieces, which are now housed in the Drayton Hall Archaeological and Museum Collections as well as private collections. Also, objects from the Drayton Hall Collections that correspond with Ms. Hood’s presentation will be on display in a small pop-up exhibit.

Ms. Hood holds a B.A. in history from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and the University of Delaware. Prior to her arrival at Colonial Williamsburg in 2002, she was employed at The Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is co-author with Janine Skerry of Salt-Glazed Stoneware in Early America, winner of the American Ceramic Circle Book Award for 2009.

The Fall 2015 issue of Charleston Style & Design features a thoughtful interview with Ms. Hood in advance of her presentation — don’t miss it!  

In the meantime, please enjoy these images from her curated exhibit:

02_Teacup

1. Teacup (partially reconstructed), Jingdezhen, China, 1685–1710, hard-paste porcelain with underglaze blue. Excavated from the site of the Governor’s Palace.

This teacup, one of a pair recovered from the site of the Governor’s Palace, was likely owned by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, who served in Virginia from 1710 until 1722. In 1716, he was the first to reside in the Governor’s Palace. These teacups are ornamented over the exterior surface with a simplified version of the Sanskrit character “om,” which also appears on the bottom of the interior. Sanskrit, a liturgical language used in Hinduism and Buddhism, appears on a number of Chinese porcelains produced for over three centuries in Southeast Asia and India. The design can be read like a prayer wheel; as the bowl is rotated, the prayer is released. Despite their apparent lack of connection to a Western audience, sherds from a similar bowl were excavated at Santa Elena, on Parris Island, South Carolina, from a 16th-century colonial Spanish settlement. Two almost identical teacups were recovered from two 17th-century sites: Jamestown Island, and Bacon’s Castle in Surrey, Virginia. It seems unlikely that North American consumers knew of the connection between the decoration on their teacups and eastern religious practices.

Yonge Beakers*

2. Yonge Beakers.* Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1720, hard-paste porcelain with underglaze blue. Drayton Hall, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The fascination with Chinese porcelain was as strong among the Lowcountry elite as it was with the British gentry. Trade laws of the day mandated that Chinese and other imported goods be moved through a British port before their re-shipment to America, but the resulting additional cost did not dissuade affluent colonists. South Carolina planter and political figure Francis Yonge may have been the first owner of these Chinese export beakers. Although Yonge resided in an Ashley River house of modest size, he went to England several times on the colony’s business. Both his travels and his wealth gave him access to such luxury goods.

Beakers were likely used for the consumption of hot beverages such as chocolate. The form was popular in the early 18th century, but soon gave way to the shorter cups associated with tea and coffee. As a result, beakers are seldom encountered on American archaeological sites.

*Fragments of two vessels from the same set are mounted to resemble a single beaker.

 

04_Teacup and Saucer

3. Teacup and Saucer, Jingdezhen, China, 1722-1750, hard-paste porcelain. Drayton Hall, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

These delicate tea wares were probably part of the first generation furnishings at Drayton Hall Plantation, which was finished in the late 1740s. The vessels are finely potted and of the higher quality more commonly associated with Chinese porcelains destined for the English and Continental European markets. Although not unknown in colonial America, Chinese porcelain with such minutely detailed painting was relatively rare. The superiority of these goods is in tune with period observations about the luxurious furnishings seen in the homes of the Low Country’s leading citizens.

These pieces were part of a larger group of cups and saucers that may have included a matching teapot. However, it is just as likely that they were used with a teapot made of silver, white salt-glazed stoneware, or another material. Mixing different wares was quite acceptable, even in gentry settings.

08_Saucer Dish

4. Saucer Dish, Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1750, hard-paste porcelain with underglaze blue. Museum Purchase, The Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach Directors, 2013-29.

Porcelain decorated with cobalt blue had been popular since the 14th century when the Chinese first developed it. The main source of cobalt at that time was Persia, where there was a thriving earthenware industry. Because cobalt can be fired to a very high temperature in the kiln without burning off the dish, it had an economic as well as an aesthetic advantage: cobalt-decorated pieces of porcelain were not only beautiful, they also did not have to undergo multiple firings.

Blue-decorated porcelain appears archaeologically on many colonial sites. This fine example features a water buffalo, a popular design in colonial Virginia of which variations have been found on numerous sites. A dish with similar decoration, but rendered in more elaborate opaque enamels, was owned by Miles Brewton of Charleston, South Carolina.

09_Dish

5. Dish, Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1736, hard-paste porcelain with opaque enamels. Museum Purchase, Wesley and Elise H. Wright in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Hofheimer II and in honor of John C. Austin, 2013-57.

This dish exactly matches one owned by the Lee family of Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Stratford was built in the late 1730s, which corresponds to the date of this piece. The example recovered at Stratford was found in a rat’s nest in a wall of the house during 20th-century restoration. This pattern was popular on export porcelain in this color palette as well as in translucent enamels called “Imari.” Imari versions have been found archaeologically in Williamsburg and are also known in the Gore and Cargill families of Massachusetts. The design depicts two crabs holding a Chinese coin between them. The colonists who dined off of these wares probably did not know that, to a Chinese audience, the design indicated wishes for prosperity and financial success.

10_Cream Jug

6. Cream jug, Jingdezhen, China, ca. 1735, hard-paste porcelain with translucent enamels. Museum Purchase, 1964-335.

As the market for porcelain grew in Europe, potters in China began to produce more wares specifically based on Western shapes. This cream jug directly relates to silver prototypes, while the decoration continues to be Asian in inspiration. This piece descended in the Glen-Sanders family. It may have been owned by Deborah Glen and her husband John Sanders who married on December 6, 1739. Both the Glen and Saunders families were prominent in colonial New York. The cream jug was most likely used at the family home, Scotia, near what is now Schenectady.

05_China of the Most Fashionable Sort view1

China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. (View 1)

06_China of the Most Fashionable Sort view2

China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. (View 2)

07_China of the Most Fashionable Sort view3

China of the Most Fashionable Sort: Chinese Export Porcelain in Colonial America, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. (View 3)

To learn more about the exhibit and the art museums of Colonial Williamsburg, please follow these links:

www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/do/art-museums/wallace-museum/chinese-porcelain/

www.history.org/history/museums/

www.facebook.com/ArtMuseumsofCWF

 

China of the Most Fashionable Sort – October 15th  South Carolina Society Hall, 72 Meeting ST., Charleston, SC

Doors open at 5:30pm with a Wine and Cheese Reception.
Presentation starts promptly at 6:30pm.
No advance reservations; please arrive early as seating is limited.

Sponsored by The Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC.http://francismarionhotel.com/

FMlogo

A New and Different Kind of Historical Preservation: Preserving Tangible Expressions of Public Sympathy for Emanuel AME Church by George W. McDaniel

Photo credit: Andrew Knapp, Post & Courier

Photo credit: Andrew Knapp, Post & Courier

I wanted to share Andrew Knapp’s moving article in the Post & Courier, which was first published on August 8th. It describes the lengths to which people from all over the world are going in order to express their heartfelt words of sympathy for the tragic massacre on June 17th and how the Emanuel AME Church and its members plus many volunteers are responding by preserving thousands of messages of love, support, and prayer.

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150808/PC16/150809552

Elizabeth, “Liz,” Alston, historian of Emanuel AME church and a former member of Drayton Hall’s Site Advisory Council, is leading this effort to archive these items, and I and other Charleston museum professionals are pitching in. On Friday and Saturday after the shootings, I visited the church to pay my respects and was struck by the number of tangible expressions of concern and support that people left in front of the church: hand-written notes, teddy bears, banners filled with signatures, hand-made crosses, candles, paintings, photographs, and scores of bouquets of flowers. They told of this moment in time, not only for our community but for our nation. It had not yet rained, and I was concerned that when the summer storms came, as they surely would in June, they would spoil the signed banners and artifacts. I called Liz and asked if they had plans for their preservation. She explained that, as a historian, she was thinking in the same way, but that the church was in the midst of grieving and had lost its leadership and was focused on conducting funerals and caring for any number of things large and small. She too was devastated, but nonetheless, suggested we meet.

After signing a banner in front of Emanuel on Friday after the tragedy and seeing all the other testimonials, I contacted Liz Alston, historian at Emanuel.

After signing a banner in front of Emanuel on Friday after the tragedy and seeing all the other testimonials, I contacted Liz Alston, historian at Emanuel.

Cross with notes and artifacts in front of Emanuel.

Cross with notes and artifacts in front of Emanuel.

Messages from the heart and soul.

Messages from the heart and soul.

I called a range of museum and preservation professionals, including John Hildreth, regional vice president of Eastern Field Services of the National Trust, Faye Jensen, director of the SC Historical Society, Toni Carrier, co-founder of Lowcountry Africana and a former fellow with Drayton Hall, Rebecca Campbell, a Drayton Hall descendant, who grew up near Emanuel, Kitty Robinson from the Historic Charleston Foundation, Carl Borick, director of the Charleston Museum, and others. Each responded positively, and just a week after the tragedy, we met in the ground floor room, where the shootings had taken place a week earlier .

First meeting of memorial committee, Liz Alston,Toni Carrier,Rebecca Campbell,Va Ellison,Faye Jensen,JH, GM (2)

First meeting of the memorial committee. Clockwise from top: Liz Alston, Toni Carrier, Rebecca Campbell, Virginia Ellison, Faye Jensen, John Hildreth, and George McDaniel.

It was discomforting to be in that same space yet also uplifting to see the life of the church continue, as members, young and old, came and went, comforted one another, and got ready for the Bible study that evening, the same study conducted a week earlier with the assassin present. Discretely to one side were chamber music musicians, including Charleston violinist Yuri Becker, who were there to play and to express through music their support for the Bible study that evening. We had our meeting, got the ball rolling for preserving artifacts, and since it had not rained, we brought a number of them into the church, including a large cross, and stored them in a side room.

Unidentified priest and Virginia Ellison remove signed banners for safekeeping on first day.

Foreground, L-R: Unidentified priest and Virginia Ellison remove signed banners for safekeeping on first day.

Liz Alston and me, in front of cross with note cards we saved on the first day

Me and Liz Alston in front of a cross with note cards of support. This was one of the first precious items that we rescued a week after the shootings and just before a thunderstorm.

While we were retrieving artifacts, a press conference was held directly in front of the church. About a half dozen pastors were gathered, and I was glad to see among them The Rev. Callie Walpole, an Episcopal priest in Charleston whom I know and who is the niece of friends of mine. The principal speaker was The Rev. Nelson Rivers, pastor of Charity Missionary Baptist Church and vice president of the National Action Network. Speaking forthrightly into television cameras, he explained in no uncertain terms that this was the time for “respect.” Protest has its time, but not at this time. These families have experienced loss beyond our understanding and will be respected during their times of grieving, as will their church and community members. With force, he declared, “Malcolm X was about respect. Martin Luther King was about respect. The civil rights movement is about respect. And if you don’t understand respect, then you don’t belong here at this time.” It was a challenge and an assurance, both for that moment and for our future.

Later that night a thunderstorm struck, so our retrieval of memorials had been just in time. Our group met again the next week, assessed progress, and retrieved more artifacts. Virginia Ellison and Celeste Wiley, archivists from SC Historical Society, and Karen Emmons, archivist with Historic Charleston Foundation, proved to be key players and offered the assistance of the Charleston Archives, Libraries and Museums association (CALM). Together, their association devised a well-organized process by which artifacts would be systematically photographed in situ and then retrieved from outside for safekeeping. Liz also contacted Mayor Joe Riley, and knowing Liz as he does, he quickly responded by offering both staff support (Danny Burbage and Megan Moughan) as well as temporary storage space in the St. Julian Divine Community Center not far from Emanuel. It was agreed that the articles would be carefully stored there until a more permanent home could be found. Thanks to CALM and the church, volunteers have since been retrieving artifacts on a regular basis and taking photographs before they were removed — papers, notes, teddy bears, canvas frames with inscriptions, crosses, even small rocks with words like “love” and “hope” painted on them and arranged in a circle. In fact, what we won’t remove are the fire hydrant and two or three crepe myrtles in front of the church now covered with hand-written messages and signatures.

At a later meeting, we met with The Rev. Norman Goff, Presiding Elder and interim minister for Emanuel AME, whom many of you saw and heard during the televised funeral services. A thoughtful man with a lot on his shoulders and his heart, he expressed his prayerful support and appreciation for our preservation effort. During our meeting, who came by? Gov. Chris Christie, candidate for President. He offered his sympathies and his appreciation for the preservation work we’re doing. Joining us too were historian Bernard Powers and Mary Battle Pinckney from the Avery Research Center from the College of Charleston.

In subsequent blogs, I’ll report more, but suffice it to say that in the near future, we will be developing a longer term plan, the development of which John Hildreth has much experience and expertise to provide, and for which, fortunately, he has offered to help. We intend to learn from other sites, like Ground Zero, the Boston Marathon, the Vietnam Memorial, and 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. As an example of a future blog, just this week, Edward Crawford, vice chairman of our board, visited Emanuel with me, and Liz Alston showed us around. Edward, a skilled photographer, took pictures, which we’ll feature here later, and was deeply touched by the power of place and of people.

I’ve been deeply grateful to the work with Liz Alston, the Rev. Goff, members of Emanuel, and staff from other museums and preservation organizations in Charleston. Even national support has been provided by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture thanks to Lonnie Bunch, inaugural director and former Drayton Hall Site Advisory Council member, and Dr. Rex M. Ellis, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and a friend of mine. The organization CALM is especially to be thanked for its remarkable dedication to preserving the public response of sympathy, hope, and support to this landmark moment in the history of Charleston and our nation.

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George W. McDaniel recently retired from his position as President and Executive Director of Drayton Hall. He is currently on sabbatical, during which time he has volunteered his services on behalf of Emanuel AME Church. He returns to Drayton Hall on October 1st to work with the Board of Trustees on several projects through June 2016.

All photos are courtesy of George W. McDaniel unless otherwise noted.