MESDA Conference: the South Carolina Midlands

October 21-23, 2021 Columbia, South Carolina

MESDA Conference

 

The Decorative Arts of the South Carolina Midlands

 

 

NEW DATE
October 21-23, 2021

Columbia, South Carolina

 

Join us as we celebrate the decorative arts of South Carolina’s Midlands, where the Lowcountry and the Upstate collide.  The conference will offer an unparalleled opportunity to get behind-the-scenes looks of local sites and exhibits, with a reception and conference sessions held in downtown Columbia, the Palmetto State’s capital city.  Special themed rambles will give you an up-close and personal look at rarely-viewed private collections and homes, while lectures will provide the latest in decorative arts and material culture research. South Carolina’s decorative arts have never looked better–and now it is time to celebrate and enjoy the architecture, landscape, and material culture of the Midlands.


 

 

REGISTRATION

 

Full Registration with Ramble I
The Savannah River Valley: History & Heritage in Augusta and Beyond
$525.00 | $515.00 Frank L. Horton Society*
Registration includes participation in the overnight Ramble I and the Opening Reception, two continental breakfasts, one coffee break, two lunches, one dinner, all lectures proposed on the agenda, and admission to all pertinent sites proposed on the agenda.  
Full Registration with Ramble II
Kershaw & Sumter Counties: Magnificence in the Midlands
$350.00 | $340.00 Frank L. Horton Society*
Registration includes participation in Ramble II and the Opening Reception, one continental breakfast, one coffee break, two lunches, all lectures proposed on the agenda, and admission to all pertinent sites proposed on the agenda.   
Full Registration with Ramble III
Lexington & Richland Counties: Culture in the Capital
$350.00 |  $340.00 Frank L. Horton Society*
Registration includes participation in Ramble III and the Opening Reception, one continental breakfast, one coffee break, two lunches, all lectures proposed on the agenda, and admission to all pertinent sites proposed on the agenda.   
Lectures Pass $250.00 | $240.00 Frank L. Horton Society*
Registration includes participation the Opening Reception, one continental breakfast, one coffee break, one lunch, all lectures proposed on the agenda, and admission to all pertinent sites proposed on the agenda. 
Twenty-First Century Frolic Pass $150.00
Registration includes participation in the Frolic Fundraiser for the MESDA Conservation Fund.

*This program is anticipated to sell out.  Please note that members of the Frank L. Horton Society receive priority registration privileges, as well as a discount on their tickets.  To receive your Frank L. Horton Society discount, please be sure you register and/or sign in with your Old Salem Museums & Gardens username and password.  If you would like to join the Frank L. Horton Society, or if you would like to learn more, please click here.


RAMBLES

Join Historic Augusta’s Executive Director Erick Montgomery and MESDA Curator Daniel Ackermann for an overnight journey to Augusta, Georgia!  Founded at the falls of the Savanah River in 1736, Augusta grew into piedmont Georgia’s most important inland antebellum city.  The city’s geographic and economic importance led to the establishment of the Augusta Arsenal in 1816 and the Medical College of Georgia in 1828, both of which we will visit.  Our time in “The Garden City” will include visits to some of Augusta’s oldest and most distinguished private residences as well as an evening dining amid the city’s best collection of Georgia decorative arts.  
 
Join Peter Kenny (Classical American Homes Preservation Trust) and Robert Leath (MESDA) as they explore Kershaw and Sumter Counties.  This trip takes you into the worlds of Charles Woodmason, the 18th-century rector of historic St. Mark’s parish who pined for the sophisticated life of Charleston, and Mary Boykin Chesnut, one of the leading female diarists of the antebellum South’s cotton planting elite.  Historic sites along the way will include the Chesnut family’s Mulberry Plantation as well as lunch at the Manning family’s magnificent Millford Plantation, considered by many to be the finest example of Greek Revival residential architecture in America.  Both houses still contain many of their original contents, including important classical furniture by the New York firms of Duncan Phyfe and Deming and Bulkeley.  Stops in Camden will include not one, but two important Robert Mills designed buildings, the Kershaw County Courthouse and the Presbyterian Church.  For a day steeped in splendid decorative arts and architectural history, don’t miss the ramble to Sumter and Kershaw Counties.
Explore the Palmetto State’s layered roots in a day packed with impressive antebellum landmarks and recently-installed exhibits showcasing South Carolina decorative arts.  Led by Historic Columbia’s Director of Cultural Resources John Sherrer and Old Salem Curator Johanna Brown, this ramble will take participants to the Lexington County Museum to provide a sense of the varying cultural communities that settled in the midlands and their vernacular art and architecture.  Visits to the South Carolina State Museum, University of South Carolina’s picturesque Horseshoe, the 1812 Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and the battle-worn Greek Revival State House will provide context for early public life in early Columbia.  The ramble will conclude at a stunning 1823 Classical Revival residence known as the Robert Mills House, named for its famous designer.  A leisurely stroll across the street will take participants to the steps of the Hampton-Preston Mansion and the Conference Opening Reception. 

 


PROGRAM

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21

Afternoon   Ramble I: The Savannah River Valley departs from the Sheraton Columbia Downtown
Evening   Ramble I overnights in Augusta, GA

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22

Morning   Ramble II: Kershaw & Sumter Counties and Ramble III: Lexington & Richland Counties depart from the Sheraton Columbia Downtown
Evening   Opening Reception at the 1818 Hampton-Preston Mansion in downtown Columbia.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23

Morning   Lectures begin at the Columbia Museum of Art
Featured speakers include:

Johanna Brown – The Material Culture of South Carolina’s Germanic Communities

Dr. John Bryan – Robert Mills: South Carolina’s Premier Classical Architect

Catherine Carlisle – Early Portraiture in the South Carolina Midlands

Charlotte Crabtree – Silver of Augusta, Columbia, and Camden

Jenny Garwood – Early Needlework in the South Carolina Midlands

Kate Hughes – African American Influences in Edgefield Pottery

Peter Kenny – The Material Worlds of the Hampton and Manning Families

Grahame Long – The Material Culture of Dueling in Midlands South Carolina

Dr. Corbett Toussaint – Scots-Irish Cabinetmakers in the South Carolina Midlands

 
Afternoon   Tours of the newly reinstalled permanent collections at the Columbia Museum of Art
Evening   A Twenty-First Century Frolic in support of MESDA’s Conservation Fund, hosted by Drs. Corbett and C. Philip Toussaint

Separate registration required to attend.


With generous support provided by:


TRAVEL DETAILS

Rooms have been reserved at the Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel:
1400 Main Street
Columbia, SC  29201
1-803-988-1400
Group name: MESDA Group
Click here for booking link.

Please note: to ensure a room at the discounted price, reservations must be made by 5pm on August 10, 2020.
Your reservation can be cancelled for a full refund up to two days prior to the reservation.


CANCELLATION POLICY
Registrants who cancel at least two weeks prior to a program will receive a full refund minus a $50 handling fee.  No refunds will be given for cancellations that occur less than two weeks prior to the event.