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The Tennessee Decorative Arts Symposium

Presented by Belmont Mansion at Various Venues | Nashville, Nashville TN

Apr 17 - 18 2020
The Tennessee Decorative Arts Symposium

Speakers and topics include:

  • Portrait Miniatures: The Big Deal about Little Pictures, presented by: Truman B. Crisler, Owner, Truman B. Crisler Fine Portrait Miniatures, LLC; and Sarah Campbell Drury, Vice President of Fine and Decorative Arts for Case Antiques Inc. Auctions & Appraisals. 
  • Uncovering a Forgotten Knoch & Schleicher Fresco, presented by Grace Abernethy, Director of Preservation, Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation
    Adelicia’s Sartorial Biography: Understanding the Woman through her Portraits and A Surviving Dress, presented by Karin Bohleke, Director, Fashion Archives & Museum of Shippensburg University
  • Early Tennessee Maps as Documents and Evidence, presented by Charles A. Sherrill, Tennessee State Librarian and Archivist, and Zachary Keith, Archival Assistant, Tennessee State Libary and Archives
  • Highlights from the East Tennessee Historical Society Collection, Rebecca P’Simer, Curator of Collections, East Tennessee Historical Society
    The East Tennessee Historical Society has a diverse rotating collection that includes furniture to pottery originating in East Tennessee. Ms. P’Simer will share a glimpse into their collection of decorative art, focusing on the pieces and their makers.
  • Fans, Fish, Tassels and Bellfowers: The Idiosyncratic Inlaid Furniture of Northeastern Tennessee, Anne McPherson, Independent Scholar & Consultant, Southern Decorative Arts
    The cabinetmakers of Greene and Washington Counties constructed furniture decorated with frolicsome inlay.  Largely isolated from the East Coast and even from other parts of the southern back country, these craftsmen created a body of work that is now recognized as having been made in northeastern Tennessee.  This lecture will examine the design influences which crossed permeable county and state lines and how idiosyncratic inlay motifs that seem distinct to a cabinetmaking shop in one county often appear in modified form in the work of shops in another county.
  • Lloyd Branson: An Introduction to Knoxville’s Leading Artist of the Late 1800s/Early 1900s, Adam H. Alfrey, Senior Curator, East Tennessee History Center
    “Native genius.” “Boy artist.” These and other descriptions were often applied to Lloyd Branson, who grew from a precocious sketcher on his family’s East Tennessee farm to an accomplished artist best known for his portraits and depictions of early Tennessee history. Adam Alfrey, a curator at the East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, will provide an overview of Branson’s life and work, focusing on new information uncovered during the organization of a retrospective exhibition in 2016.
  • Heart Pine, White Oak and “Marble Blocks”: The Restoration of Adelicia’s Grand Salon Floor, Jerry Trescott, Curator of Collections, Belmont Mansion
    You’re invited to the first event held on the restored Grand Salon floor. Enjoy a luncheon discussion concerning the discoveries and restoration of Belmont Mansion’s amazing hand painted Grand Salon floor.​
  • Between the Layers: Art and Story in Tennessee Quilts, Candace Adelson, Senior Curator of Fashion and Textiles, Exhibit Tour, Tennessee State Museum
    Ms. Adelson will lead an exhibit tour of selected quilts from the museum’s vast collection that highlight the artistry and diversity of the state’s quilt makers and the great variety of stories their quilts tell. Afterwards attendees will be able to view the rest of the museum. Free admittance to museum and parking.

On exhibit this weekend will be a newly acquired 1870s day dress descending from Adelicia Acklen, the 1852 miniature of Joseph Hayes Acklen done by John W. Dodge, and a privately held collection of American and European portrait miniatures. 

Friday’s opening reception will take place at a private residence. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Saturday’s events will take place at the Leu Center for the Visual Arts at Belmont University, with the exception of the Between the Layers: Art and Story in Tennessee Quilts, Candace Adelson, Senior Curator of Fashion and Textiles, Exhibit Tour, which takes place at the Tennessee State Museum.

Source: Belmont Mansion


Reservations Required - Registration Deadline March 15

Register for Friday AND Saturday events

Register for Saturday events ONLY


Contact: (615) 460-5459

    Official Website


Additional time info:

The specific time for Friday's opening reception TBA.

* Event durations (if noted) are approximate. Please check with the presenting organization or venue to confirm start times and duration.


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