https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/thegibsonhouse/items/291961/?full-items=yes&flow=468779 Online event
137 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02145
Art, Date Idea, History, Lectures & Conferences, Social Good, Virtual & Streaming
In 1924, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new American Wing and the "George Washington rooms" on view at Wanamaker’s New York department store brought contemporary fantasies of an explicitly Anglo-Saxon, early-American domestic life into public view with a newly popular type of display: the period room. That same year, First Lady Grace Coolidge made front-page news shopping for design ideas for the White House in the American Wing, while President Calvin Coolidge signed into law the most restrictive immigration bill ever enacted, the National Origins Act. This talk by Heather Hole, associate professor of art history at Simmons University, examines early-twentieth-century period rooms within the context of contemporary debates over "Americanness," immigration, and race – debates that continue to haunt us today.
Todd S. Gernes, Gibson House Museum board member and associate professor of history, Stonehill College, will introduce this talk with a discussion of the Gibson House Museum's founding within the context of the American Colonial Revival in New England.
Heather Hole is associate professor of art history and director of the Arts Administration Program at Simmons University. Her research examines the forgotten exhibition spaces of early-twentieth-century New York, including the cutting-edge modern gallery in Wanamaker's department store, and the doll’s house, filled by work by artists like Marcel Duchamp, created by Florine Stettheimer’s sister Carrie. She is the author of the book Marsden Hartley and the West: The Search for an American Modernism, published by Yale University Press, and is a former curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University and her B.A. from Smith College.
Image: Edward Savage, The Washington Family, 1789-1796, National Gallery of Art. This early painting of the Washingtons with an enslaved person hung at the entrance to the Met's American Wing when it opened in 1924. Professor Hole will explore in detail the meaning of this artwork, and its placement in the museum, during the talk.
The Gibson House is a historic house museum located in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. Now a National Historic Landmark, the home served as residence to three generations of Gibson family members and their household staff between 1859 and 1954. The Museum’s four floors of period rooms, including the original kitchen, are a time capsule of domestic life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The museum is currently closed for tours and reopening plans will be announced when available. You can also explore the house virtually through our website, social media, and virtual programs at thegibsonhouse.org.