16th Annual Mays Symposium: From the Opulent to the Mundane: Design and the Decorative Arts
Join our distinguished speakers as they explore the tradition of ornament from Renaissance interiors recalling ancient Greek and baroque architecture to the anti-classical inspirations of curving rococo and chinoiserie to twenty-first century design interests.
Ornament: A Social History Since 1450
Director, The Strawberry Hill Trust; Former Head of Design in the V&A’s Word and Image Department; Senior Curator of the V&A/RIBA Architecture Partnership, Richmond, Surrey, UK; author: Ornament: A Social History Since 1450 (1996); Design & the Decorative Arts: Britain, 1500-1900 (with John Styles, 2004)
Rococo: The Continuing Curve
Curator of 17th and 18th Century Decorative Arts; Head of Product Design and Decorative Arts Department, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, NY; author Rococo: The Continuing Curve, 1730-2008 (2008)
‘Upstairs, downstairs, In My Lady’s Chamber’: Early American Decorative Arts in Context
Independent lecturer, author, curator, Newberryport, MA; former head Sotheby’s American Art Course Masters program; former senior vice-president Christie’s New York, Director Classes in Connoisseurship; author: At Home: The American Family 1750-1870 (1990)
Enchanting Machines: Clockwork, China, and the European Vision of the East
Professor and Chair, Department of Art and Art History, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL; author: Eastern Magnificance and European Ingenuity: Clocks of Late Imperial China (2001); First Emperor Of China (with R.W.L. Guisso and David Miller, 1991)
“Man is not only a passive, sensory recipient, but also a desiring, active being who wishes to interpret the world in such a way (varying from one people, region, or epoch to another) that it most clearly and obligingly meets his desires. “
Alois Riegl (Stilfragen, 1893)
This is the sixteenth in a series of decorative arts symposia underwritten by the Mays Family Foundation.