February 24, 2010

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum Announces its Inaugural Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Program

This March, The Richard H. Driehaus Museum announces the launch of the Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Program, a new annual program of lectures that promotes the understanding and appreciation of historic architecture and design. The series features an engaging array of public lectures by notable scholars and authors in the field of 19th-century decorative arts and design.  To celebrate the occasion, this year’s entire Program, which has been made possible through the support of Harris Bank and Sotheby’s, is open and free to the public.

The Program’s Roots and Purpose

Named for Samuel Mayo Nickerson, the original owner of the historic 1883 residence that now is home to the Driehaus Museum, the Lecture Program serves to situate the Nickerson House within the context of the social and artistic developments of the period and against the wider background of America’s Gilded Age.

The Gilded Age was a time of unprecedented change and creativity in American culture. As a new nation emerged from the aftermath of the Civil War, the country entered a period of unparalleled economic growth, taking its place on the world stage as a leader in industry and commerce. The new class of wealthy entrepreneurs that arose at this time found the perfect symbol to display their newfound fortunes in the elaborate residences they commissioned from the leading architects and decorators of the day. The 2010 Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Program considers the philos ophies in art, architecture and design that governed the creation of these remarkable homes.

“The Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Program is an integral part of the Driehaus Museum’s mission to promote the understanding and appreciation of historic architecture and design; we are delighted to announce the Program’s launch and are grateful to both Harris Bank and Sotheby’s for their generous support,” says David Bagnall, director of the Driehaus Museum. 

This Year’s Program, Series and Schedule

The 2010 Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Program is titled The House Beautiful: Magnificent Interiors of the Gilded Age and explores the theme of invention and innovation in the design of late 19th-century American interiors. The series commences Thursday, March 25th, welcoming Nina Gray, independent curator and consulting curator for the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.  Gray will discuss the development of the interior decorator profession during the Gilded Age. A light reception will follow the lecture.  For the full schedule of lectures please click here.

All discussions in the Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Program start promptly at 6 p.m. on select Thursdays throughout the year.  Museum doors open at 5 p.m. for any attendees who would like to take a self-guided tour of the Museum’s main floor prior to each lecture.  Since space is limited, reservations to attend any and/or all of the lectures are required.  To make reservations, guests may call 312.482.8933, x21 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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