French Empire ormolu mantle clock of a mother instructing her daughter on astronomy, c. 1810
Portrait of Robert Donaldson by Charles R. Leslie / Duncan Phyfe center table in the Octagon Library at Edgewater / The Red Room showing the Duncan Phyfe recamier and harp that appears in the portrait of Mrs. Donaldson / Portrait of Mrs. Robert Donaldson (Susan Gaston) by George Cooke
Curator from The Met talks about Duncan Phyfe at Edgewater
On a recent afternoon in October, Classical American Homes Preservation Trust was honored to host Peter Kenny, below right, the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts and Administrator of The American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a group of our friends and supporters at Edgewater. Located about 100 miles north of New York City on the Hudson, Edgewater holds a collection of Duncan Phyfe furniture that was originally commissioned for the Donaldson family who resided at the house in the mid--19th C. and will be on loan for the Article Imageupcoming exhibition (see images above, including portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Donaldson and some of their Phyfe furniture at left). Mr. Kenny spoke to a gathering of forty guests about the life and work of Duncan Phyfe, and shared some new and interesting scholarship about Phyfe's work that was discovered in the process of researching this upcoming exhibition. In our next Newsletter, we will provide a video clip and remarks by Peter Kenny.
Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York opens at The Met December 20, 2011 and runs until May 6, 2012. The exhibition then travels to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston where it will be on display from June 20 through September 11, 2012.
Dick Jenrette and John Whitehead / Peter Kenny, in the Octagon Library, discussing the details of a Phyfe dining chair / Cynthia Moyer, frame conservator at The Met, talking about the Phyfe window benches she worked on
Autumn at Ayr Mount
With the changing of the seasons and the color of the leaves, this is a wonderful time to visit Ayr Mount and enjoy a walk along the scenic Poet's Walk. Recently, Ayr Mount was featured on UNC TV to highlight this historic "jewel in the crown" of North Carolina, please click here to see the video.
Not only is the house receiving a lot of attention recently, but Ayr Mount's cemetery has been brought back to "life"! The Kirkland family gravestones have undergone a succession of cleanings which will be completed in the summer of 2012. On the left there are "before" and almost "after" photographs.
The cemetery at Ayr Mount has been the final resting place for over 200 years for the Kirkland family. Four generations are interred alongside William Kirkland (1768-1836), the patriarch from Ayr, Scotland and his wife Margaret (1773-1839). The cemetery holds approximately 26 graves plus the unmarked graves of three of their infant sons, William (1801), James (1805) and David (1813) all born before Ayr Mount was completed.
One of the more descriptive gravestones, is that of Alexander Kirkland's which closely resembles those found in Scotland. It reads:
In Memory of Alexander McKenzie Kirkland, son of William Kirkland of Ayrshire Scotland and Margaret Scott his wife, and husband of Anna McKenzie Cameron born December 3rd 1809 died May 7th 1943 aged 22 years and 5 months. A dutiful son, a tender husband, a fond father, a loyal friend, an honest man, a Christian Gentleman. Come where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.
Above right, see gravestones of Alexander and his wife Anna.
The last direct descendant buried at Ayr Mount is Samuel Simpson (1883-1971). His wife, Emily (1911-1989) was buried alongside of him and is the final Kirkland to be at rest in the family plot.
To learn about the Kirklands, the influential family who built Ayr Mount, the history of the house, and the area of Hillsborough, North Carolina - call us at (212) 369-4460 to order a copy of
The Kirklands of Ayr Mount by Jean Bradley Anderson.
History comes home to Millford
Classical American Homes has recently been given an extraordinary gift of historic photographs that relate to Millford from one of its generous decendants, Katherine Williams Patterson, great-great-granddaughter of John Laurence Manning and Sallie Bland Clark Manning. Returning original objects to CAHPT's historic houses is an important part of our mission and we are thrilled about this recent gift. Above right is a reprint of the façade of Millford taken perhaps at the end, or after, the Civil War, as identified by the individuals and their clothing, seen on the front steps.
Two larger photographs on cardboard mounts, measuring 6 1/4" x 8 1/4" were taken by a professional photography studio, Snyder Gallery of Camden, S.C. which was active c. 1902-1910. It was then succeeded by Camden Studio, which may have continued under that name until about 1914. On the back of one of Snyder's photographs of Millford's exterior is a handwritten date of 1903. The second photograph, see below right, also taken by Snyder Gallery is of Millford's double drawing room, perhaps of the same date, and is invaluable in documenting the furniture, carpet, portrait, porcelain, and other objects that were in the room. Most of the furniture is in slipcovers but still can be identified, see below right. The chair under the slipcovers in the right foreground is one of a set of ten Phyfe rosewood side chairs with pierced gothic back splats commissioned for Millford by the Mannings and one of which will be loaned to the upcoming Phyfe exhibition at The Met, see below.
A group of three black and white photographs of Millford's exteriors and Spring House, see at left, were
amateur shots taken in the early 1920's, identified in pencil by a date of 1923, on the verso of one print and signed with the name "Coursen". They are printed in a 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" format. The Spring House is a copy of Trinity Church in Columbia, S.C. These photographs will be on display at Millford and available to scholars for study.
continues to be Open for Public Tours on the first Saturday of every month and Open for Group Tours throughout the year. Call (803) 452-6194 to schedule your preferred tour date and time, or please visit our website for more details on tour information for Millford.
Keep an eye out for....
The January issue
of The Magazine Antiques
will feature an article on Edgewater
with an interview of Richard H. Jenrette
by Laura Beach, along with beautiful photographs of Edgewater
by Gavin Ashworth. Please check newstands and mail boxes by early January for a copy.
This publication will coincide with two exciting events in New York this Winter: the opening of the Duncan Phyfe exhibition, December 20, 2011 through May 6, 2012, at The Met in New York, which includes several pieces of Dunan Phyfe furniture from the collection of Richard H. Jenrette and Classical American Homes Preservation Trust
Winter Antiques Show, January 20-29, 2012 held at the Park Avenue Armory. Please join us for both events and check our upcoming newsletters for related programs.
We encourage you to learn more about the following historic house museums:
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