A commemorative exhibit featuring a building-trades fair
and lectures runs Sept. 28 - Dec. 29
Homewood House, a museum and National Historic Landmark on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University, will celebrate its 200th anniversary with a three-month exhibit called Building Homewood: Vision for a Villa. The programs will shed new light on how Homewood was designed and built, how the house was used, and the relationship between the building and its landscape. Building Homewood runs from Sept. 28 through Dec. 29, 2002, at the Homewood House, located at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.
A classically inspired five-part house, Homewood was built beginning in 1801 on a 130-acre farm 2 miles from the center of Baltimore. Charles Carroll (1737-1832), one of the four Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence, gave the house and property to his son, Charles Carroll Jr. (1775-1825), and daughter-in-law, Harriet Chew Carroll (1775-1861), as a wedding present. This Palladian-inspired villa is admired for its symmetry and its carved and plaster details.
Because questions still remain about how Homewood House was designed and constructed, its history was examined during the past year by Damie Stillman, professor emeritus of American architecture at the University of Delaware, M. Edward Shull, landscape architect and founding member of the Southern Garden History Society, and Bernard Herman, professor of art history at the University of Delaware. Their findings form the basis of Building Homewood, which features 18th-century design books from private institutions, artifacts from earlier archeological investigations including a chisel used in the original construction of the house, rare images of Baltimore villas of the same time period, and historical building tools on loan from Colonial Williamsburg.
A day-long celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, will mark the start of Building Homewood. The "19th-Century Building Trades Fair" runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will learn the art and mystery of traditional building trades from master craftsmen, including:
Henry Cersley, who has restored masonry at Monticello. Cersley will demonstrate brick-making techniques and three types of brick bonds -- Flemish, English and running bonds.
Tom Haas, door and sash maker and an interpretive craftsman for the Daniel Boone Homestead. Haas will show the use of planes and chisels in the creation of decorative millwork.
Ornamental plasterers from Hayles & Howe Inc., whose award-winning restoration work can be seen at Buckingham Palace, the Warner Theatre and the Maryland Club. The plasterers will show techniques used to make plaster moldings and medallions.
Local architect Sean Mackey, who will share the pattern books, quill pens and drafting instruments used by early 19th-century architects to produce building drawings.
Chris Ohstrom, a nationally-known historic paint and wallpaper authority. Ohstrom will demonstrate the hand-grinding of pigments and discuss how they were used to make paint.
For a small fee, adults and children 10 and older will have the opportunity to apprentice themselves to a craftsman for a half-hour, hands-on learning experience.
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., visitors are invited to slide lectures presented by Homewood researchers Damie Stillman, M. Edward Shull and Bernard Herman; by Ronald Hoffman, editor of the Charles Carroll of Carrollton Papers and professor of history at The College of William and Mary; and by Orlando Rideout, a noted Maryland architectural historian at the Maryland Historical Trust. Topics will include Homewood in the context of early 19th-century Maryland architecture, design sources for Homewood, its landscape and room use, and Carroll family history.
Admission to Homewood s 200th anniversary celebration on Sept. 28 is free. After opening day, admission to the exhibition Building Homewood: Vision for a Villa is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for students. For more information on any of these events, call 410-516-8639. Homewood House Museum can be found online at www.jhu.edu/historichouses/. Funding for Building Homewood: Vision for a Villa has been provided in part by the Maryland Humanities Council, the Maryland Historical Trust, the Washington Decorative Arts Forum, and the Wright Family Foundation.
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