The second annual The House Beautiful lecture series
at The Johns Hopkins University's
Evergreen Museum & Library explores ways in which
Evergreen has both inspired — and been inspired
by — trends in artful design.
The series presents notable experts and authors in the
field of artistic design and decorative
arts. A lightly catered reception follows each of the
lectures, which will take place in the Bakst
Tickets are $20 each lecture, $15 for Evergreen
members and students with valid ID. Series
tickets are $48, $33 for Evergreen members and students
with valid ID.
Advance pre-paid reservations are recommended as
seating is limited. Tickets are available
online through MissionTix at www.missiontix.com,
by phone at 410-516-0341 or in person at the
museum (handling charges apply for phone and online
The three lectures in the series, which begins next
week, are as follows:
♦ "Billy Baldwin: Baltimore's Brilliant
Boy," by James Abbott, 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday,
"The gates of Evergreen had opened up a whole new
world to me. There I was surrounded by the
best art and music.... I knew I could never return to the
life I had led before." So wrote Baltimore-
born and internationally known Billy Baldwin (1903-83)
— the "dean of decorators" of the postwar era —
after one of his many visits to the Garrett home.
Evergreen Museum & Library director-curator James
Abbott will explore the wisdom,
versatility and occasional wickedness of Baltimore's most
recognized interior decorator, and examine
the unique relationship between his hometown and his
still-influential design vocabulary, which melded
common sense practicality with the fastidious precision of
a gentleman's tailor.
Before joining Johns Hopkins, Abbott held the position
of curator at the National Trust for
Historic Preservation, the Baltimore Museum of Art,
Boscobel Restoration and Historic Hudson Valley.
His publications include Jansen Furniture (2007) and
Jansen (2006), both published by Acanthus
♦ "Lockwood de Forest and the East Indian
Craft Revival," by Roberta A. Mayer, 6:30 to 8
p.m. on Wednesday, April 22.
Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) is best known as an
artistic decorator with a flair for designs
based on the arts and crafts of the Middle East and India.
He drew attention to the work of the
mistri of Ahmedabad, India — a subcaste of highly
skilled wood carvers — and House Beautiful
magazine described his New York City home as "the most
Indian house in America."
De Forest, who began his professional career in
partnership with Louis Comfort Tiffany,
created Anglo-Indian interior designs that were in demand
by some of the most visible figures of the
Gilded Age, including Mary Elizabeth Garrett.
Roberta A. Mayer, de Forest expert and author of the
new release Lockwood de Forest:
Furnishing the Gilded Age With a Passion for India
(University of Delaware Press, 2009), will explore
the designer's career within the context of the
late-19th-century East Indian Craft Revival. Mayer is
an associate professor of art history at Bucks County
(Pennsylvania) Community College.
♦ "Antebellum Opulence: Portland, Maine's
Victoria Mansion," by Arlene Palmer Schwind,
6:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27.
Victoria Mansion in Portland, Maine, appears today
much as it did in 1860, when it was decorated
and furnished by Gustave Herter as a summer home for a New
Orleans hotelier. The house is the
earliest known Herter commission, and the only one that is
still intact. Remarkably, more than 90
percent of the original contents survive, including
important furniture from the Herter workshops,
elaborate wall paintings, artworks, carpets, gas lighting
fixtures, stained glass, porcelain, silver and
Victoria Mansion curator Arlene Palmer Schwind will
discuss the history, architecture,
furnishings and restoration challenges of this unique
historic house museum, whose opulent interiors
suggest how the original 1857 Evergreen House may have been
decorated. A Baltimore native and
graduate of Goucher College, Schwind received a master's
degree in the Winterthur Program at the
University of Delaware and worked as a curator at the
Winterthur Museum before moving to Maine in