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Event Description:

One has only to look at the riot when UGA students saw Abbot Pattison’s “Iron Horse” as an intolerable intrusion into their space, representative of shifting societal racial mores. On the other hand, the Georgia Center, a pinnacle of midcentury modern design in Athens, was accepted as a pleasing example of “progress.” These dichotomies illustrate the need for an approach to decorative art, craft and material culture underpinned by acknowledgment that the voice of the critic is ever shifting and that we have new and engaging modes of interpretation.

The 11th Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts focuses on modern design and craft and faces the entanglements of history. Collecting decorative art as we know it is a 20th-century activity guided by 20th-century values and perceptions. Although many observers see collecting Georgia decorative art from an earlier period as nostalgic, motivated by “colonial revivalist” notions, it is also true that Americana as art was a modernist discovery. Traditional craft and design are expressions of our contemporary times, not relics. Georgia has a rich tradition of both studio craft and design in the 20th and now 21st centuries.

Georgia material studies have been hindered by an absence of diverse voices. It is innately beneficial to have the voices of scholars from different backgrounds at the table. We believe our patrons will see the enrichment this offers this field and will enjoy the slate of speakers and topics that this symposium provides.



  • Adrienne Childs (keynote speech)
  • Joseph P. Brady
  • Ashley Callahan
  • Stephen C. Compton
  • Stephen J. Goldfarb
  • Torren Gatson
  • Bill Markert
  • Tiffany Momon
  • Matthew and Philip Moulthrop
  • Abraham Tesser
  • John Daniel Tilford
  • Franklin Vagnone
  • William Dunn Wansley
  • Jason Wech


Topics Include:

  • Fashion
  • Silver
  • Furniture Design
  • Wood Turning
  • Collecting
  • Folk Art
  • Architecture


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