Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington welcomes Dr. James F. O’Gorman, Grace Slack McNeil Professor Emeritus of the History of American Art at Wellesley College, to launch the publication of Hill-Stead: The Country Place of Theodate Pope Riddle, the first comprehensive volume on this classic American home. On Thursday, April 22 at 7 pm, Dr. O’Gorman, editor and lead essayist of the book, will lecture on “Variety and Innovation in the Architecture of Theodate Pope,” offering a long-overdue reappraisal of the contributions of this “woefully underrated designer of the first rank.” The book, published by Princeton Architectural Press, combines stunning photographs of the house’s architecture, art, furnishings and landscape with the latest historical scholarship. “This is a wonderful accomplishment,” said Cindy Cormier, Hill-Stead’s Director of Education and Curatorial Services, “and a long time in the making. We are thrilled to be able to offer such a gorgeous, comprehensive representation of this amazing place.” Admission to the lecture, reception and book signing is $8 for members & students, $12 for members-to-be. The 192-page hardcover book, available for sale at the museum, is $45 (members receive a 20% discount). For more information, call 860.677.4787 or visit www.hillstead.org.
Press attention to Hill-Stead, designed by Theodate Pope as a retreat for her parents Alfred and Ada, began soon after the family moved into the house in 1901. Publications such as The Architectural Review (November, 1902), The Architectural Record (August, 1906), and American Homes and Gardens (February, 1910) extolled the house, its furnishings and its hilltop setting, and included photo spreads of the exterior, interior and original formal garden. In his lecture, Dr. O’Gorman will explore the architectural style of the house, Theodate’s influences and resources as a designer, and the misunderstood role of McKim, Mead and White in Hill-Stead’s design – long credited to be the work of that celebrated architecture firm, the design of the house is revealed to be that of Theodate, one of this country’s earliest important women architects.
Dr. O’Gorman is a student of the art and architecture of the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the history of 19th-century architectural drawing. He has lectured extensively on these topics in this country and in England and Italy, and has authored, co-authored, edited or translated some eighteen books and catalogues and many more chapters and articles on American and European art and architecture.
A National Historic Landmark and an Official Project of Save America’s Treasures, Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT, is a stop on the Connecticut Art Trail and a member of Connecticut’s Historic Gardens. The period rooms are open for tours Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm May – October, and 11 am – 3 pm, November – April. The last tour of the day begins one hour before closing. Grounds are open daily 7:30 am-5:30 pm. For tour and program information, browse www.hillstead.org or call 860.677.4787.