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NHS Virtual Winter Lecture Series – The Gilded Household: Social Life and Servants in America, 1865-1914
April 22 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pmfree
In collaboration with the Connecticut League of History Organization, the Norwich Historical Society is sponsoring a free virtual winter lecture series based on topics from our Walk Norwich Trail system. The four-part lecture series is free and open to the public. The lectures will be recorded and available on our website and social media platforms for on-demand viewing.
The final lecture in our virtual winter lecture series will focus on topics from the Millionaires’ Triangle Trail. John Tschirch, former Director of Education and Director of Museum Affairs and Architectural Historian of the Preservation Society of Newport County, will give a lecture titled: The Gilded Household: Social Life and Servants in America, 1865-1914.
This illustrated lecture explores the intricate social customs of the Gilded Age. With expanding industrial wealth, American society evolved ever more elaborate rituals to entertain, requiring large domestic staffs. Receiving guests at home for tea, elaborate dinners and dances had their counterparts in the life of the servants who kept the house running at polished perfection. This is a story of society, fashion, immigration, labor, and technology affecting the organization and use of the American house at a transformational period of history.
The lecture will be held Thursday April 22, 2021 at 3:00pm via Zoom. The lecture is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.
This webinar is offered in collaboration with the Connecticut League of History Organizations. For more information about CLHO, please visit www.clho.org.
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About the Speaker
John Tschirch is an award-winning architectural historian. He received his M.A. (1986) in Architectural History and Historic Preservation from the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. His thirty-year career in the preservation and study of historic landmarks across the globe brought him on treks to French chateaux, English castles, Italian villas, Austrian palaces, Croatian fortresses, Argentinian mansions, and the Gilded Age houses of America. John’s work in preserving and interpreting historic sites has been featured in the Magazine Antiques, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler and he has appeared on the A&E documentary series, America’s Castles.
From 1986 to 2013, he served the Preservation Society of Newport County, first as Director of Education and later as Director of Museum Affairs and Architectural Historian, overseeing the curatorial, conservation, education and research activities at the organization’s eleven historic house museums and gardens. His professional publications include “The New Thing at Newport: The Tiffany Glass Wall at Kingscote” in The Magazine Antiques (January 2013), the essay, “Newport Cottages” for The Encyclopedia of New England Culture (Yale University Press, 2005) and “Newport” in Parisian Palaces of La Belle Epoque (Paris 1992). In recognition of his service to historic preservation, he is an Honorary Member of the Garden Club of America and received the 2013 Frederick C. Williamson Professional Leadership Award from the Rhode Island State Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission.
John is presently an instructor in design history for Rhode Island School of Design CE, which presented him with the 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award, and he is adjunct faculty in art history at Bristol Community College, where his students provide endless inspiration and amusement. He is also the creator and author of a monthly design history blog called John Stories: Confessions of the Globetrekking Architectural Historian, John Tschirch, featuring his photographs and commentary on historic places.