The Preservation Society of Newport County announced in a press release today that the Second Annual Emerging Scholars Colloquium will take place on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Isaac Bell House. Four young scholars and professionals in the fields of decorative arts and historic preservation will share their original research during the event.

The Emerging Scholars Colloquium is organized by The Preservation Society of Newport County in collaboration with the Decorative Arts Trust. Beginning at 10 a.m., each scholar will give a half-hour presentation on his or her specific area of study.

“We’d love for students to spend their Saturday with us,” said Leslie Jones, the Director of Museum Affairs and Chief Curator at the Preservation Society. “There are so many incredible arts programs at area colleges and universities, and we would also encourage high school students to come because this gives an opportunity for a sneak peek at what this research field is all about. You are never too young to start looking at decorative arts.”

Participating scholars and their presentations are as follows:

• “The Ornate Staircase Railing at Marble House: A Unique and Exceptional Reflection of Versailles in Newport” by Mathilde Tollet, 2020 Preservation Society Research Fellow. This presentation will explore the strength of French influences on American Gilded Age design practices through the example of the wrought iron railing of the staircase at Marble House.

Tollet has an M.A. degree in Museology and Conservation from l’Ecole du Louvre, Paris, and Complutense University, Madrid.

• “A Tale of Two Families: An Engraved Tea Service in Antebellum Augusta, Georgia” by Kayli Rideout, Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Boston University. Learn how a silver tea service from the home of a wealthy family in Augusta, now in the collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, preserved the stories of industry and power in antebellum Georgia.

Rideout is a recent recipient of the William C. and Susan S. Mariner Fellowship for Emerging Museum Professionals, sponsored by the Decorative Arts Trust. Most recently she was the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Curatorial Intern in American Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

• “Discriminate Doorknobs: An Inventory of Door Hardware at The Breakers and the Delineation of Spaces using Decorative Details” by Sebastién Dutton, 2020 Preservation Society Research Fellow. Dutton will give an overview of the variety of door hardware used throughout The Breakers and explain how the different designs and styles are used to create separation between public and private, family and service spaces.

Dutton has an M.A. degree in Design Studies and Historic Preservation from Boston Architectural College and has received three consecutive scholarships from the Preservation Society to attend the Newport Symposium.

• “Edgefield Stoneware in The Met’s American Wing” by Kate Hughes, 2018-2020 Peggy N. Gerry Research Scholar, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hughes will discuss her involvement with The Met’s upcoming exhibition focusing on the 19th-century alkaline-glazed stoneware of Old Edgefield District, South Carolina, a place of monumental pottery production that would not have been possible without the forced labor of enslaved African Americans.

Hughes earned her M.A. degree from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York. She was most recently the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in Historic Interiors at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

A box lunch is included in admission to the Colloquium, as are complimentary visits to various Preservation Society properties.

Registration prices for the Emerging Scholars Colloquium are as follows: $5 for students; $30 for Preservation Society of Newport County and Decorative Arts Trust members; and $40 for the general public. Advance registration is required. Isaac Bell House is located at 70 Perry St.

“We hope to foster further original research by young scholars through this Colloquium,” Jones said. “It will be a great opportunity to connect the Preservation Society with these really unique research subjects that young scholars are bringing to life.”

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The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history. Its 11 historic properties – seven of them National Historic Landmarks – span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

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