Reynolda House – “The Art of Seating”

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Julia HoodAt the Thursday meeting of Hickory Rotary Club, Julia Hood, Coordinator of Education at Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, NC, spoke to the club about Reynolda House’s upcoming exhibition The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design. Joining Julia for the presentation was Elizabeth Chew, Director of the Curatorial and Education Division, and Stephan Dragisic, Director of Development.

Exhibition dates for The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design are Saturday, August 23, 2014 – Wednesday, December 31, 2014 in the Mary and Charlie Babcock Wing Gallery of the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, NC. The exhibition is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville FL, and the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Foundation Collection of American Art, curated by Ben Thompson, MOCA Jacksonville.

The exhibition features more than 40 iconic chairs that tell the dynamic and engaging story of the history, design, and culture of American seating. The Art of Seating carries the viewer through three centuries of design ranging from a Shaker rocking chair to Frank Lloyd Wright’s office chair. Styles represented in the exhibition include Victorian revival, Arts and Crafts, modern, postmodern, and contemporary. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to compare the decorative art on view in the gallery to the furnishings of Reynolda’s historic house collection, considering the domestic role of chairs in American culture.

Warren Centripetal LCW-Eames Chair Beer Current
 T.E. Warren, Centripetal Spring Arm Chair, 1850  Charles & Ray Eames, LCW (Lounge Chair Wood)  V. Beer, Current 2004
Chair 2 Chair 1 Chair 3
K. Smythe, Synergistics Synthesis XVII sub B1 Chair H. Bertoia, Bird Lounge Chair V. Beer, Current 2004

To view the Reynolda House The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design PDF presentation use this link: Reynolda House – “The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design” and view a video presentation below by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville FL.

In 1965, Charlie Babcock established Reynolda House as a non-profitReynolda House institution dedicated to the arts and education. In 1967, under the leadership of Mary and Charlie’s daughter Barbara Babcock Millhouse, Reynolda House became a public museum that would be the setting for a premier collection of American art, beginning with nine paintings including works by Frederic Church, Gilbert Stuart, Albert Bierstadt, William Harnett, and William Merritt Chase. The collection continued to grow and now boasts paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculpture dating from 1755 to present

Today, works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Grant Wood, Stuart Davis, and Jacob Lawrence hang on the walls of the restored historic house, while changing exhibitions are featured in 3,000 square foot gallery completed with the addition of the Mary and Charlie Babcock Wing in 2005. Decorative arts and archival objects complete the Museum’s three collections.

Much of the original estate can still be explored today on foot. In addition to the house, twenty-eight of the original thirty buildings remain. To the west lie the restored formal gardens, noted for their Japanese cryptomeria and weeping cherry trees. The sixteen-acre lake behind the house has reverted to wetlands, which provide a home for a variety of wildlife.  Many of the buildings in the village are now occupied by shops and restaurants. A short walk across the dam leads from the village to Wake Forest University built on land donated by Mary and Charlie Babcock. Reynolda House and Wake Forest University formally affiliated in 2002.

For more information visit or call 336-758-5150 or toll free 888-663-1149.

General Info

  • Meeting Time:
    Thursdays from 12:00PM to 1:15PM
  • Meeting Location:
    430 17th Avenue NW,
    Hickory, North Carolina 28601