Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Discovering the Virginia Parlor 1730-1800

October 11, 2012 @ 8:00 am - October 14, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

Discovering the Virginia Parlor 1730-1800. Three-day annual symposium exploring the architecture, decoration and furnishings of the Virginia parlor. Lectures & site visits.

Stratford Hall Parlor

Proposed Stratford Hall Parlor scheme

In conjunction with the completed restoration of Stratford Hall’s circa 1790 parlor, the 2012 Cultural Landscape Symposium will explore the evolution of the Virginia parlor from 1730 to 1800. With the rise of gentility and consumer culture, parlors became increasingly important spaces in Virginia homes. This three-day program (with an optional extra day of activities) will feature a combination of lectures and site visits that will explore the evolving architecture, decoration and furnishing of these important domestic spaces.







Robert Leath is the Vice-President of Collections and Research for Old Salem Museums and Gardens.  In that capacity, he oversees the collections, library and research center at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) as well as collections displayed at the historic sites of Old Salem.  Previously, Mr. Leath served as Curator of Historic Interiors for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Curator of Collections and Restoration for the George Washington’s Fredericksburg Foundation, and Assistant Curator for the Historic Charleston Foundation. He is currently an advisor on historic furnishings for James Madison’s Montpelier and Stratford Hall, and serves on advisory boards for the Charleston Art and Antiques Forum and the New Orleans Antiques Forum.

Mark Wenger is an architectural historian with Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker, Architects in Williamsburg, Virginia. Before joining the firm, he worked for 23 years with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He has participated in many restoration and reconstruction projects, including President James Madison’s Montpelier, “Light Horse Harry” Lee’s Parlor at Stratford, and the lately completed coffeehouse in Williamsburg. He has written several articles about early architecture in the Chesapeake region.

Calder Loth is Senior Architectural Historian for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  He also serves on advisory committees for numerous historic sites, including Gunston Hall, Stratford Hall, Maymont, Kenmore, Montpelier, Menokin, and the University of Virginia.

Phil Mark is currently the Director of Preservation at Stratford Hall and is charged with the preservation and restoration of Stratford’s historic structures.  He has been an active member of the preservation field for over ten years and has worked at other historic sites, including Mount Vernon.

Gretchen Goodell served as Associate Curator at George Washington’s Mount Vernon until 2007, where she worked on the new museum exhibits in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center.  She currently is the Curator at Stratford Hall, where she heads the collections department and its activities, including acquisition and documentation of a growing collection of fine and decorative arts, architectural fragments, archaeology, and paleontology; museum exhibition development; and furnishing and interpretation projects in the historic area exhibit buildings.


Thursday, October 11, 2012
5:00 PM – 10:00 PM Optional dinner and reception in the Stratford Hall Dining Room and Cheek Guest House

Friday, October 12, 2012
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Registration and reception (duPont Library)
9:30 AM – 9:35 AM Welcome by Paul Reber
9:35 AM – 10:00 AM Keynote talk by Calder Loth
10:00 AM – 10:50 AM Presentation by Mark Wenger
10:50 AM – 11:45 AM Presentaton by Robert Leath
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Stratford Hall Parlor Discussion by Phil Mark, Gretchen Goodell and Mark Wenger
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Great House tour
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Cocktails
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM Dinner at Stratford

Saturday, October 13, 2012
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM Breakfast buffet (Stratford Hall Dining Room)
9:30 AM – 10:25 AM Bus Trip to Fredericksburg
10:25 AM – 11:30 AM Kenmore
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Walk/drive to Federal Hill (estimated 5-minute walk)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Federal Hill
1:00 PM – 1:15 PM Travel to lunch
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Lunch in Fredericksburg
2:15 PM – 2:30 PM Board bus to Elmwood
2:30 PM – 3:15 PM Travel to Elmwood
3:15 PM – 4:00 PM Elmwood
4:15 PM – 4:30 PM Travel to Brooke’s Bank
4:30 PM – 5:25 PM Brooke’s Bank
5:25 PM – 6:00 PM Return trip to Stratford Hall
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM Cocktails & dinner in Stratford Hall Dining Room

Sunday, October 14, 2012
8:00 AM – 10:30 AM Breakfast (Stratford Hall Dining Room) – Close of event

Symposium Costs

Choose from one of the symposium packages below:

Friday, Oct. 12 – Sunday, Oct. 14: includes all meals, 2 nights accommodations, tour fees & materials – $400 per person

Friday, Oct. 12 – Sunday, Oct. 14: includes all meals, tour fees & materials, but NO overnight accommodations – $230 per person

Thursday, Oct. 11 – Sunday, Oct. 14: includes all meals (plus reception/dinner on Thursday), 3 nights accommodations, tour fees & materials – $565 per person


To reserve a place in the symposium (limit 31), please contact event coordinator Jon Bachman at 804-493-1972 during business hours 9 AM – 5 PM weekdays, or leave a phone message at 804-493-8038 ext. 7787. Checks for registration fees can be mailed to Jon Bachman, c/o RELMA, 483 Great House Road, Stratford, VA 22558. To pay by credit card, call 804-493-1972 during business hours 9 AM – 5 PM daily.

Reservations are now being taken for an optional reception, dinner, and one night’s accommodations for the afternoon and evening of Thursday, October 11. Please call Lesley Brooks at 804-493-1966, or email requests to lbrooks@stratfordhall.org to make lodging reservations by September 28, 2012. The cost is $165 per person for this optional Thursday evening dinner/lodging package.

Tour destinations

Federal Hill

Federal Hill

Federal Hill, Fredericksburg, VA

Built in 1792 by Robert Brooke, Governor of Virginia from 1794-1796, and named for the Federalist Party which he helped found.  The home is privately owned and is not open to the public.










Kenmore, Fredericksburg, VA

Built in 1752 by Col. Fielding Lewis for his bride, Betty Washington Lewis, only sister of George Washington.  Lewis, a successful Fredericksburg planter, lost part of his fortune when Virginia’s government failed to reimburse him for financing the Fredericksburg Arms Manufactory during the Revolution.  After Lewis’s death in 1782, the estate was eventually sold out of the family.  The ceilings, done by an artist known only as “The Stucco Man,” are considered among the finest examples of decorative plasterwork in America.








Elmwood, Essex County, VA

Built circa 1774 by Muscoe Garnett of Mt. Pleasant, one of the largest landholders in Essex County, Elmwood overlooks the Rappahannock River valley.  The imposing Georgian house, with woodwork attributed to William Buckland, is 100 feet long with a central projecting pavilion on the front.  Extensive renovations during the mid twentieth century returned the exterior to its original appearance.  Elmwood is privately owned by seventh-generation descendants of the Garnett family.




Brooke’s Bank


Built circa 1751 by Sarah Taliaferro Brooke following the death of her husband William, Brooke’s Bank is a classic Georgian house, laid in Flemish bond with an elaborately molded belt course.  Its two massive end chimneys, which tower 20 feet above the roof, feature diamond-patterned designs made with glazed brick headers.  In the 1770s, parts of the interior woodwork were embellished with Federal period details, and, during the 1930s, additions were made to the exterior.  The most recent owner has restored the house to its original Georgian character.


October 11, 2012 @ 8:00 am
October 14, 2012 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:

Follow Along with Stratford on Instagram

4 months ago
  • 62
  • 0
4 months ago
  • 58
  • 2
4 months ago
  • 92
  • 0
4 months ago
  • 31
  • 0
4 months ago
  • 94
  • 2
4 months ago
  • 94
  • 3