Twice a year, Bayou Bend presents renowned scholars who speak about interesting and important aspects of American decorative and fine arts.

This lecture series is generously endowed by Carol and Les Ballard.

Past Events in This Series

Pressed, Cut, Molded, and Cracked: Stories in American Glass

Drawing from collections including Bayou Bend and the Yale University Art Gallery, this talk illuminates the vital and often intimate roles glass has played in U.S. art and culture.

Artist, Storyteller, Son: Rembrandt Peale’s Reflections on Portraits of George Washington

Bayou Bend presents a dramatic staging of a talk given in the 1850s by prominent American artist Rembrandt Peale about portraits of the first president of the United States: George Washington.

From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic

With a special focus on the work of the Peale family artists as landscape painters, this talk delves into the important and underexplored tradition of landscape representation in Philadelphia.

Rather Elegant Than Showy: The Classical Furniture of Isaac Vose

Conservator and scholar Robert D. Mussey Jr. discusses “rediscovered” Boston cabinetmaker Isaac Vose, offering highlights of Vose’s masterpieces and distinguished clients.

They Tell the Story: Artifacts from the World of Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers

Talks and self-guided tours spotlight connections between the Revolutionary Generation—Alexander Hamilton, George Washington & others—and how their stories have been recorded in U.S. material culture.

Furniture in a New Taste: Early Anglo Cabinetmakers & the Lure of the East

Explore the emergence of a new Western aesthetic for elegant furniture styles powerfully influenced by East Asian designs.

Storied Quilts: Four Centuries of Quilt History

Quilts tell stories about topics as diverse as international trade, artistic expression, war, poverty, clothing, and friendship. In this talk, 10 iconic quilts provide inspiration for a discussion of quilt history from the 17th to 20th century. Free!