For Immediate Release

Media Contacts: Melanie Mathos / Hannah Nuccio
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The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum Announces 2008 Program

Ticket Packages Now on Sale for The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum with the Countess of Arran as 2008 Keynote Speaker

Charleston, SC – The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum will be held Wednesday, March 12 through Sunday, March 16, 2008 and will benefit the education programs at the Gibbes Museum of Art. Opening Charleston’s acclaimed Antiques Week, the 2008 Forum will examine Southern fine and decorative arts in a program entitled Terra Incognita: New Discoveries and Influences on the South. National experts will illuminate paintings, furniture, textiles, ceramics and other objects made in the South, while noting the effect of other traditions on the region. Once viewed as made in an “unknown land,” Southern works are now highly sought in the marketplace.

The 2008 Forum begins March 12 with the Keynote Address delivered by the Countess of Arran. On her first visit to Charleston, Lady Arran will speak on her ancestral home in Castle Hill, a Palladian Jewel in an Arcadian Landscape. Built in 1730 in Devon, England, Castle Hill is a spectacular house furnished with beautiful objects, a vast estate which is still farmed and, most importantly, the family home of the Earl and Countess of Arran and their two daughters for the past eighteen years. As English country houses such as Castle Hill greatly influenced the plantations of the American South, Lady Arran’s address will inform the daily lectures which follow.

Wendy Moonan, antiques columnist for The New York Times, has described The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum as “reliably intellectual and utterly provocative, probably due to its intriguing mix of speakers.” This year’s schedule features lectures by experts from major museums, historic properties and private collections; beautiful receptions in landmark buildings; and four optional tours, including a
trip to Millford Plantation, one of the finest Greek Revival homes in the United States. In addition to the Countess of Arran, the 2008 Forum speakers are: Ronald Bourgeault, Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Linda Eaton, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate; Elizabeth M. Gushee, University of Virginia; Peter M. Kenny, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Robert A. Leath, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem; Angela D. Mack, Gibbes Museum of Art; Louis P. Nelson, University of Virginia; J. Thomas Savage, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate; Gilbert P. Schafer III, G. P. Schafer Architect, PLLC, New York; Matthew Webster, Drayton Hall; and Carolyn J. Weekley, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The program will conclude with Passionate Pursuits, a lively round table discussion, as Ronald Bourgeault and J. Thomas Savage are joined by two Charleston collectors, John M. Rivers, Jr. and Louis D. Wright, Jr., M.D.

“The Gibbes Museum of Art is pleased to be entering our third year as the host site and benefiting organization of the Charleston Art & Antiques Forum,” said Todd Smith, Gibbes Executive Director. “This year’s focus on Southern Art is a perfect complement to the mission of the Gibbes.”

The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum is organized by a dedicated group of volunteers. The 2008 Forum is being sponsored, in part, by Charlton Hall Auctions in Columbia, SC and Integria, a media services company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Last year’s sold-out Forum attracted participants from 23 states, including students from Sotheby’s Institute, New York. Wendell D. Garrett of The Magazine Antiques enthused: “I have attended and participated in a number of symposiums over the country, and this one is the best by every measure.”

CAAF Announces New Members of the Advisory Board
Carrie Rebora Barratt and Wendell D. Garrett, both featured presenters in 2007, have been named to the Board of Advisors of The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum. Ms. Barratt is Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and Manager of The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr. Garrett, known as the “Dean of American Antiques,” is currently Editor-at-Large of The Magazine Antiques and Senior Vice President at Sotheby’s New York.

“We are thrilled Carrie Barratt and Wendell Garrett enthusiastically agreed to volunteer their expertise to help us continue building a national decorative arts program in Charleston, one of America’s most historic cities,” said Jean Y. Helms, The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum Chair. “The Forum, now entering its second decade, has always focused on scholarship. To have these preeminent scholars joining our other expert advisors will ensure that we attract and present the very best in the field of Americana.”
Ticket packages are now available online at To receive the 2008 program brochure, write The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum; c/o Gibbes Museum of Art; 135 Meeting Street; Charleston, SC 29401 or call (843) 722-2706, extension 25.

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905 in historic Charleston, S.C. The Gibbes houses one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present. The Gibbes is currently undergoing major renovations and will reopen in the spring of 2016. The renovated museum will properly showcase its extensive collections and will feature an admission-free ground floor, providing a place to watch artists at work in studios and stroll through a world-class garden.

135 Meeting Street | Charleston, SC | 29401