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The NSCDA-KY 2023 Kentucky Culture Symposium: Double Vision

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Saturday, August 12th, 2023, 9:00am-5:00pm

The Kentucky Historical Society, (Brown Forman Room), Frankfort and Liberty Hall Historic Site

The Kentucky Culture Symposium is an annual event that explores our shared history as reflected through Kentucky arts, religion, politics and education that define our culture.  It’s about who we are and why, and tailored for Kentuckians, museum professionals, dealers, auctioneers, collectors, historians, and enthusiasts.

The symposium is presented by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Each year we bring national and regional speakers to give you the latest scholarship. Profits support Liberty Hall Historic Site annual maintenance.

Ticket price: $100 per person: includes full program, continental breakfast, lunch, post-symposium reception, and tour. Purchase Tickets Here!

Sponsorships available from $250 to $5,000 – See Sponsorships Here


The Kentucky Culture Symposium: Double Vision program is listed below:

  • 9:00am-10:00am: Registrations and Continental Breakfast, Brown Forman Room
  • 10:00am: Welcome, Sponsor Recognition, and Program Introduction
  • 10:15am: Roberta Burns Wilson, presented by Jessica Stavros
  • 10:45am: Coffee Break
  • 11:00am: Speaker Introduction
  • 11:05am: An Honorable and Useful Society: The World of the Guilford Limner in Kentucky presented by Sally Gant
  • 11:35am: Lunch Break
  • 12:35pm: Speaker Introduction
  • 12:40pm: Decorative Inlay in Early Kentucky Furniture, 1790-1820 presented by Mack Cox.
  • 1:10pm: Refreshment Break
  • 1:25pm: Speaker Introduction
  • 1:30pm: Thomas Jefferson Wright presented by Lea Lane
  • 2:00pm: Closing and Announcements
  • 2:15pm-5:00pm: Adjourn to Liberty Hall Historic Site for closing reception, book signings, and decorative arts tour led by prominent scholar-dealer, Andy Anderson, and Symposium Speakers. Please note that this tour includes items that are not part of Liberty Hall's collection and are exhibited especially for you and this event.


2023 Kentucky Culture Symposium: Double Vision - Speakers

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Jessica Stavros: Jessica has over 19 years of experience as a museum professional.  As the Executive Director of Liberty Hall Historic Site, she spends nearly every day in the presence of Robert Burns Wilson’s Art and Poetry. With Liberty Hall’s extensive collection of family letters, she will provide insights into impressions of the artist and poet, Robert Burns Wilson, through the Brown family members who were his contemporaries, thereby highlighting who or what influenced his work and how his work and life influenced others.



Sally Gant

Sally Gant: Sally is the retired Director of Education and Programs for the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) and MESDA’s Summer Institute Program in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Her list of national speaking engagements and professional publications is too long to include here.  Working at MESDA and near Guilford County, North Carolina, she spent years researching the artist known as the Guilford Limner due to a large body of this artist’s work discovered there.  However, earlier work by the same artist was produced in Kentucky, so the Guilford Limner could be the Bluegrass Limner.  Sally will give us insight into her decade of research and new discoveries, not yet published, in her talk, An Honorable and Useful Society: The World of The Guilford Limner in Kentucky. There is no one on the planet better suited for this topic.



Mack Cox

Mack Cox: As a retired geologist and a current collector, scholar, and frequent speaker on Kentucky decorative arts, Mack brings a unique scientific approach to his research.  While he is a lifelong Kentuckian, he speaks on the most prestigious national stages, including Winterthur, Colonial Williamsburg, and MESDA among others.  His talk, Decorative Inlay in Early Kentucky Furniture, 1790-1820, is one he presented at Winterthur’s Inlay and Marquetry Conference in 2022.



Estill Curtic Penningrton

Lea Lane: Lea is curator of the Museum of Early Decorative Arts (MESDA). Born in Mount Sterling and a Winterthur graduate who interned at Colonial Williamsburg, Lea worked for the Cincinnati Art Museum, then as curator for Preservation Virginia. At Preservation Virginia she oversaw six historical sites, including Historic Jamestown and the John Marshall House. She has spoken at Colonial Williamsburg, MESDA, and numerous other national venues, as well as in Kentucky at the DAR's symposium.  Many of you may have known her grandparents, Judge Casswell Lane and his wife Sara Lane, prominent Kentucky collectors.  Her talk will be about the Mount Sterling artist, Thomas Jefferson Wright, a Mount Sterling artist. 


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