Elyse Luray of PBS’s History Detectives will give a presentation on collecting art and antiques on Wed., Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Belmont University’s Massey Concert Hall. Luray’s visit comes in conjunction with the opening reception for The American Experience: Art and Decorative Arts from the Collections of Belmont University Alumni, a collection that will be displayed in Belmont’s Leu Art Gallery from January 26 through May 14. The reception and presentation are free and open to the public.
The exhibit reception will take place in the gallery on Wed., Feb. 3 from 5-7 p.m. with Guest Curator Mark Brown, Belmont Mansion executive director, who has pulled together an exhibit that explores a wide range of American fine and decorative art objects from the collections of Belmont University alumni. Luray’s talk will follow the reception.
The items on display—including furniture, silver, glass, textiles, paintings and prints—reflect American culture from the Colonial period to the end of the nineteenth century. Selected items include coin silver by the son-in-law of Paul Revere, Tiffany silver tongs, Tennessee made furniture and a quilt made by a slave.
Pieces were selected to illustrate some interesting topics from the American decorating past such as the crossover between American literature and the decorative arts or how home items deified George Washington. Other items illustrate how the 1876 American Centennial influenced items displayed in the home. The exhibit will also explore the roles of women and African Americans in the decorative arts.
Luray is an appraiser and historian in popular culture. Currently she is one of five hosts on PBS show “History Detectives” and an appraiser on HGTV’s “The Longest Yard Sale.” As a TV personality she investigates objects to reveal fascinating stories and unrealized value. A graduate of Tulane University, Luray is a certified appraiser and a New York state licensed auctioneer. In her presentation, she will offer tips to people who are interested in discovering something of interest and value in personal collections.
For more information, call (615) 460-6770. The Leu Art Gallery is located in the Lila D. Bunch Library on the campus of Belmont University.
Season 8 of History Detectives begins in the summer of 2010. During its season, the show airs on Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. on NPT-Channel 8 and PBS stations nationwide.