Polk’s America | Johanna Brown

Free Tickets Available Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/164327860053
Neat and Simple Elegance:
Moravian Decorative Arts in North Carolina
Eighteenth and nineteenth century visitors to the Moravian town of Salem, North Carolina, often remarked on the physical and cultural distinctiveness of this isolated backcountry community. The industry of the residents, the operation of a pseudo-guild system within the congregation town, and the deeply religious nature of the settlers fascinated outsiders who were allowed to visit and shop –but not live or work—within the carefully controlled theocracy. The governing boards of the Church certainly influenced the ways artisans worked, the setting of prices and wages, and the interaction of tradesmen with outsiders. Yet, these boards did not dictate style. Moravian artists and artisans in North Carolina produced furniture, pottery, silver, textiles, paintings, and countless other decorative objects. This material reflects the cultural backgrounds of the Moravian settlers and their ultimate assimilation within the backcountry South giving rise to a distinct aesthetic marked by “neat and simple elegance.”
In 1804 this carefully managed community opened a boarding school for girls. In June 1817 Sarah Childress and her sister Susanna arrived from Murfreesburough, Tennessee, in the care of their older brother, Anderson.
Johanna will focus on the history and decorative arts of the Moravians who settled in North Carolina and illuminate Sarah Childress’s time in the community.


Jul 27 2021


7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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