2014 Events


"Interpreting the Victorian House"

Friday September 26-Sunday September 28, 2014 

Chicago, IL

This “combination” event will include two days of touring wrapped around a full-day symposium.

·Friday, September 16 – Motorcoach tour

We will visit Crabtree Farm and its incomparable collection of Arts and Crafts furniture and decorative arts installed in period rooms, St. James Episcopal Cathedral (Edward Burling, 1871, rebuilt 1875) and the Driehaus Museum, located in one of Chicago’s only surviving palatial mansions from the Gilded Age. The tour will be followed by a reception at Glessner House, completed in 1887 from designs of renowned architect H. H. Richardson for a Chicago businessman.

·Saturday, September 27 – Symposium: Interpreting the Victorian House: a day-long symposium, sponsored by the Victorian Society and Glessner House Museum, will feature Richard Guy Wilson, professor at the University of Virginia and director of the VA Summe School in Newport, as the keynote speaker. The symposium will focus on architecturally significant houses, including Glessner House, the Lincoln home in Springfield, IL, the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee, WI, Hull House and the Nickerson mansion (Driehaus Museum) in Chicago, the estcott house in Springfield, OH, and Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, BC. 

·Sunday, September 28 – Motorcoach tour

Sunday's tour will take us to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, beginning with a drive through the town, passing grand historic estates. The day will include visits to George Williams College (1886), Yerkes Observatory (1897) and Black Point Estate (1888) on the hills high above Geneva Lake. The tour will be led by an historian and an architect.

Our headquarters hotel will be the Congress Plaza on Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Options will include the 3-day package and the Saturday symposium only.

Full tour brochures with registration information has been mailed to all national VSA members and is available for viewing & printing HERE


tom thumbThe Henry-Russell Hitchcock Award recognizes a book that makes a significant contribution to the study of architecture, decorative arts or related fields. The 2014 award is presented to Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles P. Stratton, P. T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity by Eric D. Lehman. Deeply humane and splendidly researched, the book is the first to do justice to Charles Stratton, better known as General Tom Thumb. It shows him to be a charming and dynamic entrepreneur who shrewdly exploited his international celebrity, by no means a hapless victim, and it does so with great insight and sympathy.

prideThe William E. Fischelis Award recognizes a book that makes a significant contribution to the study of 19th-century American art and artists. The 2014 award is presented to Tell it With Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial by Nancy K. Anderson and Sara Greenough. This beautiful catalogue casts new light on one of America’s finest sculptures, Saint-Gaudens’ memorial to the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Besides showing the sculptor’s extraordinary preparatory studies, it provides the first comprehensive examination of the soldiers who comprised that all-black regiment, along with a poignant inventory of their names, ages, and occupations. The volume is a magnificent study of the art and the soldiers it memorializes.


communityThe Ruth Emery Award recognizes a book that makes a significant contribution to the study of regional history. The 2014 award is presented to Community by Design: The Olmsted Firm and the Development of Brookline, Massachusetts, by Keith N. Morgan, Elizabeth Hope Cushing and Roger G. Reed. Whether or not Brookline was “the richest town in the world,” as was sometimes claimed, it was remarkably beautiful and influential. That this was largely the achievement of Frederick Law Olmsted is persuasively demonstrated by this superbly researched and well-written account.