2015 Events

The Victorian Society in America

49th Annual Meeting and Tour

A Southern Sampler:  Beaufort, SC, Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC

Wednesday, May 6th through Sunday, May 10th 2015

Wednesday, May 6th PRE-CONFERENCE TOUR to BEAUFORT SC -  noted for its beautiful natural vistas and impressive architecture, Beaufort is located on the island of Port Royal and called the “Queen of the South Carolina Sea Islands.” Enjoy a walking tour of historic and private homes with local guides, luncheon served in a private home, sponsored by the Beaufort County Open Land Trust, and a tour of  the Parish Church of St. Helena, one of the oldest churches in North America.

Wednesday Evening May 6th – 6:30 PM Opening Reception at The Telfair Academy Opening remarks by Tania Sammons, Curator of the Owens Thomas House; Tours of the Telfair Academy Museum of Art.

Thursday, May 7th Savannah -   Walking tour and trolley ride giving an overview of Savannah, with one or two stops; lunch at a fine-dining restaurant in a 21th century warehouse that features classic Southern cooking, and an afternoon tour of three historic house museums, the Owens-Thomas House, Andrew Low House, and Green-Meldrim House.

Friday, May 8th Savannah - We will start the morning with a talk in the Chippewa Room at the hotel: Understanding Savannah’s Urban Plan and Architectural Traditions: by Robin B. Williams, Ph.D., Chairman, Department of Architectural History, Savannah College of Art and Design. The city of Savannah was laid out in 1733 around four open squares, each surrounded by four residential blocks and four civic blocks. Additional squares were added during the 18th and 19th centuries, and by 1851 there were 24 squares in the city. Following the talk, we will depart from the hotel on foot to explore Savannah’s famous Squares. Along the way, we will visit Congregation Mickve Israel, the only purely Gothic revival synagogue in the United States. Following lunch, we will take a bus tour of Historic Savannah College of Art & Design’s Buildings.

Saturday, May 9th Savannah - A morning walking tour of some of the most prestigious private homes around Monterey Square, which was designed in 1847 and named to commemorate the 1846 Battle of Monterey during the Mexican American War. Lunch and Annual Business Meeting at the private Oglethorpe Club. Built in 1857 in the Classic Revival style, this house was originally a private residence for Edmund Molyneux, British counsel at Savannah, and served as the British Consulate until his return to England in 1863. The afternoon will feature tours of Churches in the vicinity, including The First Baptist Church of Savannah (1833), Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah (1850) and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (1899). In the evening, our Closing Banquet and Awards Presentation in the Harborview Room of the De Soto Hilton Hotel, on the 15th floor overlooking the city.

Sunday, May 10th POST-CONFERENCE TOUR to Charleston, SC -  Walking tour through historic downtown Charleston, exploring the rich, cultural heritage of one of America's most charming cities.  From the Colonial period, through the War Between the States and Reconstruction, to her current renaissance, an incredible timeline of events will come alive on this overview of the city as we walk from the Market, through the old walled city, to the Battery.

Our headquarters hotel is the Hilton Savannah De Soto. Full tour brochure and registration form will be mailed to all national VSA members in March and available on the VSA website, www.victoriansociety.org, or by contacting the VSA office (215) 636-9872, by email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and available HERE for download. 

2015 Victorian Society in America Book Awards

carsoThe Henry-Russell Hitchcock Award recognizes excellence in discussions centered on architecture or the decorative arts, and includes related topics such as landscape, painting, interiors, biographies of designers or architects, and museum or historic house exhibition catalogs. This year's award is presented to American Gothic Art and Architecture in the Age of Romantic Literature By Kerry Dean Carso, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2014. To induce a thrill, Victorians read British Gothic literature.  Carso shows how these experiences were catalysts for a Gothic sensibility in American painting, architecture, garden design and literature.


The W. E. Fischelis Award recognizes excellence in discussions of nineteenth-century art and artists. The 2015 award is presented
to Beyond Grief: Sculpture and Wonder in the Gilded Age Cemetery by Cynthia Mills,  Washington: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2014. This beautiful, thoughtful book discusses high-style memorial sculpture and the functions it served for its patrons and in the public realm of the cemetery, in exhibitions, and in the media.   

cinnsilverThe Ruth Emery Award recognizes excellence in discussions of regional topics. For 2015, the award is presented to Cincinnati Silver: 1788-1940  by Amy Miller Dehan, with contributions by Janet C. Haartz and Nora Kohl,  Cincinnati: Cincinnati Art Museum in Association with D. Giles Limited, 2014. This volume thoroughly demonstrates that Cincinnati was a consumer and producer of luxury silver for its own use, and for the nation.

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