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Reynolda House Museum of American Art to Host 50th Anniversary Weekend Events

Winston-Salem, NC – To celebrate its 50th anniversary this fall, the Reynolda House Museum of American Art is hosting two special events that offer an “insider” look at the beginnings of its extraordinary collection and an opportunity to meet the founder Barbara Babcock Millhouse.

On Friday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. the museum will present a special evening commemorating the publication of a new book: “Reynolda: Her Muses, Her Stories.” The event will feature a rare public appearance by Millhouse, granddaughter of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds, and a book signing with authors David Park Curry and Martha R. Severens. The authors will join Millhouse to talk about the remarkable stories behind the many major works of art in the collection, followed by a cocktail reception. Due to popular demand, the program will be repeated on Saturday, September 9 at 9 a.m. at a champagne breakfast. Every attendee will receive a copy of the book as well as admission to the museum’s acclaimed current exhibition, “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern.

“Reynolda: Her Muses, Her Stories” is part chronicle, part memoir, of the museum’s American art collection. Millhouse’s reminiscences, gathered and written by Severens, take readers behind the scenes of the art world and illuminate myriad ways in which significant art became part of the museum. David Park Curry, former senior curator at Baltimore Museum of Art, contributed the book’s opening essay, which synthesizes the 100-year Reynolda narrative from beloved family home to esteemed cultural institution.

Millhouse was not yet 30 years old when she began the transformation of her grandparents’ grand country estate into a public institution. In her remarks to those in attendance on opening day in 1967, she said, “It has been my earnest desire to utilize this house for the people of this city and state in such a manner that it should become more valuable and loved by my fellow citizens than by my family and me.” Today, the collection is considered to be one of the great small museum collections of American art in the country and is often referred to as “the Frick of the South.”

“These two events give us a splendid opportunity to make the pages of this beautiful new book come alive and to celebrate the achievements of the very visionary Barbara Babcock Millhouse with the people of Winston-Salem,” said Allison Perkins, executive director of Reynolda House since 2006.

Millhouse’s last public appearance at the museum was in 2009. She remains active with the museum and continues as a board member. She divides her time between her homes in Winston-Salem, New York and Ecuador.

Tickets for each event are $200 and can be purchased online at reynoldahouse.org/50.

About Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is recognized as a rare gem among the nation’s cultural institutions. The museum presents an exceptional collection of art by America’s most noted artists in an incomparable setting:  the 1917 country home of Katharine and Richard Joshua (R. J.) Reynolds. Spanning 250 years of painting, prints, sculpture, photography and video art, the collection has been guided with the prescient and unerring eye of Barbara Babcock Millhouse, granddaughter of Katharine and R. J. Reynolds. Highlights include important works by Albert Bierstadt, William Merritt Chase, Frederic Edwin Church, Chuck Close, Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, Martin Johnson Heade, Lee Krasner, Georgia O’Keeffe, Nam June Paik, Martin Puryear, Gilbert Stuart and Grant Wood. In addition to its collection of fine art, Reynolda House Museum of America Art holds decorative arts and estate archive collections and mounts exhibitions from all periods in the 2005 Charles and Mary Babcock Wing. Established in 1967 and now affiliated with Wake Forest University, the museum will mark two anniversaries in 2017—the 50th of its founding and the 100th of the completion of its estate—with major exhibitions and events. The complete Reynolda experience includes Reynolda Gardens, composed of formal gardens, walking trails and wetlands, and Reynolda Village, now an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants in many of the estate’s original buildings. For more information, please visit reynoldahouse.org.