Fiske and Marie Kimball: Shaping Our Experience of Buildings and Objects
March 20 @ 9:00 am - 3:30 pmFree
Please join the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies for an investigation of the many ways Fiske and Marie Kimball shaped our experience and understanding of art and architecture in the 20th century. From his pioneering publication Thomas Jefferson, Architect in 1916 through his thirty-year connection with Monticello and position as director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fiske Kimball remained a powerful and influential voice in the arts. Dubbed “the dean of American architectural history,” his scholarship established the rich legacy of the past while his criticism and involvement with public monuments guided design in the present. As a preservationist, he played a critical role at Monticello, Colonial Williamsburg, Fairmount Park, and numerous other historic sites; as the director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1925-55), he not only built the collection but also determined the display of the objects. Marie Kimball, also a historian and prolific writer, published widely and is most well known for her multi-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson; her publication Thomas Jefferson’s Cookbook (1941) provided updated recipes for modern audiences; and as the first curator of Monticello she had a seminal role in the display and interpretation of its objects. Each of the speakers in this conference will share with us a different facet of the contributions made by this “power couple” of the early twentieth century.