No, there hasn’t been movement at the CentrePit site – there will not be a reconstruction of Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) on Main Street. But on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at the Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan House at 210 North Broadway, I will be talking about my experience as an Attingham Scholar in the 2014 Attingham Summer School in England. Light refreshments will be served starting at 5:30, and the lecture (it won’t be a formal oration, I promise. Just lots of cool photos, and amusing commentary) begins at 6 pm.
Every summer, the Attingham Trust runs a nearly three-week course for museum professionals and scholars from Europe and America. Devoted to the study of British architecture, art, furnishings, decorative finishes, gardens and landscapes, the highly regarded Attingham Summer School is recognized worldwide for its careful selection of students and high academic standards. Last summer, this farm girl from Kentucky was accepted into the prestigious program. I received a scholarship from the Attingham Trust, and a grant from the Edith S. Bingham Preservation Fund at Preservation Kentucky helped me with transportation costs. Preservation Kentucky and the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation are co-hosting my talk.
The focus of the Attingham Summer School was at once both immediately familiar – historic country homes/estates are everywhere in the Bluegrass! – and discordantly foreign – high-style is the exception, not the rule, in my vernacular landscape.
The 18 days exploring, considering, debating (and eating) our way across Sussex, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire (and points in-between) left little time for reflection, other than a rewinding, every day, of a palpable sense of wonder, excitement, and sheer disbelief that this experience was really happening.
So if you have the evening free – come drool over some amazing landscapes and enormous, magnificent houses. Transport yourself across the pond for a half hour – and it’s free!