The next presentation was Pretty Pictures for Troubled Times: Portrayals of Plantation Properties. John Vlach was the speaker. He wrote the books Back of the Big House and The Planter's Prospect: Privilege and Slavery in Plantation Paintings. This was an interesting presentation on how the plantation was represented in art. It gave me a great idea for a conference proposal.
The next presentation was Reconstructions: Material Culture of the South Carolina Plantation by Dana Byrd. She discussed the plundering of the south by Union troops during the war. She stated that looting was done for 3 reasons either as souveniors, simply to destroy or due to envy of the weathy. It was an interesting session
Lunch was catered by Central Market. There were no tables in the room where lunch was served so we sat on a bench in the hall. On the wall was the strangest anime video called "City Glow". If you want to see it you can view part of it on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulpalandjian/4094110606/.
After lunch we listened to No Cotton in the Kingdom: Textiles in the Civil War South. This is the one session we were really looking forward to and unfortunately we were disappointed. It was presented by Katie Knowles. The first part of her talk was spent explaining what fibers were; I really think most of the audience knew what silk, wool, linen and cotton are and where they come from. The next part she discussed cotton in eighteenth century France. She finally got to the 19th century and discussed the importance of cotton on the south's economy. She knew quite a bit about the effect of the cotton trade but little on the use of cotton outside of plantation cloth. I guess I expected images of the different textiles and uses, which were not presented. She also made a bad connection between a dress in a painting and one in a fashion plate. Was not very impressed with her research or her presentation.
The final presentation was on Monumental Achievement: the Civil War and the Making of American Memory. This presentation included slides of different Civil War monuments, almost exclusively from the Northeast. It was interesting to see the different types of monuments groups and cities put up in recognition of the Civil War dead.
After the symposium we went to see the King Tut exhibit. Wow...disappointing! The majority of the exhibit consisted of artifacts from other kings and tombs. Yes, they were great to see but I expected Tut. There was only small artifacts and the bed from his tomb and a reproduction of his mummy. I guess I just thought there would have been at least one "wow" artifact, you know the items you really think of when you think Tut. So then we visited the Life and Luxury exhibit on 18th century France. Beautiful! Really enjoyed that one. No photos though.
We had dinner at a great little restaurant with a friend of Nancy's and then to bed early. We had not planned to attend the next day's event, just too expensive; however, there was a drawing for free tickets and Nancy won. So to bed early to be on time to catch the bus.
Sunday we start at the new Bayou Bend Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center, which by the way is really nice. The Center also houses the Kitty King Powell Library and Study Center. Nancy and I were given a tour of the library. Very nice space. We then boarded the bus to travel to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to view Discovering the Civil War, a traveling exhibit from the National Archives. The exhibit also included pieces from the Nau Civil War Collection. The National Archives exhibit was basically a display of documents from the Archives, which are now digitized. Little on the home front. The Nau collection was all military focused with lots of guns and dags of soldiers. I'm glad I saw it but glad I didn't have to pay for it. We then went to Silver Eagle Distributing, Nau's business. Here we had lunch and listened to a talk about Robert E. Lee followed by a viewing of more of Nau's collection. I was able to get a few photos from this viewing.
|Donation list from Gonzales |
for the comfort of soldiers in Terry's Regt.
|General Order No. 12 from Marshall, Tx.|
printed on wallpaper