This lecture series revolves around the work of John Russell Pope, architect of the Branch House and the history of the Branch Family and their legacy. The series includes 5 incredible lectures by notable scholars that occur January-May this year.
Caroline Rennolds Milbank, January 10th, 6:30 p. m
A Grand Tour of the 1880s: Beulah’s Adventures in Art (and Romance)
Caroline Rennolds Milbank, a fashion historian and author, will speak about her ancestor Beulah Gould Branch as a young woman travelling abroad for the first time. From Beulah’s diaries and letters home come tales of adventure, danger, a growing passion for art, history and even flirtation.
James B. Garrison, February 21st, 6:30 p.m.
The Branch House and John Russell Pope’s Inspirations from England
James Garrison, an architect with over 35 years of experience in historic preservation will speak about the important role of The Branch House in Richmond’s history as well as its importance for the legacy of its architect John Russell Pope. Garrison’s work has included research and restoration work on many National Historic Landmark structures including the National Gallery of Art and several state capitols. He is the author of “Mastering Tradition, The Residential Architecture of John Russell Pope.”
Robert Winthrop, March 14th, 6:30 p.m.
The Branch Family and the Meanings of Monument Avenue to Its Original Residents
Twenty-first century Richmonders struggle with Monument Avenue’s meaning. The street has always sent different signals to different communities. Early residents saw both the future and the past in its composition.
Susan Piedmont-Palladino, April 25th, 6:30 p.m.
Drawing toward the World: Otto Eggers and the National Gallery of Art
Susan Piedmont-Palladino, Director of Virginia Tech’s Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC), and a consulting curator and writer with the National Building Museum in Washington will speak about Otto Eggers—a partner of John Russell Pope. Eggers was another outstanding professional involved in the design and execution of The Branch House. Pope’s partner, Eggers completed the National Archives, the Jefferson Memorial and the West Building of the National Gallery of Art commissions after Pope’s death in 1937.
Susan J. Rawles, Ph.D., May 30th, 6:30 p.m.
Decadent Digs: Gilded Age Bedrooms, 1880-1920
From the 1880s Aestheticism of VMFA’s Worsham-Rockefeller bedroom to the 1910s neoclassicism of Beulah Branch’s boudoir, the Gilded Age was remarkable for an eclecticism reflective of both technological advances and socio-economic change. This talk considers the content and context of patronage and taste that shaped elite bedrooms of the era.