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Abigail Van Slyck to speak on the Children’s Cottage at the Breakers

January 26, 2011

Dr. Abigail Van Slyck, Professor of Art History at Connecticut College, will speak on “Architecture and the Reproduction of Privilege: A Cultural Landscape Approach to the Childrens Cottage at the Breakers” at 6:30pm on Thursday, January 27, at the River Club, 3 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Savannah, GA.  The lecture is free and open to the public. Dr. Van Slyck has distinguished herself as a leading scholar on aspects of the built environment, such as summer camps, catered to children — an area of investigation long overlooked by scholars.  Her current research explores how in 1886, Boston architects Peabody and Stearns designed a children’s cottage for the grounds of the Breakers, the Newport estate of Cornelius Vanderbilt. This presentation will use tools of analysis developed for the study of vernacular architecture to interpret this architect-designed building in light of social practices used by Gilded Age millionaires to distinguish themselves from their middle-class contemporaries. Children were integral to this process, as was the children’s cottage, which helped preserve the value of Vanderbilt offspring as dynastic resources, while also allowing the youngsters to take their privileges for granted.

For more information, e-mail David Gobel <dgobel@scad.edu> or call 912.525.6079.

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