Manship House Symposium set for April 23

The symposium “If Walls Could Talk” on April 23, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Manship House Museum, explores how careful investigation and restoration of a historic house can bring the home’s artistic expression back to life.

“The walls tell the history of the house, and through research we know that the Manships’ house was a personal expression of the family through art, architecture, and style,” said Michael Busbin, education coordinator for the Manship House.

The symposium will begin with “The Art of Illusion: The Wall as Artistic Expression” by fifth-generation master grainer Malcolm Robson, who will demonstrate the graining technique used in the dining room. Historic preservation specialist Gregory Free will follow with “Decorative Arts: CSI—Investigating Historic Techniques.”

After the lunch break, Dr. Edwin McAllister, Belhaven University, and Kate Morgan, Oceans Springs Public Schools, will discuss the birth of American popular music in the late 1880s and perform examples of ragtime, early fiddle blues, and other selections.

MDAH architectural historian and former executive director of the Historic Natchez Foundation Ron Miller will conclude the program with “Interpreting and Reinterpreting the Past.”

Refreshments will be served. The symposium is free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or reservations, call 601-961-4724 or email The symposium is being made possible in part by a grant from the Greater Jackson Arts Council.

Charles Henry Manship, the Civil War mayor of Jackson, built the Manship House in 1857. Manship was a decorative painter, and the Gothic Revival “cottage villa” contains abundant examples of Manship’s painting and wood graining. The Manship House Museum is located at 420 East Fortification Street, Jackson, and is open free of charge Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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