Historic Reynolda House Celebrates Two Momentous Milestones

As one of the younger of Winston-Salem’s historic homes, you’d expect Reynolda House, the historic “grand dame” of American Art, to be coy about its age. Instead, Reynolda is proud to celebrate this momentous milestone with a year-long party. (We should all look so good at 100!)

Highlights of the centennial festivities include a special Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit launching in August and the Centennial Christmas this December. Visitors this spring will enjoy historic home tours, as well as experience the lush gardens in full spring glory. There’s simply no better time of year to enjoy the estate that Katharine and R.J. Reynolds made their family retreat, creative muse, and living legacy.

Reynolda’s year-long celebrations kick off in August with the opening of “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern” (August 18-November 19, 2017), the first exhibition to examine the renowned artist’s self-crafted persona. Reynolda House is one of only three venues to host the exhibition, and the only venue south of New York.

This exhibition, organized by the Brooklyn Museum, presents a new and different perspective on the unified modernist aesthetic of O’Keeffe’s dress and art through paintings, photographs and selected items from her personal wardrobe never before exhibited.

In anticipation of high visitation for the exhibition, the Reynolda House is offering timed tickets for visitors and extending its hours to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Tickets for the exhibition go on sale in May.

In September, the museum marks its 50th anniversary with two events launching the publication of the first book to chronicle the stories behind the American art collection. “Reynolda: Her Muses, Her Stories,” will be a hardback coffee table book distributed by UNC Press and available for purchase in the museum’s store. Tickets for the events on Sept. 8 and 9 will include a copy of the book and a panel discussion with its authors.

Exactly one hundred years to the month the Reynolds family moved into their new home, Reynolda House will mark its centennial Christmas with historically accurate decorations, special tours of “A 1917 Christmas” and other commemorative events.

The centennial celebration continues through spring 2018, when Reynolda House hosts a major exhibition of another icon in American art also represented in the museum’s collection, Frederic Church. Organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts, “Frederic Church: To Jerusalem and Back” (Feb. 9-May 13, 2018) includes more than 40 paintings, featuring some of Church’s large, panoramic landscapes and accompanying studies. Reynolda House’s own Church masterpiece, “The Andes of Ecuador,” 1855, will be on view prominently in the historic house during the exhibition.

The museum has created a microsite, reynoldahouse.org/100, with information on events, news, and exhibitions during the centennial year. Reynolda House is also collecting stories about all aspects of Reynolda from visitors, volunteers, and the local community to add to a section of the site they are calling #myreynolda.

Reynolda House Museum of American Art is recognized as a rare gem among the nation’s cultural institutions. The museum presents an exceptional collection of art by America’s most noted artists in an incomparable setting: the 1917 American country home of Katharine and Richard Joshua (R. J.) Reynolds. Spanning 250 years of painting, prints, sculpture, photography and video art, the collection has been guided with the prescient and unerring eye of Barbara Babcock Millhouse, granddaughter of Katharine and R. J. Reynolds. Highlights include important works by Albert Bierstadt, William Merritt Chase, Frederic Edwin Church, Chuck Close, Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, Martin Johnson Heade, Lee Krasner, Georgia O’Keeffe, Nam June Paik, Martin Puryear, Gilbert Stuart and Grant Wood.

In December 1917, Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband, Richard Joshua (R. J.) Reynolds, moved into their newly finished estate at 2250 Reynolda Road, a few miles from downtown Winston-Salem and headquarters of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Fifty years later, the magnificent 60-room bungalow, set amid landscaped gardens and rolling hills, opened to the public in 1967 as a museum dedicated to American art. Today, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village attract tens of thousands of visitors from North Carolina and beyond each year.