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Brown Bag Lunch: German Silversmiths in New Orleans


Lydia Blackmore, Historic New Orleans Collection’s curator of decorative arts discusses German Silversmiths in New Orleans. Free to attend.

German silversmiths crafted some of the finest examples of southern silver in mid-nineteenth century New Orleans. First in small workshops, and then in larger manufactories, these silversmiths crafted goods for the most prominent jewelry stores on Canal Street. In this presentation, Lydia Blackmore will investigate the craftsmanship styles, personal histories, and changing partnerships of Adolphe Himmel, C. C. Kuchler, and their peers. From Christening cups to presentation pitchers these silversmiths chased and engraved silver to mark momentous occasions in Southern lives. 

Want to learn more about this topic? Check out some of these suggested readings: 

Crescent City Silver, New Orleans, LA: Historic New Orleans Collection, 1980.

Keyser, Christina. “Anthony Rasch: From Silversmith to Citizen.” Antiques and Fine Art Magazine Spring 2009, p. 186-191.

Dickinson, Alice Webb. Silver Bought and sold: A. B. Griswold & Co. and the Legacy of Northeastern Silver in New Orleans. MA Thesis, University of Delaware, 2012.

About Lydia Blackmore

Lydia Blackmore has been the decorative arts curator at The Historic New Orleans Collection since 2014. She earned an MA and a certificate in museum studies from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware; she also holds a degree in history from the College of William and Mary. Blackmore discovered her passion for silver in her first paid museum job at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. She has since worked as a curator, researcher, and cataloger for private collectors and at institutions such as Gunston Hall, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the US Supreme Court.

As the first decorative arts curator at The Collection, Blackmore is working to expand, conserve, and research the three-dimensional holdings. She is also responsible for the Williams Residence, the home of founders L. Kemper and Leila Williams. Her most recent exhibition was Goods of Every Description: Shopping in New Orleans, 1825–1925 on view at The Historic New Orleans Collection Fall 2016 – Spring 2017.

Earlier Event: February 4
Poetry Reading and Workshop