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Stratford Hall Features Loan Exhibit At 2014 Washington Winter Show Today

"Celebrations at Stratford Hall: Family, Food and Festivities" will be the featured loan exhibition for the 2014 Washington Winter Show at American University's Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C., today, January 10-12, 2014. The theme of the show is "Southern Celebrations: Traditions Handed Down."

Throughout its use as a family home, Stratford has been a place of entertainment and celebration: from dances and horse races to bountiful dinners and quiet family moments.

The exhibition highlights the family, food, and festivities that made Stratford a welcoming beacon of hospitality, from the 18th century to the present day, and touches upon the Lee family and its treasured private collections, which have been passed down through the generations.

"We are so pleased to be the featured loan exhibitor and to have the chance to introduce Stratford Hall and its collections to a wider audience," said Gretchen Goodell Pendleton, Curator, Stratford Hall. "Many of the objects that will be on view are not regularly displayed, so this exhibit is a rare opportunity for visitors to see highlights from our own collections as well as some special objects from sister institutions and Lee family private collections."

Costumes, music and dancing, horse races and fox hunts, gracious dinners, and quiet family moments all punctuated the everyday lives of the Lee family and other residents of Stratford. Home to four generations of the Lee family of Virginia and later residents, Stratford can be seen as an embodiment of Southern entertaining and family traditions. The legacy of Stratford and the Lees survive in the collections of Stratford Hall and other Lee family historic sites, as well as in the personal private collections that remain treasured in the Lee family. This exhibit will serve as a small window into Stratford's intimate history; a past filled with family, food, and festivities.

The objects included in this special loan exhibition will touch upon topics such as childhood, baptisms, dining and foodways, dances and other festive activities. The items to be displayed span a two-hundred-year range (from a circa 1720-1740 teapot and tea bowl to a Stratford Hall Wedgwood plate that dates to the 1930s).
Highlights include:
•period cooking equipment used in the Stratford kitchen (descended through the Stuart family)
•silver cutlery and wine coasters engraved with the squirrel crest of the Lee family
•an early Chinese export porcelain soup plate with crab decoration matching a fragment found in a "rat's nest" in Stratford's main house
•a cradle and other intimate Lee family objects related to the celebration of birth and childhood
•a collection of sheet music belonging to Mary Custis Lee

For more information on the Stratford Hall Loan Exhibition please visit:

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