@Curate Reynolda

Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Meet the Fall 2013 Reynolda House Education Interns


Emily Colby is a senior at Wake Forest University where she studies Art History and Communication. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Emily is excited to learn more about the history and operation of Reynolda House. She hopes to learn about the education programs that Reynolda House offers, giving the public opportunities to engage with the artwork. After graduating from Wake Forest, Emily hopes to spend time working abroad and eventually to return to the US to pursue a career in an art museum.


From Lexington, NC, Judi McCulloch will graduate from Salem College in May with a degree in Art History. She hopes to pursue a career in a gallery or corporate art sales, and possibly attend graduate school. She looks forward to her time at Reynolda House and the experience she’ll gain with a house museum and from being surrounded by many types and styles of art. Judi is researching Claes Oldenburg’s Spoon Pier (ca. 1974-75) for her correlation research.




Angela Reavis is a senior double-majoring in Art History and Religion at Salem College. Originally from Boonville, NC, Angela is excited to begin her internship at Reynolda House and hopes to gain an in-depth understanding of how the museum manages their collection and balances it with the running of the historical house. After graduating from Salem, Angela plans to continue her studies in graduate school and then obtain a job working in the museum field.


Are you a former intern at Reynolda House Museum of American Art? Check out our new Linkedin group: 

Alumni of the Reynolda House Museum of American Art Intern ProgramAlumni of the Reynolda House Museum of American Art Intern Program

Dining at Reynolda: Butler’s Pantry

The butlers served three meals a day from this pantry. The food, cooked in the basement kitchen, was sent up by dumbwaiter and kept warm in the steam table. After the family sat down, two butlers would begin to serve the food on silver platters. The head of the table pressed a foot bell at the finish of each course to call the butlers in to clear the dishes.

Dining at Reynolda: Lake Breakfast Porch

Breakfast rooms were introduced into the plans of country houses so that the first meal of the day could be enjoyed in cheerful, light-filled surroundings. Since the family was likely to be dressed casually, simple furniture was preferred. The checked pattern in this breakfast room was inspired by the leading international modernist group, the Wiener Werkstatte (Vienna Workshop), which was centered in the Austrian capital. Josef Hoffmann, one of its founders, was known for his creative use of a checkered motif that also appeared in metalwork, wall decoration, and fashion.


This month we are observing all aspects of food at Reynolda. From the rich history of Reynolda as an experimental farm in 1917 to the quotidian routine of staff lunch, #ReynoldaFoodies will follow it all!

#whatsforlunch is a collection of still life images of staff lunches at the Museum and an examination of #thingshumble in the spirit of our current exhibition, “Things Wondrous & Humble: American Still Life” on view through December 8, 2013.






Send us your lunchtime still lifes! Email: oxfordps@reynoldahouse.org

Eating at Reynolda: The Dining Room

imageKatharine regularly invited guests to join the family for dinner on Sunday after services at Reynolda Presbyterian Church. The meal began promptly at 1:30 p.m. The children learned table manners at an early age and were expected to remain seated throughout the three-course meals. Guests might include relatives, teachers at the Reynolda School, its principal, the minister, and village residents.

The Dining Room features an Adam Revival-style dining table with several extensions and 16 needlepoint covered chairs. Matching mahogany sideboards and demilune cabinets complete the furnishings.


There was something artistic about the work, it was beautiful— setting up and arranging the table…it was absolutely a pleasure to do it.

-Harvey Miller, head butler, recalling the late 1930s


Pictured above: Marble mantel detail in the Dining Room. 

A BBQ at Reynolda

Guest blogger: Lora Smith, Marketing & Communications Summer 2013 Intern. Lora is a graduate student at Wake Forest University in the Department of Communication.  

Reynolda is a natural gathering spot for many visitors and locals in the Winston-Salem area. When I first visited Reynolda, I wondered what it would have been like to live here. Walking through the outside areas such as the gazebo and in the front near the fountain, I could envision the sound of laughter and music filling the air. I let my mind wander to envision events that may have occurred on this land. I was trying to rack my brain to think of what the people were eating, what they were drinking and what they were wearing. Not surprisingly, Reynolda hosted many events, one which will be detailed in the paragraphs below.

On July 4, 1916, before the Reynolds family occupied their bungalow, the estate was the site of an Independence Day barbecue for the district managers, salesmen and heads of departments of the entire tobacco company. According to the somewhat flowery Winston-Salem Journal article the following day, “Reynolda, the magnificent country estate of Mrs. R.J. Reynolds was the scene yesterday afternoon and evening of one of the most pleasant and delightful gatherings ever held in this section, the occasion being the Fourth of July barbecue given by Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Reynolds to the division men, salesmen and heads of the departments of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, along with their wives and a few invited guests. More than 400 enjoyed the hospitality…and the barbecue, with all of the many accessories, was par excellence, the whole combining to satisfy the internal man and to sooth the external….


Picturesque scenery surrounded the guests who utilized all parts of the estate, “the guests gathered on the slope near the boat house, and spent half-an-hour enjoying the cool of the evening and the scenery around the lake….Just as the sun, a fiery circle, was sinking behind the horizon, the bugle sounded, summoning the guests to a real barbecue. Barbecue is not the word to use in this connection, although there was barbecued pork and barbecued beef, for the barbecue was only a small part of the many delicious things served. It is also worthy of note that everything served at this barbecue (except pepper and salt only) was grown or raised on the Reynolda farm.”


Since the BBQ featured hogs, it is important to note that the hogs were Tamworths. Mr. Reynolds had the meat was cured in a smokehouse in Reynolda Village In the photo below, the smokehouse is in the left foreground. It was significantly enlarged sometime before 1927. Around 10,000 pounds of pork was processed each year. 


As the smell of BBQ filled the air, it was said after the dinner festivities, the guests sang along to patriotic and sentimental favorites performed by a band, including “The Star Spangled Banner,”  ”The Old North State,” and “Auld Lang Syne.”


Historical information provided by Phil Archer, Reynolda House Director of Public Programs

Images courtesy of Reynolda House Museum of American Art

The Original Entrance

Guest blogger: Betsy Hicks, Marketing & Communications Intern 2012-13

In a recent conversation about the historic house, Trish Oxford, social media manager at Reynolda, and I tried to guess which door was the original, formal front entrance to the bungalow.

Both new to Reynolda, our guess was the door that sits at the front of the house, just to the right of the front porch.

I thought this door was the original entrance. I was wrong!

As it turns out, though, we were both wrong! Upon doing a little reading, it turns out that what is now a beautiful front patio, garden, and fountain actually used to be the entrance to the House. The original Bungalow design had a large, circular driveway where there is now a garden. The front of the House actually had a large portico to shield guests from weather conditions.

Had I taken this same picture in 1917, I would have been standing on the driveway.

In her book, “Reynolda, 1906-1924,” Barbara Babcock Millhouse described the original driveway, saying “(it) looped around a grass island and under the porte-cochere, which sheltered the front entrance.” According to Millhouse, the driveway was also a favorite spot to take pictures before visitors departed (Millhouse 40-42).

With such a grand driveway, I can’t help but think of the Reynold’s family as the American version of the Crawley family, of Masterpiece Theater’s “Downton Abbey.”

Majestic Grounds at Reynolda

Guest blogger: Betsy Hicks, Marketing & Communications Intern 2012-13

The beauty and majesty of the The Old Hunting Grounds (1864) oil painting by Worthington Whittredge cannot be understated – the artist’s incredible use light and darkness transports viewers into the forest. Worthington Whittredge’s personal love of nature is abundantly clear in much of his work, and is certainly evident in this piece. With the gentle trees and branches forming a simple, cathedral-like buttress on which the work is focused, the artist’s spiritual connection with the subject is proof of nature’s transcendence.  


As spring turns to summer in Reynolda Village, The Old Hunting Grounds is apropos. The path between Wake Forest University and Reynolda is green and lush – it is impossible not to appreciate the beauty and serenity of nature when you’re surrounded by such powerful examples of it every day.


If you’re need in need of beauty in its purest form, look no further than The Old Hunting Grounds and Reynolda House to renew your spirit.

The 1905 Grand Tour

In March 1905, R.J. and Katharine Reynolds boarded the ocean liner The Baltic, then the largest vessel in the world, en route to a three-month Grand Tour of Europe. The carefully planned honeymoon trip included stops in London, Paris, Venice, and Vienna.

This spring we chronicled the newlyweds trip on Reynolda House’s Facebook page. Below is a compilation of our posts as the R.J. and Katharine traveled through Europe during the first few months as husband and wife.


February 27 New York

Happy anniversary R.J. and Katharine!

108 years ago, Katharine Smith and R.J. Reynolds were married and immediately embarked on a European Grand Tour. Stay tuned as we follow their itinerary through the Reynolda Archives with priceless keepsakes from their trip.


Credit: R.J. and Katharine Reynolds, c. 1916, Reynolda House Museum of American Art

 March 1 New York to Liverpool, England on The Baltic

On March 1, 1905, Katharine and R.J. Reynolds boarded a White Star Line ocean liner, “The Baltic,” en route to a 3-month Grand Tour of Europe. This voyage took 3 weeks at sea. Good thing the newlyweds were in first class!


CREDIT: First Class passenger list, “Baltic,” from New York to Liverpool, March 1, 1905.


March 16 London, England

This month 108 years ago, R.J. and Katharine enjoyed the delights of London, England on their honeymoon. Tonight, the newlyweds went to the Duke of York’s Theatre, which is still in operation today.


CREDIT: Duke of York’s Theatre program, London, March 1905; and Duke of York’s Theatre ticket stub, London, March 18, 1905. Reynolda House Museum of American Art


Katharine and R.J.’s Grand Tour continues…The newlyweds visited Hampton Court on March 19, 1905, which Katharine chronicles on this unsent postcard found in our Archives.


CREDIT: (1) Postcard (front), West Front, Hampton Court Palace, London, no date (circa 1905) (2) Postcard (back), West Front, Hampton Court Palace, London, no date (circa 1905)


April  France

After London, then came France! While in Paris on her honeymoon tour, Katharine ordered two gowns in the high fashion of the 20th century, a time known as the “Bell Epoque.” Pictured is the bill of sale for ‘design, lining & trimming of two gowns, including box, postage, and insurance’ from Compagnie Lyonnaise.



From Paris with Love…This week 108 years ago, newlyweds R.J. and Katharine Reynolds attended Theatre National de l’Opera in Paris on their European Grand Tour.


CREDIT: Playbill, Theatre National de l’Opera, Paris, April 3-8, 1905


In Paris on their honeymoon, Katharine and R.J. were photographed by French photographer and portraitist, Eugene Pirou, who used these images to create the portraits that currently hang in Mr. Reynolds’s Study at Reynolda House.


CREDIT: (1) Study for portrait of Katharine Smith Reynolds, 1905. Photographer: Eugene Pirou, Paris, France (2) Study for portrait of R. J. Reynolds, 1905. Photographer: Eugene Pirou, Paris, France


April 18 Genoa, Italy

Katharine and R.J. ventured to Italy at the end of April in 1905, but their hearts stayed close to France.  In Genoa, Italy, the newlyweds lodged at Hotel de France and dined on French cuisine.


CREDIT: (1) Brochure cover, Hotel de France, Genoa, Italy, c. 1905 (2) Menu, Hotel de France, Genoa, Italy, April 18, 1905


April 30 Rome, Italy


CREDIT: Guide book, Rome, Italy, no date

May Naples, Italy



CREDIT: Hotel brochure, Hotel Royal des Etrangers, Naples, Italy, no date

May 2 Venice, Italy


CREDIT: R. J. Reynolds to R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., April 4, 1905 (actual date likely May 4,1905).


May 8 Lucerne, Switzerland


CREDIT: Guide to Lucerne, the Lake and Its Environs, 14th edition, by J. C. Heer, (Lucerne, Switzerland: 1905)


On day 69 of their Grand Tour of Europe in 1905, newlyweds Katharine and R.J. Reynolds traveled to Switzerland and sojourned at the beautiful Hotel des Alpes & Hotel Terminus.image

CREDIT: Hotel brochure, Hotel des Alpes & Hotel Terminus, Neuchatel, Switzerland, no date



CREDIT: Hotel brochure, Grand Hotel National, Lucerne, Switzerland, no date



CREDIT: Menu, Hotel Monopol & Metropole, Lucerne, Switzerland, May 8, 1905


May 14 Vienna, Austria

On their 1905 Grand Tour, Katharine and R.J. Reynolds purchased the clock that still sits on the mantle of the reception hall from this watchmaker in Switzerland.


CREDIT: Business card, watchmaker, Lucerne, Switzerland, no date


June 16 Liverpool, England to New York on The Celtic

At the close of their 1905 European adventure, Katharine and R.J. Reynolds boarded “The Celtic” in Liverpool, England bound for New York, ready to begin their life together in Winston-Salem.


CREDIT: Souvenir card, S.S. “Celtic,” Liverpool to New York, June 16, 1905

My Year at Reynolda

This week, CurateReynolda welcomes a guest post from Marketing & Communications intern Betsy Hicks.


My name is Betsy Hicks and I am a senior at Wake Forest University studying communication and journalism. I’m also blessed to have been the Marketing and Communications intern for Reynolda House for the past academic year.


I have always loved art and considered myself a creative person, but in my college years I found that my studio art skills were lacking and my love of media studies was just too strong to ignore. Rather than study art full time, I decided to set the practice and appreciation of art aside as a hobby. My year at Reynolda House has changed that, though – it has allowed me to combine my love for art and my passion for writing into one perfect career.

My time at Reynolda House has renewed my belief that one great piece of art can change your day, your mood or your perspective, and I have personal experience to attest. In my last week in the office, I walked out of our historic bedroom-turned-office and saw something new: a different lithograph hanging on the wall opposite the stairs. The piece, James Rosenquist’s On the Continental Divide, is graphic, colorful and unexpected. Seeing it for the first time startled me, and it reminded me to be aware of my surrounding because beauty is everywhere, especially at the House.

As I prepare to graduate, I have so much to reflect on and be thankful for: an incredible, supportive family, wonderful friends, challenging academics and unforgettable experiences. My list would be far from complete, though, without Sarah Smith, Trish Oxford, Emily Santillo and Reynolda House. These women and this House have given me the greatest gift one can give to an uncertain, soon-to-be college graduate: direction.


My year at Reynolda House has pointed me square in the face of museums and art, and I could not be more excited to get started.