2015 marks the 18th anniversary of The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum. Jean Y. Helms founded the Forum in 1996. She continues to lead Forum and guides its presentation of the best fine and decorative arts scholarship to participants—Forum continues to work to benefit arts education and preservation.
This year’s Forum theme is West Meets East.
From Ms. Helms and Forum 2015:
West Meets East…
and the West was Forever Changed.
Some 2,500 years ago, raw silk made its first appearance in the western world, and this luxury item was soon coveted by the ancient Greeks, Persians, and Romans. Thus began the quest to discover and acquire the treasures of the Orient… and the West set out to meet the East.
Ancient camel caravan tracks expanded into a 4,000-mile network of overland trade routes between China and Central Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. After centuries of trade over the” Silk Road,” merchant sailing ships and clipper ships led to faster and more efficient, more profitable trading.
Early in the 16th century, the Portuguese led the way around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope and into the Indian Ocean… the Spanish established a colony in the Philippines and a route to Mexico… the Dutch sailed east, and British, French, Swedish, and American traders joined the quest. By the 1800s, the empires of Europe, Asia, and the Americas were trading around the world.
Silk, gold, silver, other precious metals, porcelain, tea, lacquerware, exotic woods, jade and other gems, incense, spices, ivory, dyes, weavings, rugs, furniture, gunpowder, medicinal herbs, and other valuable goods traveled from East to West. So did techniques for printing and paper making, for wallpapering, for building suspension bridges, and for drawing, painting, watercolor, and other arts.
With West Meets East as its 2015 theme, our Charleston Art & Antiques Forum lecturers will take Forum participants on a special journey to explore the many ways that Asian art and design reached around the world and impacted Europe and the Americas.
The dates of the Forum are March 11-15, 2015, and we invite you to join us in Charleston, South Carolina to hear exceptional speakers from the US and England; participate in lively discussions with the speakers; experience the best of Charleston’s hospitality; and get to know the interesting people who comprise our audience–art and antiques connoisseurs, collectors, museum curators, scholars, interior designers, and individuals who just want to learn more about fine and decorative arts topics.
For more information, schedule, tickets, and more visit The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum online.