Historic Charlotte, Inc. and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture will present Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, a lecture and presentation by author and UNC Greensboro Professor Jo Leimenstoll on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, at the Wells Fargo Auditorium at Knight Theatre in Charlotte, NC. The presentation begins with a lecture at 6pm about Thomas Day’s life and works and will be followed by a reception at the Gantt Center. The Gantt Center galleries will also be open for the evening. The event is open to the public with free entry for members of Historic Charlotte, Gantt Center and students. Admission is $10 for the general public. Light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available.
“Thomas Day is a unique, somewhat contradictory, historical figure from North Carolina,” says Diane Althouse, Executive Director of Historic Charlotte, Inc. “We are delighted to bring this presentation to Charlotte. We are equally excited to partner with Harvey B. Gantt Center for their support and for opening up their museum for this event. I know everyone will enjoy both the lecture and reception at the Gantt Center.”
Thomas Day, as an important and early free man of color in North Carolina, holds special interest for all NC citizens. Day was a master furniture designer and cabinetmaker who owned and ran the largest cabinet shop in North Carolina. An astute businessman, he became a stockholder in the State Bank of North Carolina. His furniture business in Caswell County supplied prominent political leaders, state government and the University of North Carolina. Day’s furniture and woodwork continues to hold strong interest and collectability and is currently in the collections of the Raleigh Museum of History, the NC Governor’s Mansion and in private collections throughout the United States.
A new book has been published by Jo Ramsey Leimenstoll, along with Patricia Phillips Marshall, Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color (The Richard Hampton Jenrette Series in Architecture and the Decorative Arts), which is an exhaustively researched and beautifully illustrated documentation of Day, his life and his works. The volume includes information on 160 of Day’s pieces. The book is equally lovely and scholarly.
A book signing with author Leimenstoll and photographer Tim Buchman will be part of the reception at the Gantt Center. Registration at the lecture: 5:30pm; Presentation: 6pm; Book Signing and Reception at the Gantt Center: 7 – 8:30pm.
Because seating is limited, registration is required by e-mail at (rsvp@HistoricCharlotte.org) or by calling 704/375-2425.