December 5, 2011

Open house at Evergreen

Will Kirk/

For those seeking a special holiday gift, 10 art chairs up for silent auction at Johns Hopkins University’s Evergreen Museum & Library offer a distinctive twist on functional furnishings. Continuing its tradition of celebrating the talents of local artists, artisans and designers, the Gilded Age house museum asked local talents to creatively decorate an IKEA Norvald side chair.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the ongoing restoration of Evergreen’s ca. 1885 kitchen, a project spearheaded by the Evergreen Museum & Library Council, chaired by Lillian Kazazian.

The chairs were distributed to the likes of graphic design firm B. Creative Group, the furniture and decorative arts firm McLain Wiesand and architect Robert Bentley Adams, as well as individual artists.

For her vibrant red-and-gold Asian-inspired chair, artist Mary Plumer borrowed a foliage motif from an ancient Korean vase at the Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art. Art conservator and historian Edward Heimiller has updated the Baltimore painted chair with a polychrome, contemporary view of the Inner Harbor. And printmaker Claudia Bismark has harkened back to the spirit of 1960s flower power with a black-and-white homage to the daisy.

Evergreen is inviting the public to bid on the art chairs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, at its “Ever Green Evening” holiday open house. The silent auction will continue online after the event, through Sunday, Dec. 11, via the museum’s website,

The Dec. 8 open house also marks the opening of the fourth annual Evergreen as Muse student artists’ books exhibition, the culmination of a semester-long undergraduate course taught through the Homewood Art Workshops and the Program in Museums and Society.

After-hours viewing of the museum’s other special exhibitions and festively decked-out period rooms, holiday shopping in the museum shop and a mulled cider reception with seasonal savories and sweets—courtesy of Charles Levine Caterers, Classic Catering, Chef’s Expressions, Linwoods and Watson Caterers, and Zeffert & Gold Catering—will make for a truly memorable evening. $6; free for Evergreen members and JHU students.

On Saturday, Dec. 11, Evergreen director Jim Abbott will lead a workshop on the art and craft of card making in the Victorian era. Participants will use an array of colorful papers, ribbons, fabrics and printed illustrations to create their unique holiday and gift cards. The workshop is open to all ages, and materials will be provided. $6; free for members. Advance registration is requested by calling 410-516-0341.

For silent auction and event details, go to or call 410-516-0341.