Special Exhibits

Each trip to Tryon Palace should include an experience that's new, exciting, and different from your last visit. Whether it's rare exhibitions that display objects from the Tryon Palace Collection, traveling exhibitions, or a local art show, you never know what you'll see in the Duffy Exhibition Gallery, and other locations around the site.

Uncommon Chairs: Early Turned Seating of North Carolina’s Tar-Roanoke River Region

Craven Arts Council Sculpture Garden


Uncommon Chairs: Early Turned Seating of North Carolina’s Tar-Roanoke River Region

This exhibit brings together 75 ladder back, or “common” chairs from the Tar-Roanoke River region of North Carolina, most of them made between 1800-1925. Guest curators Hiram Perkinson and Mark R. Wenger present these beautiful examples of early craftsmanship to illustrate the distinct chair-making traditions found in the counties clustered around the North Carolina-Virginia state line. The curators have grouped the chairs by county of origin or by a shared defining feature.

Once found in households in every economic bracket, common chairs were relegated to working class households over the course of the 19th century. The exhibit highlights how simple things like wood choices and turning patterns illuminate how these common chairs were used in courtrooms and kitchens, parlors and porches. They are a legacy of craftsmanship to be enjoyed by every North Carolinian.

Guest Curators:

Hiram Perkinson, III is a native North Carolinian. He worked in higher education, historic restoration and museums. He is a longtime collector of common chairs.

Mark R. Wenger is an architect and historian from Williamsburg, Virginia. Raised in Wilson, North Carolina, Wenger has been studying and collecting common chairs for nearly fifteen years.

Craven Arts Council & Gallery Public Sculpture Park

The public sculpture park sponsored by the Craven Arts Council & Gallery has been relocated to the grounds surrounding the North Carolina History Center. Take a stroll around the North Carolina History Center to experience the following works:

"Two Circles" by Dana Gingras

Dana Gingras's primary mediums are glass, metal, and wood. His work comes from the process of understanding these materials, their intrinsic properties, and inherent beauty. His goal is to create something new and visually stimulating, yet still retain the natural dignity of material.

“Two Circles” is the third piece in his window series, which celebrates steel for its strength and timelessness while incorporating the context of the natural world. The windows, while definitely substantial in size and weight, urge the viewer to see them and also to see through them, to focus on the negative space and all the beauty that surrounds them.

 "Printemps" by Dan Millspaugh
Dan Millspaugh was born in Miami, Florida and attended the University of Miami where he received his BFA in Ceramics and MFA in Sculpture. He served four years in the US Coast Guard and moved to North Carolina in 1981. Since then he taught at University of North Carolina - Asheville, primarily in sculpture and photography and currently holds the rank Emeritas Professor of Art.
His work has gone through many changes over the years. He has concen-trated on bronze and aluminum casting; the figure; totemic forms; weld-ing of steel and nonferrous metal and iron casting.

The medium of "Printemps" is cast iron. The material and process were attractive to Millspaugh because of the necessity of a group activity. Sculpture in general needs more than one person and enhances the teach-ing process. He states that his, "fondly remembered experiences in undergraduate and graduate school were group efforts."

"Rain" by Hanna Jubran
Hanna Jubran received his MFA in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently a Sculpture Professor and Sculpture Area Coordinator at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

Hanna’s work addresses the concepts of time, movement, balance and space. Each sculpture occupies and creates its own reality influenced by its immediate surroundings. The work does not rely on one media to evoke the intended response, but takes advantage of compatible materials such as, wood, granite, steel, iron and bronze.

For information about purchasing any of these pieces, please contact the Craven Arts Council & Gallery at (252) 638-2577.