Monday, April 4, 2011

Guest Speaker to Describe Manor Life in England Deborah Gage at the Tyler Museum of Art

     TYLER, TX (April 4, 2011) – This Friday, the Tyler Museum of Art will present Ms. Deborah Gage, art historian and dealer, who will give a lecture titled “A Ribbon of Life: Firle Place, Sussex, Home of the Gage Family for 500 Years” beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the TMA Classroom. Ms. Gage, who was born in Zambia in 1950, grew up in Kenya and the United States, and completed her education in England. She attended the Study Centre of the Fine and Decorative Arts at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
The focus of her talk will be her family’s ancestral home, the celebrated Firle Place located in southern England’s South Downs. During her lecture, Ms. Gage will describe her family’s associations with Firle, and also the difficulties her prominent recusant family experienced through the Catholic persecutions from the 1560s to the early eighteenth century – which resulted in vibrant traditions such as the bonfire society that continues today. The talk will focus upon highlights of the architecture and collection, including recent research, elaborating on the theme of the Museum’s spring fundraiser, La Table des Artistes, “Manor House.”

Ms. Gage has the responsibility of the care of the collection at Firle Place and is the family historian and the curator of the collection. She founded The Charleston Trust, which was established in 1980 to save Charleston Farmhouse, on the Firle Estate, and home of the British artists, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. She was over-all coordinator of the appeal and restoration, which was referred to as “one of the most difficult and imaginative feats of restoration current in Britain”. The house, contents and its garden were opened to the public for the first time in June 1986.
     In addition to her responsibilities at Firle Place, Ms. Gage sits on the Getty Paintings Council, California, is on the advisory board of the Edith Wharton Restoration/The Mount in Massachusetts and The Royal Oak Foundation, in New York and is also a board member of the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation in Dallas. She is a member of the executive committee of the French Porcelain Society, a non-executive director of AXA Art Insurance, UK, and sits on the panel of judges for the annual Art Newspaper/AXA Museum Catalogue Award. Ms. Gage is also a trustee of New Towner Cultural Centre in Eastbourne, East Sussex: this new museum designed by internationally acclaimed architect Rick Mather, will rank as a significant contribution to 21st century architecture in southern England.  Ms. Gage also sits in a dual capacity on the Kenya and US boards of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Admission to the lecture is complimentary for La Table attendees, $7 for TMA Members, and $10 for non-members. Reservations are requested and may be made by calling the Museum.

The Tyler Museum of Art, accredited by the American Association of Museums, is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave., adjacent to the Tyler Junior College campus off East Fifth Street. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. (The Museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.) Lunch is available in the Museum Café from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and the TMA Gift Shop is open during Museum hours. For more information, call (903) 595-1001 or visit

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