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A Note from the Council Chair:
Vincent Cimmino
During the Association meeting last fall, I challenged the
Docent-Volunteer community to bring new visitors to
Reynolda as a way to bolster attendance and awareness,
especially locally. I had always been surprised to learn of
the many local guests who had not been to Reynolda in
quite some time or, much more to my surprise, had
never stepped through our doors! After all, we are a
first-class museum and important historical site. I’m so
pleased that many of you met the challenge, and I would
like to share just a few of those experiences that have
been reported to me.
Allene Evans’ niece from Colorado, who is thinking of
moving here, was impressed, and if she does relocate “…
we have her hooked on Reynolda.”
Susan Warren brought two Hendersonville relatives and
“…shared everything about the House with them.”
Pam Kahl treated four new visitors, her neighbors, to The
Art of Seating.
In November, Denise Washburn’s CareNet Counseling Services group got an abbreviated look around. In
Denise’s words it was “…just enough to pique their interest because I want them to bring their families back
during the holidays, which several intend to do.”
I participated in leading a group of Mt. Airy Millennium Charter School parents, and twenty of them were
here for the first time. And during the Candlelight Tours, we had 273 guests, 169 of them were first-time
I would love to hear more stories, so keep the new people coming; with our schedules of exhibits and tours
this should be an easy objective for each of us to meet.
2014-2016 Docent-Volunteer Association Chair
Art-y-Facts: New Wing Helps Museum Soar
by Barbara Kolesar
As a relative newcomer to North Carolina in 2008, I didn’t know Reynolda House before the Babcock Wing,
now entering its tenth year. In 1996 an American Association of Museums (AAM) re-accreditation report for
the Museum, while largely positive, critiqued the Museum because it did not have a visitor orientation gallery
to better serve its guests. So in 1998, Board President Barbara Babcock Millhouse and Executive Director
Nicholas Bragg invited New York City’s Richard Blinder of the firm Beyer, Blinder, Belle to come to
Reynolda House to advise. This firm was well known in New York as preservation architects, working on
such famous structures as Ellis Island, Grand Central Terminal, Lincoln Center, and the Empire State
Building. Blinder specialized in preserving architecture through restoration and was especially dedicated to
buildings showcasing visual and performing arts.
The mission was threefold: 1. build the Babcock Wing (32,000 square feet, with a reception area,
auditorium, gift shop, exhibition hall, library, art studios, and staff offices); 2. restore the public rooms of the
historic house to their 1917 grandeur (re-upholster some furnishings; create access to the butler’s pantry; and
redecorate the sun porch, breakfast room, library, and game room); and 3. create amenities for visitors
(orientation video, audio tour equipment, restroom facilities, Master Bedroom display of architect Charles
(Continued on page two)
Vince Cimmino, Council Chair
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