ToWalkInvisibleIconicjpgTo Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters

Written and Directed by Sally Wainwright

A beautifully filmed and acted two-hour drama bringing to life the remarkable novelists Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, the sisters who have fascinated legions of devoted readers.

On MASTERPIECE: Sunday, March 26, 2017 on PBS at 9pm ET

See Press Release.



Royal Oak Foundation Spring 2017 Lecture


item2A Patron’s Taste: The 3rd Marquess of Bute, William Burges and the Gothic Revival

The Marquesses of Bute—the Crichton-Stuarts—are a Scottish family who rose to prominence during the 18th century. The foundations of the family's fortunes were laid by the 3rd Earl of Bute, Prime Minister to King George III, who married an heiress and attained great political prominence. Judicious marriages brought further wealth to his descendants and by 1860 industrial enterprise including the development of Cardiff, Wales made them one of the richest families in Britain. The scholarly 3rd Marquess (1847-1900) was one of the greatest patrons of art and architecture during the Victorian era. Many of his building commissions—including fantastical Cardiff Castle and two properties under the National Trust’s care: Knightshayes Court and St Mary’s Church, Studley Royal—were designed in medieval Gothic Revival style by his architect, the eccentric William Burges (1827-81). Burges also filled Crichton-Stuart’s properties with his fanciful designs for metalwork, sculpture, jewelry, furniture and stained glass. The Marquess’ fascination with the Gothic Revival style recurred again in Crichton-Stuart’s patronage of chapels, castles, abbeys, universities and palaces. Later he worked in collaboration with many of Burges’ followers including H. W. Lonsdale and John Kinross. This lecture examines Bute’s fascination with revival style in both opulent and intensely personal buildings, and shows how his taste for the medieval was shared by both Ludwig II of Bavaria and Napoleon III of France. 

Lecture cities/dates

Chicago Monday, April 24, The Racquet Club of Chicago, 1365 North Dearborn Street. 6:00pm welcome reception,  6:30pm lecture, 7:30pm cocktail buffet. $75 members and co-sponsors/ $85 non-members

Philadelphia Wednesday, May 3, The Union League of Philadelphia, 140 South Broad Street. 6:00pm cash bar reception, 6:30pm lecture, 7:45pm optional dinner. Lecture & Reception only: $30 members and co-sponsors; $40 non-members. Lecture & Dinner: $80 members and non-members.

New York City Thursday, May 4, The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen Library, 20 West 44th Street.

6:15pm lecture; 7:15pm reception. 

Registration opens March 2: visit www.royal-oak.org/lectures or call 212-480-2889, ext. 201. *Use co-sponsor code 17SVICSOC to receive discounted member price.





Your Alumni Association membership includes the following benefits:

Your subscription to the annual newsletter

Oportunities to publish your essay in the newsletter

Receive email invitations for special events all over the country

Attend the Annual Meeting & Dinner often held in a private home in connection with the VSA's Annual Meeting

Opportunity to participate in the Alumni Association's exceptional Study Tours to places around the world where you have unique access to exceptional historic buildings.

We encourage you to join or renew your membership to help provide much-needed scholarships to deserving and exceptional students so that they will benefit from the Schools just as you did.

Contact: Membership Secretary: Bob Chapman (973-746-0965)


Click below to download the application form:

Membership Form


Join the Alumni Association of the Victorian Society in America Summer Schools and support the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

—Newport ($2500 full scholarship)

—Chicago ($1850 full scholarship)

—London ($4500 full scholarship)

—English Midlands ($2100 full scholarship)

—The Sibyl McCormac Groff Scholarship

—The Gwen Koch Memorial Scholarship 

Full or partial scholarship donations are welcome.

To learn more, please contact: David Blackburn.

Lost Alumni

We are eager to keep in touch with all our Alumni but unfortunately we’ve lost touch with some.

Lost Alumni List

Please contact Membership Secretary Bob Chapman (973-746-0965) if you know the the whereabouts of former graduates and do let us know if you move or change your e-mail address.



The Alumni Association’s annual newsletter is published in November and is sent to active members as a benefit of Alumni membership.

An email version of the newsletter will be sent to all active and lapsed alumni.

Students attending the Summer Schools are encouraged to submit articles and news for publication to editor To learn more, please contact: David Blackburn.

Newsletter Archive









Our Signature Summer Schools

Now in their fourth decade, the Victorian Society in America's Summer Schools are located in Newport, Rhode Island; London, England; and Chicago, Illinois.

These schools provide in-depth study of the multi-faceted architecture and culture of the nineteenth century. The courses include site visits, guided tours, and lectures by leading experts.

Visit the Summer Schools web site:

For more information, contact:

Anne Mallek | Admin@VSASummerSchools.org
Administrator Victorian Society in America Summer Schools


ALUMNI BLOG: Angela Voulanges' experiences at the Newport Summer School





Since the first Study Tour to Glasgow, Scotland in 1991, the Alumni Association has been running Study Tours biannually to cities with rich architectural histories all over the world.

John Martine, board member, past president and practicing architect, runs the tours with the help of local architects and architectural historians. Alumni are often so grateful for their experiences that they eagerly volunteer to show off their cities and provide access to public and private buildings not generally available to tourists - as well as to some of the best restaurants.

History of Events/Tours

2016 (September 21-28) Vienna

2014 (September 15-20): North of England/London School 40th Anniversary

2013 (November 8-16): Havana/Trinidad/Cuba

2012 (December 6-9): Pittsburgh, PA (weekend)

2011 (June 10-20): Rome/Como/Milan, Italy

2009 (October 31-November 8): Buenos Aires, Argentina

2007 (October 24-31): Barcelona, Spain

2005 (September 13-22): Slovenia & Trieste, Italy

2004 (July 25-29): London, England

2003 (October 2-12): Warsaw/Krakow, Poland

2002 (September 22-28): The Netherlands

2002 (December 7-8): New York, NY (Holiday Weekend)

2001 (August 16-20): Montreal, Canada (Long Weekend)

2000 (October 16-23): Prague/Brno, Czech Republic

1999 (June 17-21): Pittsburgh, PA [long weekend]

1998 (September 22-29): Budapest, Hungary

1997 (September 18-25): Ireland

1996 (July 7-13): Decorative Arts/London, England

1994 (September 8-19): Northumberland, England

1992 (August 22-29): Glasgow, Scotland

1991 (June 23-30): Glasgow, Scotland


The Alumni Association holds events, meetings, receptions and fund-raisers year-round, and also co-sponsors events with other organizations to recruit future Summer School participants.

For these events we provide financial assistance, contact information of alumni in the area, and assistance with invitations and brochures &c.

Co-hosting organizations who are interested will be asked to secure the venue, provide refreshments, nametags, etc., and should invite its members and contacts at local graduate degree programs in historic preservation or those involved with historic house museums and preservation. For further Information contact: David Blackburn.




The Alumni Association of The Victorian Society in America Summer Schools is a Chapter of the Victorian Society in America (VSA) for graduates of The Victorian Society Summer Schools in Newport, Rhode Island; London, England; and Chicago, Illinois

The Alumni Association was founded in 1975 following the first Summer School held in London.




The Alumni Association of the Victorian Society in America Summer Schools is run by dedicated volunteer officers and directors, who are elected to serve for three-year terms.  The Annual Meeting and Dinner are held every Spring in connection with the Victorian Society in America's Annual Meeting, often in a private home. 

The 2017 Annual Meeting & Dinner will be held in October in New York City.

David Blackburn | Elverson, PA

Vice President
Carrie Taylor | Providence, RI

David Lamdin | Arlington, VA

Corresponding Secretary
Jeanne Solensky | Wilmington, DE

Membership Secretary
Bob Chapman | Montclair, NJ


William Cullum | New York, NY
Carl Klein | Evanston, IL
Elizabeth Ann Milnarik | Washington, DC
John A. Martine | Pittsburgh, PA
Christopher Pollock | San Francisco, CA

Alumni Association Newsletter

Editor: David Blackburn
Design: Harriet Eckstein

If you are interested in serving on the VSA Alumni Association board or getting involved with a committee, or to send news and articles, please contact: David Blackburn.

Gwen Koch Obituary and Tributes




Support and encourage the national organization of the VSA.

Promote the programs of The Victorian Society Summer Schools.

Provide opportunities for professional, educational and social interaction of the Summer Schools alumni through study tours, seminars and other activities.

To provide consistent scholarship funds for The Victorian Society Summer Schools.

To encourage participation in, and a high level of scholarship through attendance at, The Victorian Society Summer Schools.





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