Her Muses, Her Stories

By David Park Curry, Martha R. Severens

with a foreword by Allison Perkins


Approx. 240 pp., 9.5 x 10, 130 color plates, notes, index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-9986-8172-6
    Published: October 2017

Buy this Book

This title is not eligible for UNC Press promotional pricing.

To purchase online via an independent bookstore, visit

Distributed for Reynolda House Museum of American Art

Reynolda: Her Muses, Her Stories is your invitation to explore Reynolda House Museum of American Art, North Carolina’s nationally acclaimed art museum showcasing paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts in the restored 1917 home of tobacco magnate R. J. Reynolds and his wife, Katharine. Their sixty-four-room bungalow sits at the center of an estate that beckons thousands of visitors each year to its formal gardens, meadows, woodlands, shops, and restaurants.

In this volume, David Park Curry has captured the essence of Reynolda House Museum of American Art through a lavishly illustrated essay that blends Reynolda’s fifty years as a beloved family home with her second life as a museum of American art. Using the lenses of time, landscape, home, social context, history, and memory, Curry connects you to the remarkable place called Reynolda. Highlighting the fascinating—and often surprising—stories of the myriad ways signature works of art came into this stellar collection, Martha R. Severns offers insights about the artists, writers, donors, and, most importantly, the museum’s founder, Barbara Babcock Millhouse. Each of the eighty concise essays is afforded a generous two-page layout that includes a full-page color image.

This beautifully illustrated book takes you through an American place and an American collection. Consider it your personal tour with behind-the-scenes access to all the stories you might wish to learn, but cannot, in the limited span of a single visit to this Museum.

About the Authors

David Park Curry is the former senior curator of Decorative Arts, American Painting & Sculpture at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
For more information about David Park Curry, visit the Author Page.

Martha R. Severens has served as curator at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina; the Portland Museum of Art in Maine; and the Greenville County Museum of Art in South Carolina.
For more information about Martha R. Severens, visit the Author Page.