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John Hays, Ann Pailthorp, Beverly Nichols, Symposi John Hays, Ann Pailthorp, Beverly Nichols, event chair, and P. Allen Smith

The Dallas Museum of Art and chair Beverly Nichols, welcomed attendees to the DMA Decorative Arts Symposium on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Guests arrived and enjoyed coffee and light breakfast bites outside the Horchow Auditorium.  On view in a vitrine were two pieces from the Museum’s decorative arts collection which had served as the event’s signature pieces: a Free form shape bowl with Tropicana pattern decoration (Frank Irwin and Helen McIntosh (designers), Metlox Potteries (maker), c. 1955, earthenware, Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-Century Design Fund, 1996.111) and a silk brocade (maker and date unknown, silk, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Hart Miller, 1947.21.23).

Once seated inside the auditorium, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director Agustín Arteaga welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending the second annual event which supports the DMA’s Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment Fund.

Beverly followed to introduce the esteemed line-up of symposium speakers, which included award-winning garden designer, acclaimed author, television host and conservationist P. Allen Smith; John Hays, deputy chairman of Christie’s America and specialist in American Furniture and Decorative Arts; and Ann Pailthorp, Farrow & Ball’s leader of the North American Colour Consultancy Program for British craftsmen in paint and paper.    

Hays took the podium first and under the theme, Commander in Chief: A Few War Stories from John Hays’ Travels, heshared stories of extraordinary pieces he has found across the United States, which were sold at auction by Christie’s. Pailthorp followed with details about Farrow & Ball’s unmatched collection of paint and wallpaper, including details on what makes their colors and finishes distinctive. Smith, who designed the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens’ new edible garden,  closed sharing a virtual tour of Moss Mountain Farm, his American Greek Rival style-home, which included his stunning organic flower and vegetable garden “rooms,” orchards, farm animals and his heritage poultry breeds. 

The event concluded with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions of the panel, moderated by Modern Luxury’s Blake Stephenson.  Immediately following, P. Allen Smith’s book, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden, and Farrow & Ball’s How to Decorate, were available for sale and for signatures by Smith and Pailthorp. 

As guests departed, they received a Farrow & Ball favor bag with a coveted fan deck featuring all 132 Farrow & Ball colours and an Autumn & Winter Inspiration guide. 


About P. Allen Smith

P. Allen Smith, author, television host, and conservationist, is one of America’s most recognized garden design experts. Smith and his design firm have designed landscapes around the country, including the soon-to-open edible garden at the Dallas Arboretum. Called A Tasteful Place, the 3.5-acre garden blends edible and ornamentals and boasts an orchard, picnic lawn, patios and walking trails.

Smith attended Hendrix College and did his graduate studies in garden history and design at the University of Manchester in England, where he also studied English gardens that had been visited by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in the 18th century. 

Smith is a former Board Member of the Royal Oak Foundation and has used his media influence to bolster preservation efforts at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and George Washington's Mount Vernon among other historic properties. He is a Certified Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society and is an Honorary Member of the Garden Club of America. Smith received the Garden Club of America's Medal of Honor in 2006.

P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home is in its 16th season on PBS. Smith has received numerous awards for Garden Home and his syndicated show Garden Style. In 2015, Smith was inducted into the Taste Hall of Fame for his significant impact in the world of taste and broadcast entertainment. Smith also has published six books with publisher Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House.

Smith uses his Arkansas home, Moss Mountain Farm, which The New York Times hails as “a stunning estate,” as an epicenter for promoting the local food movement, organic gardening and the preservation of heritage poultry breeds. Smith created his farm to serve as a place of inspiration, education and conservation and provides visitors from around the country with tours of his property, which may be booked at  

About John Hays

John Hays was appointed head of Christie's American Furniture and Decorative Arts department in January 1991 and was named senior vice president of the firm in January 1993. He joined the international auction house in 1983.

Since he has been a member of the department, Mr. Hays has played an important role in departmental innovations and record-setting sales. He counts among his most exciting achievements taking part in the sale of the Nicholas Brown Desk and Bookcase, which sold in 1989 for $12.1 million, the top price for any piece of American furniture. Other significant records include the first piece of American furniture to break the million dollar mark, a Philadelphia Chippendale tea table which sold in January 1986; the top price for a piece of 19th-century American furniture, a Lannuier neoclassical pier table which brought $704,000 in 1991, and the Richard Edward's Chippendale pier table which sold in January 1990 for $4.62 million, becoming the second most expensive piece of American furniture and a record for any table.

Mr. Hays, one of Christie's principal auctioneers, directed Christie's first Folk Art department from its creation in 1987 until 1990. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Kenyon College, where he received his bachelor's degree in art history, Mr. Hays worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy and completed Christie's year-long Fine Arts Course in London before joining the firm in New York. He frequently lectures and participates in museum and charity events.

About Ann Pailthorp and Farrow & Ball

Ann Pailthorp launched and currently leads the North American Colour Consultancy Program for British craftsmen in paint and paper, Farrow & Ball. With a history of working in colour and design, a passion for the highest quality products, and a master’s degree in Interior Design from the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington D.C., Ann brings a wealth of information and experience to her role . As one of Farrow & Ball’s first US employees, Ann has over 12 years of experience working with their palette and product range and is truly passionate about the effects of colour in the designed environment. Ann is also the Vice President of Sales for the South East and Midwest Markets.  

British craftsmen in paint and paper, Farrow & Ball is dedicated to creating unmatched paint and wallpaper using only the finest quality ingredients and high levels of pigment.  Today the unique Farrow & Ball look transforms modern and traditional spaces, large and small, inside and out, and around the world.

About the Dallas Museum of Art

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than 3.2 million visitors. For more information, visit

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts. 

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