Exhibition Presents Williams-Proctor Wedding
September 19, 2011
Free and Open to the Public
So read the headline in the Utica Observer when Maria Williams and Thomas Proctor wed on April 9, 1891. The lengthy newspaper article is the basis for a stunning and enlightening new exhibition, The Williams-Proctor Wedding, now on view in the Museum of Art period rooms in Fountain Elms. Each room is decked out to represent the magnificent reception held in Fountain Elms in celebration of Maria and Thomas nuptials. Marias wedding gown, discovered in Fountain Elms in April 1991 and the only article of fashion art in the Museums collection, is also on view.
Reportedly 3,000 people were invited to Maria and Thomas wedding. Guests were serenaded by 50 choirboys at Uticas Grace Church, which was ornamented with lilies, rare orchids and roses, and palms. The reception was held at Fountain Elms. The first-floor rooms were overwhelmingly decorated with flowers of every description and guests were treated to an elaborate buffet of exceptional delicacies. As was tradition, lavish displays in several rooms showcased the wedding gifts, many of which are today in the Museums collection and on view in the period rooms for this special exhibition.
Numerous details as described in the Utica Observer are recreated in the Museums period rooms. Enjoy local history and learn the origins of many of todays wedding customs. The Williams-Proctor Wedding remains on view through September 18.