The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will unveil a new exhibit, Women of Design: Embassies, Mansions and Stately Homes–Pat Bibbee and Vivien Woofter, in the Balcony Gallery at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. An opening reception to view the exhibit and meet the designers will be held on Monday, May 4, at 6 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and the public is invited to attend.
Bibbee and Woofter are two of West Virginia’s foremost interior designers. The exhibit will showcase some of their more prominent design experiences through photographs; text and graphics panels; rug, drapery fabric and wallpaper samples; books; collectibles, and more.
Bibbee and Woofter collaborated on renovations to The Blaney House, home of the president of West Virginia University in Morgantown and the West Virginia Governor’s Mansion in Charleston, both of which are highlighted in the exhibit.
Bibbee has been designing homes and commercial spaces for more than 25 years. She served on the Interiors Committee for the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences and decorated the Donor’s Lounge for the facility. She also has done substantial work for several country clubs, including Edgewood Country Club and the Athletic Club in New Jersey.
Bibbee’s work has been featured in Southern Living, the HGTV program Homes Across America, Leading Residential Interior Designers, Visions of Design, and the book Decorating with Southern Living.
Woofter, a native of Weston, is the U. S. Department of State’s Heritage Conservation Officer for the Residential Design Cultural Heritage Office of the Overseas Buildings Operations. She created the Department’s initial program for Cultural Assets and Culturally Significant Buildings abroad. Prior to 2004, Woofter was the Director of the Interior and Furnishings Division where she directed a staff of more than 50 professionals and had the responsibility for design, restoration and refurbishing the interiors in the Ambassador’s residence in Paris, London, Buenos Aires as well as the restoration of the George C. Marshall Center in the Hotel de Talleyrand in Paris.
Woofter earlier work included design installations in U.S. government office buildings in Lisbon, Kuala Lumpur, and Riyadh, among others.
The exhibition has text and graphic panels of the George C. Marshall Center explaining paint, carpentry and gold leaf repair work done on the facility. Woofter has provided books of buildings she has worked on like the Bosch Palace in Argentina. In addition, many collectibles from her travels are on display including kohl pots and a brass charcoal warmer from Turkey, tapestry cord used in the Lisbon Embassy and a brass water pitcher from Nepal, among others.
There are numerous photographs of work accomplished at the Blaney House and the Governor’s Mansion. In addition, carpet, wallpaper, fabric and 100 percent wool loop samples used in the Governor’s Mansion can be seen.
Governor Joe Manchin III and First Lady Gayle Manchin, who selected Bibbee and Woofter to renovate the public rooms of the Governor’s Mansion, will make remarks as well as Cabinet Secretary Kay Goodwin of the Department of Education and the Arts, Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the Division of Culture and History and Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of State for Management. Bibbee and Woofter also will speak briefly about their work and careers.
The Women of Design: Embassies, Mansions and State Homes–Pat Bibbee and Vivien Woofter exhibit will remain on display through June 15. For more information about the exhibition and opening reception, call Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner for the Division, at (304) 558-0220.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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