Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kick Start the Holidays Tonight at Art Walk!

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The Concord Museum will be open during Downtown Concord’s Art Walk this evening, 6-9 p.m. The Art Walk is held in conjunction with the city’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. There will be beautiful art to view in many of the shops and galleries in Downtown Concord and plenty of family-friendly holiday activities to participate in.

We look forward to seeing you Downtown tonight!


First Annual Fundraiser Dinner

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Historic Cabarrus would like to thank all those who participated in our First Annual Fundraiser Dinner!

The dinner was held on October 17th at the home of Margaret and Barney West.

The historic home was built circa 1928 by Charles A. Cannon and Ruth Coltrane Cannon. Charles A. Cannon was the son of James W. Cannon, the founder of Cannon Mills, and served as the President of Cannon Mills from 1921 to the 1960s. Margaret West is the granddaughter of Charles and Ruth Coltrane Cannon.

Thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors who helped make this event a success! 

Shoe Show

Bank of North Carolina

Concord Printing Company

Ben Mynatt Family of Dealerships

Uwharrie Bank

Duke Energy

Morrison Brothers Building Center

Lori Clay and Premium Power Systems, Inc. 

New Exhibit Commemorates the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War

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The Concord Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its newest exhibit, Coming Home/Moving Forward: The End of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and its Impact: 1865-Present.

Coming Home/Moving Forward commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the conclusion of the American Civil War. Using Reconstruction as a focal point, this exhibit invites visitors to explore new conflicts faced by the United States as soldiers returned home and the reunited nation moved forward.

The exhibit showcases artifacts brought home with Cabarrus County soldiers, including a star from General Robert E. Lee’s battle flag that was presented to Corporal Isaac Newton Pharr by Lee himself. On loan to the museum is Mr. Joe Benkendorf’s personal collection of Union and Confederate buttons, bullets, and various artifacts from battlefields across the Southeast.

Political cartoons and newspaper headlines underscore the impact of the war on African Americans and show the steps, both positive and negative, that the nation took towards reconciliation and restoration. Particular focus is paid to the formation of Scotia Seminary in Concord and its importance for the education of young African American women in the South following the war.

The Concord Museum invites you to join us as we look back on the war that changed the face of a nation and consider how far we’ve moved forward in the past 150 years.

The exhibit will be on display at The Concord Museum through December 23rd, 2015.

2015 Annual Meeting

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Historic Cabarrus Association, Inc.

WHAT: 2015 Annual Meeting
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: The Honorable Judge Clarence E. Horton, Jr.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
             6pm Social Hour
             6:45pm Annual Meeting in the Davis Theatre
             8:00pm Dinner at Union Street Bistro
WHERE: Historic Cabarrus County Courthouse
                65 Union Street, S., Concord, NC
COST:  $40 per person
RSVP:  By Friday, May 8th to 704-920-2465

New Exhibition Now on Display!

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Exciting new art collection at
The Concord Museum!
 The Robert F. Phifer Art Collection
On loan from the North Carolina Museum of Art
Exhibit Opening March 26, 2015
J. Scott Williams, Faun, Oil on board

J. Scott Williams
Oil on board
Robert F. Phifer
George Glenn Newell, The Lane to the Brook, Oil on panel

George Glenn Newell
The Lane to the Brook
Oil on panel

Introduction to the Robert F. Phifer Art Collection by Laura Fravel, Art Historian

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Robert F. Phifer 1849-1928

Robert F. Phifer

Robert Fulenwider Phifer (1849-1928)

Robert F. Phifer was the fifth of seven children born to Caleb and Mary Phifer. Caleb Phifer was a prominent citizen of Concord with wide-ranging business interests. The family house stood on the present site of First Presbyterian Church.

Robert Phifer entered Davidson College before his 15th birthday and pursued his studies during the last years of the Civil War. He left Davidson without graduating, reportedly with excellent grades in all subjects except deportment. From there, he became a planter and cotton buyer. In the dog-eat-dog business world of the Gilded Age, Phifer proved to be shrewd and canny, accumulating a substantial fortune.

Leaving business behind in 1881, he soon moved to New York, where he maintained a studio and apartment crowded with art. He became an active member of New York’s legendary Salmagundi Club, a men’s society of artists and art enthusiasts. Over the years he acquired many works by Salmagundi members for his own personal collection.

An insatiable traveler and dedicated amateur painter, Phifer was particularly fond of Paris and London, where he studied art. Once, while on an extended trip around the world, he spent six months in Japan, traveling and painting with a group of local artists. Despite his travels, he remained committed to his North Carolina roots, and returned regularly to Concord to visit friends and family. Ultimately, his passion for art and strong commitment to his native state led him to become the first major benefactor of the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Robert Phifer never married and died in 1928. He is buried in Concord in the Memorial Garden of the First Presbyterian Church.

Phifer’s Art Collection and the North Carolina Museum of Art

Late in his life Robert Phifer was concerned about the final disposition of his art collection. He wanted to find an institution that would care for his paintings and share them with a wide public. In 1924 he read about the recently organized North Carolina State Art Society and its aspirations for a state art museum. He contacted the Society’s president and over the next few years formed a cordial relationship with the fledgling Art Society. In 1927, an exhibition of Phifer’s collection was presented to great acclaim at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh. Later that year Phifer decided to bequeath his collection to the Art Society as the nucleus of a state art museum. It is fair to say that the receipt of the Phifer Collection got the ball rolling. Though progress was slowed by the Great Depression and World War II, the North Carolina Museum of Art eventually opened its doors in 1956.

In his will, Phifer also arranged that the bulk of his considerable estate would eventually come to the Art Society. Those funds now constitute the principal art endowment of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Over 230 works of art, including many of the Museum’s masterpieces, have been acquired, wholly or in part, with funds from the Robert F. Phifer Bequest.

No one has had a greater impact on the North Carolina Museum of Art than Robert F. Phifer.

The Salmagundi Club

Founded in 1871, the Salmangundi Club is one of the country’s oldest professional art clubs. It offered a venue for a new generation of cultivated, well-traveled gentlemen-artists to share fellowship and to bring their work before an appreciative audience. Among the club members were major stars of the New York art world, including William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, John La Farge, Thomas Moran, and Louis Comfort Tiffany. As an active member, Phifer would have met many of the artists whose work he collected through the Club.

The Salmagundi Club held annual auctions of the work of its members. For these auctions, the Club required that all submitted paintings conform to specified dimensions. Phifer preferred these small, uniformly sized paintings because he could easily rotate the collection on his walls. Many of the works in this exhibition were bought at the Salmagundi Club’s annual auctions.

A Special Thank You
We would like to say thank you to the following sponsors for their generosity and continued support.