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Trust Announces Curatorial Internship and Failey Grants for 2020

The Education Committee of the Trust’s Board of Governors received an impressive number of persuasive applications for the Curatorial Internship and Failey Grant programs. The following institutions were selected to receive funding in 2020.

Curatorial Internship Grant Awarded to Concord Museum

Each fall the Trust chooses a new partner for a two-year curatorial internship, our flagship grant within the Emerging Scholars Program. The competition was intense this season, in which the Committee increased the amount of allocated funding to $30,000 per year. The Trust’s support is supplemented by the host organization to cover the intern’s full salary as well as benefits.

The Concord Museum in Concord, MA, is embarking on a two-and-a-half-year effort to redesign their 14 permanent galleries. Called Concord: At the Center of Revolution, the newly renovated 6,000-square-foot exhibition is set to reimagine the museum experience. The project will begin by focusing on three galleries related to Concord’s role in the political revolution of 1775. Phase Two will focus on the Transcendentalist period leading up to the Civil War as well as four decorative arts galleries.

The curatorial intern will serve as the assistant project manager for this exciting undertaking and will be involved will all levels of the project, including selection of artifacts, facilitating conservation, meeting with design partners, installation, writing, editing, developing operation manuals for media elements, and analyzing the visitor experience. The intern will work under the direction and mentorship of the Concord Museum’s highly regarded curator, David Wood, and will be an essential member of the exhibition team.

American Swedish Historical Museum Receives Failey Grant

The Failey Grant program provides support for noteworthy research, exhibition, publication, and conservation projects through the Dean F. Failey Fund, named in honor of the Trust’s late Governor. Preference is given to projects that employ or are led by young professionals in the museum field. The Committee raised the level of funding for 2020 to $10,000.

In 2021, the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia, PA, will mount the exhibition American by Craft: The Art Furniture of Olaf Althin, which presents the career of a largely forgotten immigrant cabinetmaker. Working in Boston at the turn of the 20th century, Althin was an influential figure in the nascent American antiques trade. Curator Trevor Brandt is serving as project lead, assisted by Erica Lome, a doctoral candidate in the American Civilization Program at the University of Delaware and a past recipient of a Summer Research Grant from the Trust.

Lome learned of Althin’s impressive career during her dissertation research, and the curatorial team has reconstructed his story while locating furniture made by him and tools, papers, photographs, and drawings to contextualize his oeuvre. His impressive list of patrons included H. Eugene Bolles, Henry Davis Sleeper, and John Wanamaker. The ASHM’s show will juxtapose Althin’s Scandinavian craft background against the era of the American Arts & Crafts and Colonial Revival movements.

A print version of this article was published in The Magazine of the Decorative Arts Trust, one of our most popular member benefits. Join today!

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