The Decorative Arts Trust underwrites a variety of lectures by young scholars at its own symposia as well as outside conferences:

  • At each Trust symposium, a speaker is recognized as the Sweeney lecturer, an endowed presentation named in honor of the late longtime Trust Governor and Winterthur curator John A. H. Sweeney.
  • At one symposium per year, a speaker or panel is recognized as the Zimmermann lecturer(s), an endowed opportunity named in honor of the talented early-20th-century designer and craftswoman Marie Zimmermann.
  • During Colonial Williamsburg’s annual Antiques Forum, The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Antiques Forum, the Delaware Antiques Show, and the Philadelphia Art and Antiques Show, the Trust sponsors young scholar presentations based on recent research on the decorative arts.


  • Emerging Scholars Colloquium:
    • Dinnerware for the Masses: Viktor Schreckengost’s Dinnerware Designs from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s
      Catherine Acosta, History of Design and Curatorial Studies, Parsons School of Design
    • Making Sense of Carmontelle’s Chairs
      Margot Bernstein, Art History, Columbia University
    • The Shop of Robert Stewart: Work and Wealth in the Antebellum Natchez Furniture Trade
      Candice Candeto, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, University of Delaware
    • William Roberts’s “Excursion over the Mountains”: Landscapes “by the Pencil of a Virginian”
      Katie McKinney, Assistant Curator of Maps and Prints, Colonial Williamsburg
    • History in Stoneware: Depictions of the British Slave Trade on an 18th-Century English Punch Bowl
      Daniel Sousa, Peggy N. Gerry-Anne K. Groves Curatorial Intern, Historic Deerfield
  • John A. H. Sweeney Emerging Scholar Lectures:
    • Creole Comforts and French Connections: The Material World of François Petit de Coulange, 1732-1812
      New Orleans: Philippe L.B. Halbert, PhD Candidate, Department of the History of Art, Yale University
  • Marie Zimmermann Emerging Scholar Lectures:
    • Albany:
      • Woven Together: Women, Weavers, and Jacquard Coverlets in New York State
        Britney Schline Yatrakis, Independent Historian, Troy, New York
    • New Orleans:
      • “A Lover of the Beautiful:” Harriet Joor, Newcomb Pottery, and the Arts & Crafts Movement
        Maggie Dimock, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center, Saint Anselm College
  • Colonial Williamsburg, Antiques Forum, Carolyn and Mike McNamara Young Scholars Lectures:
    • “To Please the most Tasty”: Thomas B. Campbell and Silver for the Great Wagon Road Emily Campbell, Architectural Preservation Assistant, Colonial Williamsburg
    • Unpacking Jacob Frymire’s Portrait of Amelia Lauck
      Annabeth Hayes, Director of Preservation, Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County
    • Big Wheel Keep on Turning: The Measure of Life through Johann Ludwig Eberhardt’s Odometer
      Lea Lane, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Decorative Arts and Design, Cincinnati Art Museum
    • Southern Collecting in the Post-Civil War Era: A Case Study of Barbara Fritchie’s Desk and Bookcase
      Trent Rhodes, MA, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, University of Delaware
  • Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show:
    • Buying and Selling Philadelphia: The Story of the Legendary 1929 Reifsnyder Sale
      Emelie Gevalt, PhD, Art History, University of Delaware
  • Delaware Antiques Show Lecture, Young Scholars Lectures:
    • Truths of the Trade: Collecting, Researching, and Exhibiting an Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World Cabinet
      R.J. Lara, Alexandra Rosenberg, Winterthur Program Lecture in American Material Culture, University of Delaware
    • “The Very Quintessence of Fashion”: George Wyon, Composition Ornament, and Design Books at Winterthur
      Elizabeth Humphrey, Winterthur Program Lecture in American Material Culture, University of Delaware
  • New Orleans Antiques Forum Young Scholar Lecture:
    • Making Clothing Work: Garments for Life in the Deep South, 1750-1865
      Tyler Putnam, General Education Manager, Museum of the American Revolution


  • Emerging Scholars Colloquium
    • “Conformable to that of the water”: Cultural Confluence in the Decorative Arts of Early Kentucky
      Daniel Ackerman, Department of Art History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Revisiting Taunton: Making and Collecting the Chests of Robert Crosman
      Emilie Gevalt, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, University of Delaware
    • Inspiring Interiors: England in the Time of Casanova
      Courtney Harris, Cultural Research Fellow, Art of Europe, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    • High Style in the Lower Chesapeake: The Cabinetmakers of Edenton, 1745-1785
      Joseph Litts, Department of History, Clemson University
    • The Authority of Handicraft in the Age of Synthetics: Modern Weaving in the United States, 1930s-1950s
      Sarah Mills, Department of Art History, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • John A. H. Sweeney Emerging Scholar Lectures
    • Savannah:
      Following the Ten Commandments: The Tablet Samplers of Mary Smallwood and Sarah Jones
      Jenny Garwood, Curatorial Associate, The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts
    • Hartford:
      Thistles & Crowns: The Painted Chests of the Connecticut Shore
      Benjamin W. Colman, Associate Curator, Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Marie Zimmermann Emerging Scholar Lectures
    • Hartford Symposium:
      A Story of Sunshine and Shadow: Elizabeth H. Colt and the Crafting of the Colt Legacy in Hartford
      Willie Granston, Ph.D. student, History of Art & Architecture, Boston University
  • Colonial Williamsburg, Antiques Forum, Young Scholars Lectures
    • More than Just a Pretty Face: Reconsidering John Hesselius
      Janine Yorimoto Boldt, PhD, The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA
    • Dr. Who? Apothe-What? The Birth of the Modern Pharmacy through the Lens of an 18th-Century Apothecary Chest
      Torren Gatson, PhD, Middle Tennessee University, Mufreesboro, TN
    • A Vessel of Memory: Thomas Chandler’s Eastern Shore Landscape
      Katherine Carson Hughes, Historic Charleston Foundation, Curatorial Research Assistant, Charleston, SC
    • Unpacking the Past: The Clothespress of Maria Carter Beverley
      Alexander Wilson, Ashley Whittaker Design, Design Assistant, New York, NY


  • Fall 2016 Sweeney Emerging Scholar Lecture
    ‘Wel Don’ Chests and Pine Boxes: The Material Culture of Shenandoah County, 1800-1850
    Sarah Thomas, PhD Candidate, Department of History, College of William & Mary
  • Spring 2016 Zimmermann Emerging Scholars Lectures
    Presentations by recent MESDA Summer Institute alumnae
    • Family Matters: The Rope and Tassel Inlay School
      Amber Clawson, Director, Historical Association of Catawba County
    • Sacred or Secular: The Life of a Mahogany Stretcher Table in Charleston
      April Strader-Bullin, Director of Museum Programs, MESDA
    • “Inferior to None in the Western Country”: Early Stoneware Pottery Traditions in Maysville, Kentucky
      Brenda Hornsby Heindl, Ceramics Department Head, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
  • Spring 2016 Sweeney Emerging Scholar Lecture
    Much of Artistic Merit Still to Discover: MESDA’s Next Fifty Years
    Daniel Ackermann, Associate Curator, MESDA
  • Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum, Decorative Arts Trust Young Scholars Lectures
    • From Dining Room to Auction Block: The Mysteries of Governor Al(l)ston’s Sideboard
      Laura Conte, Visitor Services Coordinator, O. Winston Link Museum
    • “Don’t Cry for Me, America”: A Charleston Silk on Silk Embroidery with Watercolor
      Mark Farnsworth, Director, Historic Bethania
    • The Smiths: A Case Study of Family Portraiture in the Early Republic
      Katie McKinney, Sotheby’s Auctions, Department of American Furniture, Decorative Arts, and Folk Art


  • Fall 2015 Sweeney Emerging Scholar Lecture
    Parlor Games: Decorative Arts and the McLellan House, 1801-2015
    Diana Jocelyn Greenwold, Curatorial Fellow, Portland Museum of Art
  • Fall 2015 Zimmermann Emerging Scholar Lecture
    Tiffany Ecclesiastical Works in the Summer Churches of Maine
    Josh Probert, Independent Historical Consultant, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Spring 2015 Sweeney Emerging Scholar Lecture
    The Noble Splendor of the Armeria de Dos Aquas: A Spanish Renaissance Armory at the Art Institute of Chicago
    Jonathan Tavares, Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation Curatorial Fellow, Medieval to Modern European Painting & Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago
  • Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum, Decorative Arts Trust Young Scholars Lectures
    • Smoothing the Transition: The Life and Planes of William Little
      Nathan Jones, Masters Candidate, History, Texas State University
    • “That Penetrating and sidelong Gaze”: Revealing Identity and Place in Alexander Bradford’s Portrait of James Batterton
      Catherine Carlisle, Assistant Cataloguer, Charlton Hall Auctions
    • Fit for a President: The Material World of William Dallam
      Grant Quertermous, Assistant Curator, James Madison’s Montpelier


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