Failey Grants Awarded to Author Caitlin Meehye Beach, Historic Rock Ford, and New-York Historical Society

Dec 1, 2021

The Decorative Arts Trust’s Failey Grant program supports 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 emerging professionals in the museum field. The review committee selected three recipients for 2022 grants: Caitlin Meehye Beach, Historic Rock Ford, and the New-York Historical Society. 

Caitlin Meehye Beach, an assistant professor in the Department of Art History and affiliated faculty in the Department of African and African American Studies at Fordham University, will utilize grant funds for her forthcoming book, Sculpture at the Ends of Slavery, which will be published by the University of California Press in 2022. The text will examine how a wide range of works of sculpture and decorative art—from antislavery medallions to statues of bondspeople bearing broken chains—gave visual form to narratives about abolition in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Historic Rock Ford in Lancaster, PA, will use grant funding for further research and interpretation of the over 200 objects in their John J. Snyder, Jr. Gallery of Early Lancaster County Decorative Arts. Their goal is to uncover more about the shops, apprentices, and laborers—indentured, enslaved, and free—who contributed to the Gallery’s collection of furniture, silver, clocks, and paintings from the mid-1700s to the early 1800s. 

The New-York Historical Society receives grant funding for the groundbreaking exhibition Crafting Freedom: Uncovering the Life and Legacy of Free Black Potter Thomas Commeraw, to be presented January to June 2023. Crafting Freedom will be the first exhibition focused solely on Commeraw, a free Black craftsman descended from enslaved people, who was active as a master potter from the 1790s through 1819. 

Failey Grants are awarded annually as part of the Decorative Arts Trust’s Emerging Scholars Program, much of which is supported through contributions from Trust members and donors. For updates on grant opportunities and announcements, sign up for the e-newsletter and follow the Trust on Instagram and Facebook

About The Decorative Arts Trust Bulletin

Formerly known as the "blog,” the Bulletin features new research and scholarship, travelogues, book reviews, and museum and gallery exhibitions. The Bulletin complements The Magazine of the Decorative Arts Trust, our biannual members publication.


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