In addition to the Decorative Arts Trust’s support of scholarship through the Emerging Scholars Program, we eagerly promote the research, exhibitions, and projects undertaken by colleagues at museums around the country.
Members who would like to recommend new exhibits, museum renovations or expansions, or scholarship for consideration are welcome to contact the Trust.
BY ISABELLA ROSNER
Elizabeth and Ann Marsh taught the daughters of elite Quaker and non-Quaker Philadelphia families, establishing a needlework aesthetic popular throughout the Delaware Valley for more than a century.
BY LAURYN SMITH
In the 1600s, wealthy and elite individuals began amassing extraordinary collections, composed of both locally produced and imported works of art. Few were as innovative as Amalia van Solms-Braunfels, Princess of Orange.
BY MICHAEL W. HARTMAN
A 1789 Maryland inventory recorded seven enslaved people—Beck and her children Juliet, Biddy, and Henry; Mary and her daughter Appolonia; and a man called Dick—as the property of Benjamin and Eleanor Laming, the subjects of a double portrait by Charles Willson Peale.
BY MARGARET WOOD
Best known as an interior decorator and wallpaper historian, Nancy Vincent McClelland’s passion for wallpaper spanned decades. Throughout her nearly 60-year career, she studied, collected, produced, and used wallpapers in her practice.
BY JENA GILBERT-MERRILL
In 1909, a little-known artist and social reformer named Louise Brigham published Box Furniture: How to Make a Hundred Useful Articles for the Home, a collection of instructions for producing simple, modular furniture from repurposed wooden packing crates.
BY SUE A. KEILBAUGH
In 1901, William Lightfoot Price brought together a group of prosperous Philadelphia free thinkers who enjoyed debating current philosophies of reform with the more informal company of his partners, friends, and relatives whose interests lay primarily in aesthetic matters. The consequence was the start of Price’s experimental utopian community based on the Arts & Crafts Movement.
BY JULIE SIGLIN
The story begins with a magnificent cherry tree. Wharton Esherick (1887–1970), an artist often considered the father of the Studio Furniture movement, was recently married and searching for a home in which to start his family. While exploring properties for sale in the Paoli, PA, area with his realtor, the agent said, “I’ll show you a place that I think you’ll like.”
BY ELIZABETH S. HUMPHREY
Some of the sculptures contained in Douglass’s collection were Greco-Roman mythological figures such as Clytie, Mercury, and Psyche. However, Douglass’s ownership of a Diana of Versailles bust and a miniature version of The Greek Slave carry special significance.
BY ALEXANDRA M. MACDONALD
Supported by a Decorative Arts Trust Research Grant, I was able to conduct research into the Follet sampler in the MESDA collection and at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. While my research is far from complete, I posit that all four members of the Follet family—Francis, Eliza, Mary, and Ann—are represented in this unique embroidery.
BY LAURA KEIM
Iron hooks embedded in second-floor chamber ceilings at Stenton pose questions about bedstead type.