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.
Louise Brigham’s Box Furniture and the Long History of Democratic Design and Creative Reuse
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.
The Arts & Crafts Experiment of Rose Valley
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.
A Place That I Think You’ll Like
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.”
American Classicism and Frederick Douglass’s Sculpture Collection
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.
The Follet Sampler at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts
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.
Hooked on Beds: Stenton’s Re-created Flying Tester Bedstead
BY LAURA KEIM
Iron hooks embedded in second-floor chamber ceilings at Stenton pose questions about bedstead type.
MESDA’s Southern Pathways: Visiting Curators Connect Community with Collections
BY DANIEL ACKERMANN
As part of the Study South Initiative, MESDA invited three scholars—Michael J. Bramwell, Simiyha N. J. Garrison, and Robert Hunter—to join us as guest curators.
A Square Piano in Time and Space
BY BRENTON GROM
The Read House includes a Charles Trute square piano that recalls one Read acquired around 1806 for his daughter Kitty.
Horse Stables and Musical Chairs: Scholars Share New Research During Virtual Colloquium
BY MARY FESAK AND ALEXANDRA CADE
The 2021 Virtual Emerging Scholars Colloquium featured presentations on elite horse culture and the material culture of music.
Jenrette’s Legacy at Your Fingertips: CAHPT to Launch Collections Catalog
BY GRANT S. QUERTERMOUS
Classical American Homes Preservation Trust (CAHPT) is finalizing a redesigned website that fully reflects our educational mission.