Salem Emerging Scholar Lectures Available Online

Jan 7, 2022

During the Decorative Arts Trust’s Fall 2021 Symposium in Salem, we were pleased to welcome two emerging scholars to lecture about their research. 

Sybil F. Johnson, a PhD Candidate at Boston University, presented the John A.H. Sweeney Emerging Scholar Lecture “Out on the Waters!” Image and Meaning in an Indian Princess Ship Figurehead. Sybil examines a figurehead associated with the ship Indian Princess on display in the Peabody Essex Museum’s East India Marine Hall. The c. 1875 figurehead is attributed to C. A. L. Sampson of Bath, ME, who produced over 20 figureheads during his career. The Indian Princess does not fall into one of the major figurehead archetypes and instead is an atypical assemblage that incorporates aspects of feminine, Classical, and Native American motifs. The figurehead’s facial features, dress, and forward-leaning stance differ from Sampson’s other works, and Sybil uncovered potential connections to Pocahontas’s story and a vessel named the Forest Belle

Katharine F. Grant, a Curatorial Fellow at The Trustees of Reservations, presented the Marie Zimmermann Emerging Scholar Lecture “Turn to Nature”: Joseph Everett Chandler’s Colonial Revival Transformation of Stevens-Coolidge House. In 1914-1918, Chandler renovated John Gardner Coolidge and Helen Stevens Coolidge’s Ashdale Farm home in North Andover, MA. During her research, Katie found that Chandler was much more than an architect: he had a hand in every part of the renovation process, including color, layout, and object selection. Before-and-after photos, receipts, letters, and diary entries shed light on the stories behind Chandler’s updates to the Dining Room, Library, Morning Room, and Front Hall. Katie shared behind-the-scenes photographs of The Trustees’ Library and Morning Room restorations over the past few years, during which they uncovered early wallpapers, textiles, and more. 

The Trust thanks these two excellent scholars for sharing their new research with Symposium participants. We are pleased to underwrite a variety of lectures by young scholars at our symposia as well as outside conferences. If you enjoy these lecture videos, we invite you to watch more of our over 50 YouTube videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel

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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