A More Perfect Union

Glenn Adamson Art

How curators interpret figural ceramics from long ago—or, indeed, walls full of portrait paintings—may seem of modest importance, compared to the seismic shifts in public consciousness that have occurred this year. But it’s of such building blocks that a new, egalitarian edifice will be built. It’s a project we will all need to work on, together.

American vernacular rococo

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, May/June 2013 | About 1736 John Lewis (1678-1762) of Ulster, County Donegal, Ireland, killed his impetuous young landlord, “cleaving in twain his skull,” and then fled to Philadelphia in the American colonies. The following year his wife Margaret Lynn Lewis (1693-1773) and their four sons joined him. Informed that he was still a wanted man, Lewis …

Beyond moonlight and magnolias

Editorial Staff Art

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, September/October 2012 | “When I met Frank Horton and saw the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in 1976, I put down the Confederate flag and picked up a chair leg. How much better to see the South through its art, to understand its identity through its achievements rather than through the sacrifice of war. Here …

Miniature discoveries

Editorial Staff Art

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, January/February 2012 | The recent appearance of two portrait miniatures leads to new information about back­country South Carolina artist Isaac Brownfield Alexander. Last year Elle Shushan, a leading expert on portrait miniatures, alerted curators at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) about the pending sale of a rare work by a southern artist-a delightful …


Editorial Staff Exhibitions, Furniture & Decorative Arts

Sometimes you have to move every object in a collection to fully appreciate it.  In January the curatorial team at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts did just that.  We moved virtually every exhibited object in the museum’s galleries and opened our new 45-minute guided tour, called Southernisms: People and Places, in one week’s time.  Exhausted, and with sore …