Mission

edenton_parlor_aThe Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) is the preeminent center for researching, collecting, and exhibiting decorative arts made and used by those living and working in the early South. One of the museums at Old Salem Museums & Gardens, MESDA is home to the finest collection of southern decorative arts in the country. The museum is internationally recognized for its contributions to the study and understanding of the history, decorative arts, and material culture of the American South.

Old Salem Museums & Gardens is one of America’s most comprehensive history attractions. Its museums—the Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), and the Gardens at Old Salem—engage visitors in an educational and memorable historical experience about those who lived and worked in the early South.