“The ride of a lifetime” by Ron Hurst

1978 MESDA Summer Institute class

Frank Horton and the MESDA Summer Institute shaped the course of my career.  As I was finishing undergraduate school, I knew I wanted to work in material culture. I also knew that my southern roots were pulling my research interests away from the “traditional” American decorative arts path.  Frank and that amazing six-week 1978 Summer Institute showed me the way.  Nearly forty years later I’m still at it and it’s been the ride of a lifetime.  I will always be grateful for Frank’s path breaking role in our field.

And I still remember the last morning of our Institute, when the whole class showed up on Frank’s doorstep at 7:00 a.m. to sing “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning…”  That put a smile on his face.

Ronald L. Hurst, Virginia
Vice President for Collections, Conservation, and Museums
The Carlisle H. Humelsine Chief Curator
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation


Celebrating Frank L. Horton’s 100th Birthday