Southern Pathways: A New Way to Experience the MESDA Collection

Southern Pathways, part of the Study South Initiative, is a project to encourage and implement strategic change in how we interpret the MESDA and Old Salem collections to the public.  Among its outcomes, the Southern Pathways project will develop a new virtual gallery guide for onsite and online learning that helps us share a complete and accurate account of the people—women and men, enslaved and free—who built the early American South through the objects they made and used. This new interpretive platform will allow visitors to explore our self-guided galleries (and our collection) at their own pace using their own devices along a variety of narrative pathways.  

About MESDA and Old Salem Museums & Gardens

The 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 Moravian 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.