Southern Accents: Slabs, Safes, Seats, and Color

October 24-26, 2024 Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Southern Accents:

Slabs, Safes, Seats, and Color

A MESDA Furniture Seminar

 

 

October 24-26, 2024

The MESDA Furniture Seminar is a biennial forum for collectors, curators, woodworkers, and conservators to explore a variety of topics related to the serious study of antique furniture.  The program is known for its intimate size that allows speakers and attendees the change to interact with each other and the MESDA and Old Salem collections.  From Virginia pie safes to Alabama slabs, the 2024 program will explore the various ways southern regional identity manifests in furniture styles and making.

Special themed pre-conference experiences will include a behind-the-scenes tour of MESDA’s paint decorated furniture collection with Lea Lane, Curator of the MESDA Collection. Sally Gant, Former Educational Director at MESDA, will also deliver a pre-conference workshop on “the Guilford Limner,” a still-anonymous 19th century painter whose portraits of Kentuckians and Carolinians also include detailed depictions of regional furniture and interiors.

Featured speakers include Keynote Speaker Roy Underhill of PBS’s the Woodwright Shop, and demonstrations of Shenandoah Valley paint decoration techniques by Dr. Angela Caban of the American College of the Building Arts and Chet Tomlinson of Old Salem who will demonstrate the processes behind a distinctive Kentucky chair group.

In addition to two days of lectures and demonstrations, attendees will also have the opportunity to examine MESDA’s furniture collection up close during an open house in the MESDA study rooms.

 


REGISTRATION OPEN!

 

Full Registration $395.00 | $385.00 Frank L. Horton Society*
Registration includes participation in the full program with two receptions, two lunches, two breakfasts, all lectures proposed on the agenda, and admission to all sites proposed on the agenda. Fundraiser registration not included. 
Full Registration with Pre-Conference Paint Decorated Furniture Tour  Sold Out! $435.00 | $425.00 Frank L. Horton Society*
Registration includes participation in the pre-conference Paint Decorated Furniture Tour, the full program with two receptions, two lunches, two breakfasts, all lectures proposed on the agenda, and admission to all sites proposed on the agenda. Fundraiser registration not included. 

To join the waitlist for the Paint-Decorated Furniture tour, please contact [email protected].

Full Registration with Pre-Conference Guilford Limner Lecture Sold Out! $415.00 |  $405.00 Frank L. Horton Society*
Registration includes participation in the pre-conference Guilford Limner lecture, the full program with two receptions, two lunches, two breakfasts, all lectures proposed on the agenda, and admission to all sites proposed on the agenda. Fundraiser registration not included. 
 
Full Registration with Both Pre-Conference Activities  Sold Out! $450.00 |  $440.00 Frank L. Horton Society*
Registration includes participation in both pre-conference activities, the full program with two receptions, two lunches, two breakfasts, all lectures proposed on the agenda, and admission to all sites proposed on the agenda. Fundraiser registration not included. 
To join the waitlist for the Paint-Decorated Furniture tour, please contact [email protected].

*This program is anticipated to sell out.  Please note that members of the Frank L. Horton Society receive priority registration privileges, as well as a discount on their tickets.  To receive your Frank L. Horton Society discount, please be sure you register and/or sign in with your Old Salem Museums & Gardens username and password.  If you would like to join the Frank L. Horton Society, or if you would like to learn more, please click here.


PRE-CONFERENCE TOURS AND LECTURES

Join Sally Gant, former MESDA Educational Director, for an afternoon session on the Guilford Limner, an unnamed painter operating in 19th century Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The Limner’s colorful likenesses of local women, men and children also included vibrant ornamented interiors and fancy furniture as well as the work of regional chairmakers. Original portraits by the Limner will be on view.
 

Sold Out! To join the waitlist, please email [email protected]

Join Lea Lane, Curator of the MESDA Collection, for an afternoon tour of paint-decorated furniture from across the south. Learn about the varied techniques used, what paint analysis can reveal, and the people whose lives intersected with these objects.  


SPEAKERS

Roy Underhill
(The Woodwrights Shop)

Betsy Davison
(Independent Scholar & Author)

Dr. Angela Caban
(Adjunct Professor of Plaster/Decorative Finishes, The American College of Building Arts)

Jeff Evans
(Owner, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates)

Mack Cox
(Independent Scholar

Chet Tomlinson
(Senior Woodworker, Old Salem Museums & Gardens)

David Dewing
(Former President, Regional Furniture Society)

Jackie Killian
(Assistant Director of Academic Programs, Winterthur Museum)

Dale Couch
(Former Curator of Decorative Arts, Georgia Museum of Art)

Martin O’Brien
(Owner, Martin O’Brien Cabinetmaker)

PROGRAM

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24

2:15 pm   Pre-conference Paint Decorated Furniture Tour at MESDA
3:30 pm   Pre-conference Guilford Limner Lecture at MESDA

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25

10:00 am   Doors open and breakfast begins
10:30 am   Welcome and Lectures
10:45 am   Betsy Davison: The Painted Furniture of John Spitler 
11:30 am   Coffee Break
11:45 am   Demonstration: Spitler paint decorated furniture by Angela Caban
1:15 pm   Lunch
2:15 pm   Jeffrey Evans: Pie Safes of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley
3:00 pm   MESDA Open House
5:00 pm   Keynote Reception
6:00 pm   Roy Underhill: Keynote Address

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26

9:30 am   David Dewing: The Cotton Archive & English Chairmakers
10: 15 am   Coffee Break
10:30 am   Mack Cox: Kentucky Penitentiary Chairs
11:00 am   Demonstration: Kentucky penitentiary chairs by Chet Tomlinson
12:30 pm   Lunch
2:00 pm   Jackie Killian: Alabama Slabs
2:45 pm   Break
3:15 pm   Dale Couch: Best Crescent Foot Forward
4:00 pm   Martin O’Brien: Conservation of a Unique Georgia Piedmont Desk and Bookcase
5:00 pm   Closing BBQ

 


PROGRAM PRESENTED BY:

 

WITH GENEROUS SUPPORT PROVIDED BY:


TRAVEL DETAILS

The Hawthorne Inn & Conference Center:
420 High Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
336-777-3000
Group Name: MESDA Furniture Seminar 
Cut-off date is September 16th at 11:59 pm.

CANCELLATION POLICY
Registrants who cancel at least two weeks prior to a program will receive a full refund minus a $50 handling fee.  No refunds will be given for cancellations that occur less than two weeks prior to the event.