MESDA Summer Institute

June 16–July 12, 2019 Winston-Salem, NC

The Backcountry: The Cotton South and the Lower Southern Piedmont

The 2019 MESDA Summer Institute will emphasize the decorative arts and material culture of the Cotton South, including the Georgia Piedmont and Upcountry South Carolina, a region defined by craftsmen and consumers of Native American, African, and European ancestry.  The Summer Institute is a multidisciplinary seminar with a month-long curriculum that includes lectures, discussions, hands-on workshops, artifact studies, an intensive study trip through western North Carolina, east Tennessee, the Georgia Piedmont, and Upcountry South Carolina, and a capstone research project.

Now in its 43rd year, the MESDA Summer Institute is presented in partnership with the University of Virginia, which awards three hours of graduate credit through the Graduate Program in the History of Art and Architecture.

Significant fellowships—including media specific fellowships for the study of ceramics and architecture—are available to qualified applicants.


Applications open on November 15, 2018 and are due by February 15, 2019.



Tuition & Fellowships

About the Institute

Support the MESDA Summer Institute

The Frank L. Horton Fellowship Fund provides critical support to MESDA’s Summer Institute for Early Southern Decorative Arts and Material Culture. Please click here to contribute to the Frank L. Horton Fellowship Fund.