Alan Andersen is a specialist in furniture and wooden artifact restoration based in Cochranville, Pennsylvania. He has done conservation work for numerous museums, including Winterthur Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum, Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee Art Museum, Historic Deerfield, and Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Since 2001, he has been a member of the vetting committee for the Winter Antiques Show in New York City. Andersen is also owner of Londonderry Brasses in Cochranville and Andersen & Stauffer Furniture Makers in Lititz, Pennsylvania.
Deborah M. Child is an author, lecturer, and independent curator. She was assistant director at the University of New Hampshire art gallery and project assistant for “Becoming Americans: The Shapiro Story, 1898– 1928” at Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, before becoming project curator of the Catalogue RaisonnÚ for John Samuel Blunt. Child was curator of the first solo exhibition of Blunt’s work in New Hampshire and author of The Sketchbooks of John Samuel Blunt (2007). Currently a guest lecturer for the American Society of Appraisers, she is a regular contributor to Antiques & Fine Art, her most recent articles being “Samuel Jordan: Artist, Thief, Villain” (Summer/Autumn 2009) and “Thank Goodness for Granny Notes: Rufus Porter and His New England Sitters” (Summer/Autumn 2010).
Gavin Ashworth began as an industrial and advertising photographer in his native England and after moving to New York City launched a second career specializing in fine and decorative arts photography. He has contributed to more than fifty books based on numerous private and public collections, among them Winterthur Museum, Metropolitan Museum, American Folk Art Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, and the White House. Recent publications featuring his photographs are: American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2007), The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs (2008), The Seven Bridges Collection: The First Fifteen Years (2009), and Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum (2010). He was the photographer for Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006).
Jean M. Burks is curator of decorative arts at Shelburne Museum, in Shelburne, Vermont. She was formerly curator of collections at Canterbury Shaker Village, New Hampshire, and associate curator of American decorative arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in charge of the Zieget Shaker Collection. She is a frequent speaker at Shaker museums and co-author of The Complete Book of Shaker Furniture (1993) and The Encyclopedia of Shaker Furniture (2003). In 2007 she is organizing a major Shaker exhibition at Shelburne Museum.
Paul S. D’Ambrosio is president and chief curator of the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY. He has curated numerous exhibitions in the United States and Europe, delivered lectures, and published articles on the subject of American folk art. He co-authored Folk Art’s Many Faces: Portraits in the New York State Historical Association (with Charlotte M. Emans, 1987) and is author of Ralph Fasanella’s America (2001). Most recently, he curated the traveling exhibitions “A Deaf Artist in Early America: The Worlds of John Brewster, Jr.” (2005–2007) and “Grandma Moses: Grandmother to the Nation” (2006–2008), and edited a series of Fenimore Art Museum exhibition catalogues on Winslow Homer, American artists in Rome, African Americans in American art, and portraits of women by John Singer Sargent. His essays “Folk Portraits” and “Two Masterworks by John Brewster, Jr.” appeared in Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006).
Erin E. Eisenbarth is a Ph.D. candidate at the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, in New York City, where her studies focus on the colonial revival, the history of collecting, and gender and the decorative arts. A graduate of the Winterthur program in early American culture, she has also worked in the American decorative arts department at Yale University Art Gallery, where she curated “Baubles, Bangles, and Beads: American Jewelry from Yale University, 1700–2005” and “Made for Love: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana.” She has contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues and books, including the introduction and notes to the 2007 reissue of Early Connecticut Silver, 1700–1840, by Peter Bohan and Philip Hammerslough. Her essay “Made for Children’s Use” appeared in Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006).
Robin Jaffee Frank is the chief curator and Krieble Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Wadsworth Anteneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT. She has lectured widely and organized numerous exhibitions. Among her books are Charles Demuth Poster Portraits: 1923–1929 (1994), Love and Loss: American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures (2000) and Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008 (2015). Frank co-authored American daguerreotypes from the Matthew R. Isenburg Collection (1989) and contributed to A Private View: American Paintings from the Manoogian Collection (1993). She was a co-organizer of the exhibition and publication Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery (2008). For Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006), she wrote “Portraits of Children.”
Robert Hunter is a specialist in British and American ceramics with 20 years of professional experience in historical archaeology. He is currently editor of Ceramics in America, published annually by the Chipstone Foundation. He was founding director of the Center for Archaeological Research at the College of William and Mary and was assistant curator of ceramics and glass at Colonial Williamsburg. Hunter coauthored the seminal article “English Shell-Edge Earthenwares” (with George L. Miller in Antiques, March 1994) and contributed the chapter “English Delft from Williamsburg’s Archaeological Contexts” to John C. Austin’s British Delft at Williamsburg (1994).
Patricia E. Kane is the Friends of American Arts curator of American decorative arts at the Yale University Art Gallery, where she has been a staff member since 1968. Throughout her career Miss Kane has organized numerous exhibitions and contributed to their publications. With Edwin A. Battison she published The American Clock, 1725-1865: The Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (1973). Other publications include 300 Years of American Seating Furniture: Chairs and Beds from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (1976) and Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers: A Biographical Dictionary Based on the Notes of Francis Hill Bigelow and John Marshall Phillips (1998). She is currently directing a study of Rhode Island furniture making that will result in an on-line database, an exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery, and an accompanying publication.
Jane Katcher is a retired pediatric radiologist whose career was spent in academic medicine in Washington, DC, and Miami, Florida. A primary focus of her medical specialty was evaluating radiographs used in diagnosis. Over time she came to realize that the aesthetic beauty of these images deserved attention and, in the 1970s, worked on an exhibition of radiographs as art. Katcher’s interest in art began early; she started collecting as an adolescent and has never stopped. While living in Washington, DC, she acquired her first pieces of early American textiles and pottery, initiating a decades-long devotion to American folk art and Americana. She co-edited and wrote for Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006).
Richard Miller, formerly curator of sculpture and decorative arts at Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, is an independent scholar, writing and consulting in the field of American art. He has contributed to a number of major publications: Folk Art’s Many Faces: Portraits in the New York Historical Association (1987), American Na´ve Paintings in the National Gallery (1992), Encyclopedia of American Folk Art (2004), and Encyclopedia of New England (2005). A particular interest has been the folk artist Sheldon Peck; Miller published a study of Peck’s Illinois period in Antiques (September 1984), and his essay “Four Portraits by Sheldon Peck” appeared
in Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006).
Michael F. Reagan painted his first map at age five while living in Japan with his parents, and has spent his career creating maps and illustrations of the many exotic places he has loved and sometimes visited. After a tour of duty with the Navy during the Vietnam War, he lived in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, roamed the islands of the South Pacific, and worked random jobs across the American South, Key West, and the Bahamas. Next came a college degree and a MFA in painting. While serving in the Peace Corps in West Africa, he met his wife and with her settled in the mountains of North Carolina. Among his clients are book publishers and major corporations, newspapers and national magazines. His maps and illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Architectural Digest, Smithsonian, Travel & Leisure, Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, Mother Jones, and many others. All his maps are carefully researched, hand painted, and hand lettered.
Charles Santore, a native of Philadelphia, has had a distinguished career as an illustrator for national publications and children’s books. His works are included in private and public collections, among them the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Turning an artist’s eye to Windsor furniture, he became a collector and author of an essential reference book on the subject, The Windsor Style in America (2 vols., 1981, 1987; reprint 1997). He contributed the essay “The Windsor: A Philadelphia Style” to The 1982 Philadelphia Antiques Show Catalog and was guest curator and catalog author for “The Windsor Style,” an exhibition at Hirschl & Adler Folk, New York, in 1987.
David A. Schorsch is a nationally recognized antiques dealer and a specialist in various categories of American antiques and folk art. Born into a family of antiques collectors and dealers, he began collecting at the age of six and at fourteen was the youngest dealer ever to exhibit at the prestigious Connecticut Antiques Show. He has been an advisor in the assembly of notable private collections and throughout his career has placed an emphasis on scholarship, publishing a series of catalogs and articles that have served to expand reference information in the field of American folk art. Since 1995, he has been affiliated with Eileen M. Smiles; together they have exhibited at the Winter Antiques Show in New York City since 2002. He was a co-editor of Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006) and co-authored its catalog.
Peter Swift Seibert is executive director of the National Council for History Education, a nationwide organization of teachers, academics, and museum educators dedicated to the teaching and learning of history. Formerly, he was president and chief executive officer of the Heritage Center of Lancaster County and an adjunct faculty member of the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, both in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His book How We Lived (2003) examines late nineteenth-century domestic life through photography.
Robert Shaw, formerly a curator at Shelburne Museum, is a gifted communicator who lectures and writes on many categories of American folk arts and crafts. His many publications include America’s Traditional Crafts (1993), The Art Quilt (1997), American Baskets (2000), Classic Guitars (2004), American Quilts: The Democratic Art, 1780–2007 (2009), and Bird Decoys of North America: Nature, History, and Art (2010). He has curated exhibitions at major museums in the United States and abroad and has served as a consultant to private collectors, museums, and Sotheby’s. To Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006), he contributed “Humanizing the Mundane,” “United As This Heart You See: Memories of Friendship and Family,” “Academy and School Work,” and “Boxes and Baskets.”
Eileen M. Smiles operates a Woodbury, Connecticut, antiques business specializing in American antiques and folk art. She holds a master’s degree in the history of decorative arts from the Cooper Hewitt Museum and Parsons School of Design, and has written articles and books on various decorative arts subjects for both adults and children. Her most recent children’s books are American Folk Art ABC (2002) and, with Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, Apple for the Teacher: Thirty Songs for Singing While You Work (2005). She was co-author of the catalog for Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006).
Scott T. Swank became executive director of Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, in 2005. For the previous fifteen years he was president of Canterbury Shaker Village, New Hampshire, one of the largest Shaker museums in the country. During that time he authored and edited four books on the Shakers, including Shaker Life, Art, and Architecture (1999). He began his career at Winterthur Museum and Gardens, where he and other Winterthur staff wrote Arts of the Pennsylvania Germans (1983). Swank grew up in a restored Pennsylvania-German farmhouse in Lancaster County, where he was able to observe Amish and Mennonite culture firsthand.
Richard W. Stevenson is a writer from a family of writers. His father Robert P. Stevenson was a World War II correspondent and a national magazine editor; his mother and uncle were advertising copywriters in New York City; and his son and namesake continues the family tradition as a political editor for The New York Times. Stevenson himself spent several decades writing and producing television commercials in Manhattan, as he and his wife Pamela Stevenson collected American antiques and fixed up three houses in Litchfield County, Connecticut, two of which were built in the eighteenth century. For twelve years he has been a Connecticut-based freelance writer, focusing on Americana and historic preservation. His work has appeared in the Litchfield County Times, Early American Life, the Connecticut section of The New York Times, and the Hartford Courant arts magazine, among others.
Robert W. Wilkins, with his partner Suzanne Courcier, has an antiques business in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, specializing in Shaker material culture and American antiques with an emphasis on original condition. Wilkins has served on the dealers’ committee and the vetting committee for the Winter Antiques Show in New York City, and he is on the advisory board for the Shaker Museum and Library. Both he and Suzanne Courcier are corporators of Hancock Shaker Village, and are Appleton Circle and Council members of Historic New England. His article “The Shaker Aesthetic Reconsidered” appeared in Antiques, January 2008.
Ruth Wolfe is an editor, writer, and independent curator specializing in American folk art and antiques. She was an editor at the magazines Horizon and Art in America, and for the exhibition catalogs The Flowering of American Folk Art (1974) and American Folk Painters of Three Centuries (1980). For the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England), she served as guest curator for the traveling exhibition “A Passion for the Past: The Collection of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little” (1997–98). With Jane Katcher and David A. Schorsch, she co-edited Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana (2006).
Philip Zea is president of Historic Deerfield, Inc., in Deerfield, Massachusetts. A native of New Hampshire, he began his career at the New Hampshire Historical Society and was a staff member at Historic Deerfield for 18 years, concluding as deputy director and chief curator. After serving as curator of furniture at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and as vice president for museums and collections at the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England.) in Boston, he returned to Deerfield to assume his present position. Zea’s publications include Clock Making in New England, 1725-1825: An Interpretation of the Old Sturbridge Village Collection (1992), The Dunlap Cabinetmakers: A Tradition in Craftsmanship (1994), and “Useful Improvements, Innumerable Temptations”: Pursuing Refinement in Rural New England, 1750-1850 (1998).