The Decorative Arts Trust Announces Failey Grant Recipients

Posted in books, exhibitions, museums by Editor on December 3, 2021

From the press release (1 December 2021) . . .

Thomas W. Commeraw, Jug, ca. 1796–1819, stoneware and cobalt oxide. Impressed on front: “COMMERAW’S/STONEWARE / CORLEARS / HOOK / N. YORK” (New-York Historical Society, 1937.820).

The Decorative Arts Trust congratulates author Caitlin Meehye Beach, Historic Rock Ford, and the New-York Historical Society on receiving Failey Grants. The Failey Grant program provides $25,000 in support for noteworthy research, exhibition, publication, and conservation projects through the Dean F. Failey Fund, named in honor of the Trust’s late Governor. Preference is given to projects that employ or are led by emerging professionals in the museum field.

Caitlin Meehye Beach, an assistant professor in the Department of Art History and affiliated faculty in the Department of African and African American Studies at Fordham University, will utilize grant funds for her forthcoming book Sculpture at the Ends of Slavery, which will be published by the University of California Press in 2022. The text will examine how a wide range of works of sculpture and decorative art—from antislavery medallions to statues of bondspeople bearing broken chains—gave visual form to narratives about abolition in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Historic Rock Ford in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will use grant funding for further research and interpretation of the over 200 objects in their John J. Snyder, Jr. Gallery of Early Lancaster County Decorative Arts. Their goal is to uncover more about the shops, apprentices, laborers, indentured laborers, and enslaved workers who contributed to the Gallery’s collection of furniture, silver, clocks, and paintings from the mid-1700s to the early 1800s.

The New-York Historical Society receives grant funding for the groundbreaking exhibition Crafting Freedom: Uncovering the Life and Legacy of Free Black Potter Thomas Commeraw, to be presented January to June 2023 in their Pam & Scott Schafler Gallery. Crafting Freedom will be the first exhibition focused solely on Commeraw, a free Black craftsman descended from enslaved people, who was active as a master potter from the 1790s through 1819.

The Decorative Arts Trust is a non-profit membership organization that promotes and fosters the appreciation and study of the decorative arts through exchanging information through domestic and international programming; collaborating and partnering with museums and preservation organizations; and underwriting internships, research grants, and scholarships for graduate students and young professionals.

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