A range of talks relating to recent research in the fields of American Art and Decorative Arts. The symposium will start promptly at 10:00 AM and end approximately at 5:00 PM. If you wish to attend, click here or contact RSVP@Sothebys.com.

Erik Gronning, Senior Vice President, Head of Americana, Sotheby’s

Erik Gronning joined Sotheby’s in 2004. He is a noted American furniture scholar who has written extensively on late 17th and early 18th century American furniture for numerous publications, including The Magazine Antiques, The Catalog of Antiques and Fine Art and American Furniture and the Chipstone Foundation’s yearly journal. He is currently researching New York seating furniture and a group of early Queen Anne Maine case furniture.

Prior to joining Sotheby’s, Mr Gronning was an active American furniture dealer and member of the Antique Dealers Association of America as well as numerous state dealer associations. He has worked for the New York Historical Society and the American Folk Art Museum and continues to advise various other institutions, including the Historic Warner House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He also is a National Council board member of the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Mr. Gronning is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and Chemistry. He received a Master of Science degree in Entomology from Virginia Tech in 1994. Mr. Gronning graduated from Sotheby’s American Arts Course in 1997.

Brandy S. Culp, Chief of Staff/Curator, Steven W. Spandle Architect, LLC

Brandy S. Culp has recently joined the New York firm Steven W. Spandle Architect, LLC as Chief of Staff and Curator. She was previously the Richard W. Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Museum of Art from 2017 to late 2022.

At the Wadsworth, she curated numerous exhibitions including Bed Furnishings in Early America, An Intimate Look; Design in the American Home, 1650-1850; The Mathematics of Elegance, An Icon of Early Connecticut Furniture and Fired Up: Glass Today which has garnered record attendance and is on view until February 5, 2023. She recently co-authored the article, “Forging the ‘Real War’: Nostalgia, Memory, and Trauma in the Bingham Memorial Secretary in American Furniture (2021|2022).

Prior to joining the Wadsworth, Culp served as Curator of Historic Charleston Foundation and was the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in the Department of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also held positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Bard Graduate Center from which she received a Master of Arts degree and currently serves on the Board of Trustees.

Presenting on Forging the Past: The Bingham Family Civil War Memorial Secretary.

Phillip D. Zimmerman Ph.D., Museum and Decorative Arts Consultant

Philip D. Zimmerman is a museum and decorative arts consultant based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A prolific author, teacher, and lecturer, Zimmerman is a nationally recognized authority on early American furniture. His publications include Harmony in Wood: Furniture of the Harmony Society, Delaware Clocks, American Federal Furniture and Decorative Arts from the Watson Collection, and numerous essays and articles in books and periodicals such as American Furniture, The Magazine Antiques, and Winterthur Portfolio. A new book, A Storied Past:  Collections of Historic Odessa, addresses the rich collections of the Corbit-Sharp and Wilson-Warner houses of c. 1770 and will be released shortly.

Before forming his own business serving institutional clients and individual collectors in 1992, Dr. Zimmerman was director of the museum collections division at Winterthur, executive director of the Historical Society of York County, and curator of the Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH. More recently, he was adjunct faculty at New York University and taught at Franklin & Marshall College and The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts. He holds a doctorate in American and New England Studies from Boston University and a master’s degree from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware. He is a commissioner of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and a former trustee of Preservation Pennsylvania.

Presenting on "William Savery: Myths and Realities"

Patricia E. Kane, Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts, Yale University Art Gallery 

Patricia E. Kane, Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Yale University Art Gallery, has been at Yale since receiving her M.A. from the University of Delaware, Winterthur Program in Early American Culture in 1968. She received her Ph.D. in art history from Yale in 1987. She oversees collections of American decorative arts and design that range from 750 AD to the present. Since 2002 she has directed the Rhode Island Furniture Archive at the Yale University Art Gallery that documents furniture making in Rhode Island from 1650 to 1830. The results of this research are disseminated through a website, http://rifa.art.yale.edu, and Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture 1650–1830, a publication for a 2016 exhibition at the Art Gallery. In addition to ongoing research on early Rhode Island furniture, she has collaborated with scientists at Yale to identify the different species of mahogany used in early American furniture.

Presenting on “An Ingenious Man:” Benjamin Peabody, Newport Cabinetmaker

Jeffrey Greene, Author of American Furniture of the 18th Century: History, Technique, Structure

Jeffrey Greene is a furniture maker specializing in 18th-century American designs. His expertise is in creating historically accurate replicas of important original pieces in museums and private collections. Greene is best known for his work in the manner of Newport, Rhode Island’s legendary cabinetmakers, the Townsends and Goddards.

Jeffrey has four decades of experience as a furniture maker and well over one thousand pieces to his credit. He has made demonstration pieces and videos for museums and exhibits including the Rhode Island furniture exhibit at Yale. For thirty years, Jeffrey and his wife Christine have operated the showroom of his work, the Ball & Claw, in Newport, RI.

Greene is the author of American Furniture of the 18th Century: History, Technique, Structure. The book documents the evolution of American furniture design, tying its development to larger trends in art, architecture, and popular taste and explores the details of construction and furniture-making techniques of the period. He has recently completed a second book titled The Art and Mystery, exploring the Newport furniture-making trade in depth and he is currently researching another work on the British occupation of Newport.

Presenting on Demystifying the Townsend and Goddards: Six Generations of Newport Cabinetmakers

Medill Higgins Harvey, Ruth Bigelow Wriston Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts and Manager, Henry R. Luce Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Medill Harvey is the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts and Manager of the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She oversees the collections of American silver, jewelry, and other metalwork, as well as mid-nineteenth-century furniture. Medill joined the staff of the American Wing to direct research for the exhibition Art and The Empire City (2000). She is co-author of Early American Silver in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013) and a contributing author for American Silver in the Art Institute of Chicago (2016). She contributed to The Met’s 2011 and 2009 reinstallations of the American silver and jewelry collections and the exhibition Silversmiths to the Nation (2007). Her most recent publication is Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. (2021), written to accompany an exhibition that will be mounted at The Met in 2024. She is also a co-author and a consulting curator for Modern Gothic: The Inventive Furniture of Kimbel and Cabus, 1863-82 (2021), an exhibition and catalogue produced by the Brooklyn Museum.

Presentation and book signing on Collecting Inspirtation: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co.

Emelie Gevalt, Curatorial Chair for Collections and Curator of Folk Art at the American Folk Art Museum in New York City

Often looking at earlier material through the lens of twentieth-century histories of collecting and collective memory, her work encompasses research interests in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American decorative painting, portraiture, African American material culture and representation, and the Colonial Revival movement. Gevalt received her BA in art history and theater studies from Yale University and her MA from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. She has previously held positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and at Christie’s, New York, where she was a Vice President in the Estates, Appraisals & Valuations department.

Gevalt is a doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware in the art history department, where her work has been supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Track PhD Fellowship. Her dissertation is entitled “Unseen New England: Identity & Exclusion in Early American Art & Material Culture.” Looking through the lens of race and the construction of social hierarchy, her project investigates the conflicting forces of predominantly white New England memory-making and the collective forgetting of Black and Native histories, through a trans-temporal study of some of the region’s earliest images.

Presenting on “What That Quilts Knows About Me: An AFAM Exhibition Preview”

Adrienne Spinozzi, Associate Curator, The American Wing, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Spinozzi joined the American Wing in 2007 and oversees the museum’s American redware, stoneware, and art pottery collections. She recently curated Shapes from out of Nowhere: Ceramics from the Robert A. Ellison Jr. Collection, an exhibition of 20th- and 21st-century ceramics. Her current project is Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina, a presentation of 19th-century stoneware with a focus on the contributions of enslaved potters. She is a graduate of Hartwick College and the Bard Graduate Center in decorative arts, design history, and material culture.

Presenting on Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina.

Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman, Senior Curator of American Art at The Mint Museum

Dr. Jonathan Stuhlman is the Senior Curator of American Art at The Mint Museum, where he has worked since 2006. He also served, from 2013-2019, as the museum’s Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. He previously held curatorial positions at the Norton Museum of Art, the University of Virginia Art Museum; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; and the Art Institute of Chicago. Stuhlman received a B.A. with honors in Art History from Bowdoin College; an M.A. in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and a PhD in the History of Art from the University of Virginia. He has organized numerous traveling exhibitions and contributed to their accompanying catalogues, including: Georgia O’Keeffe: Circling around Abstraction (2006); From New York to Corrymore: Robert Henri and Ireland (2011); Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy (2011); Seeing the World Within: Charles Seliger in the 1940s (2011); Connecting the World: The Panama Canal at 100 (2014); John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist (2021); and the major forthcoming survey Southern/Modern (2023).

Working closely with Todd Herman and Kevin Sharp, he recently co-curated the currently-traveling exhibition American Made: Paintings and Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection and edited and contributed to its accompanying catalogue.

Presenting on Making 'American Made': How the Exhibition of the DeMell Jacobsen Foundation's Painting and Sculpture Collection Came Together

Aspen Golann, American Woodworker and Critical Craft Fellow at the Winterthur Museum

Aspen is an artist, educator & a 17th-19th century furniture maker blending iconic American furniture forms with a background in social practice & fine art.

Her artwork is exhibited nationally and is published in Fine Woodworking Magazine, Architectural Digest, American Craft, Popular Woodworking, Luxe Magazine, Lost Art Press Blog, American Period Furniture, and others. She serves on the board of A Workshop of Our Own and as an ambassador to the Board of Fine Woodworking Magazine. Aspen maintains an active teaching practice and in 2020, with the help of the Mineck Fellowship, founded The Chairmakers Toolbox—a project that provides free tools, education, and mentorship for BIPOC, Genderqueer and female toolmakers seeking to build sustainable businesses.

Most recently, Aspen has received a Windgate residency in the wood/furniture design program at San Diego State University and a Critical Craft Fellowship at Winterthur Museum to explore the physical and social history of the Windsor chair.

Presenting on “The Work of Rest: Theory and Practice of Windsor Chairs”

Kelly Harris, Woodworker, Furniture Maker, Designer, and Educator

Kelly designs and builds custom pieces in her shop located in Brooklyn, NY. When she is not busy in the shop, you can find her teaching woodworking classes and leading workshops to share her love of the craft with others. Kelly's work is primarily in wood with a focus on solid joinery, simple yet playful design, shape exploration, and hidden splashes of color.

Workshop: “The Making of a Windsor Chair”

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.