It's a good day for a late afternoon stroll.
MESDA is the preeminent center for the research and study of Southern decorative arts and material cu MESDA is located at Old Salem Museums & Gardens.
Old Salem Inc.'s main page is facebook.com/OldSalemInc
It's a good day for a late afternoon stroll.
📅 Join us Oct 13-14 in Louisville, KY for a unique collaboration with The Filson! Dive deep into untold stories & overlooked perspectives from the 18th & 19th century Ohio Valley. Discover too-often overlooked insights on its rich history. We are excited to have MESDA's Curator, Lea Lane, speaking on Daniel Boone and the development of Kentucky's visual mythology. Let's redefine narratives together! 🎙️
To learn more and register, head to https://filsonhistorical.org/events/filson-biennial-conference/filsonmesda-conference-2023/
Travel with MESDA from November 3-7 as we explore coastal Georgia!
We're excited to announce that we've reopened registration for this previously fully booked trip with MESDA staff. Register now to join us in Savannah & St Marys, Georgia on our first MESDA Journey since 2019!
Savannah's iconic squares beckon as we enjoy special access to important collections and explore hidden gems in the city founded by James Edward Oglethorpe in 1732 and immortalized in the book Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil. Heading south, our tour will take us to tabby ruins, on the water to explore several of Georgia's Sea Islands, and to charming St. Mary's City, where entertainment at one of Georgia's premier decorative arts collections awaits. Participants will benefit from the guidance of MESDA's Chief Curator Daniel Ackermann, as well as the expertise of site curators and specialists.
To learn more, visit https://mesda.org/program/journey-2/
It's not too late to join us in Louisville or online for our Filson + MESDA collab, New Voices in Kentucky Material Culture ❗
Join us on October 13-14 in Louisville, KY as the Filson and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts partner to open new conversations about material culture in the colonial and early-national Ohio Valley. Whose perspectives in the past have been ignored? Which stories have gone untold? Whose work has been un-examined and underappreciated? Who can tell us a new, relevant story now?
Speakers will include Keynote Speaker Kariann Akemi Yokoda (University of Colorado-Denver), Neal Gene Hurst (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation), Phillipe Halbert (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art), and Mairin Odle (University of Alabama).
To end the conference, MESDA's Curator, Lea Lane, will share her lecture, After You: A Copy of the Emigration of Daniel Boone and the Development of Kentucky's Visual Mythology.
Tickets available at https://filsonhistorical.org/events/filson-biennial-conference/filsonmesda-conference-2023/
Old Salem was honored to host a group of Liberians as guests of the Liberian Organization of the Piedmont (LOP). Historic Salem has a deep connection to that West African country, and Old Salem has a longtime friendship with LOP.
In October 1836, a lovefeast was held in the Log Church in Old Salem for a group of people about to immigrate to Liberia. Dr. Henry Schumann, who lived across the creek from Salem and held enslaved people including Ceolia and her children, was planning to move into town where slave regulations prohibited him taking the people he enslaved. He manumitted the 17 people he owned and sent them, with six other free people (several related by marriage to the seventeen), to Liberia and provided funds for resettlement. The group departed from Wilmington, NC, on the ship “Roundout” and crossed the Atlantic in five weeks to arrive in Monrovia, Liberia, to begin their new lives.
The story in Salem continues. After Emancipation, the Moravian church established a Freedmen’s neighborhood on Schumann’s former farm across the creek and called it “Liberia.” Soon known as “Happy Hill,” it was the first planned African American neighborhood in Winston-Salem.
In 2019, the City of Winston-Salem honored this connection with a historic marker on Liberia Street in Happy Hill. LOP is planning to build a nearby international student housing center for Liberian students who study in the area. For more information, visit https://lopnc.org.
It's fall, friends.
Have you seen this special pitcher at MESDA in "Thrown Together: The Pots and People of Early Alabama?"
Potter James Williams was born in Georgia around 1820-1825, but lived in Randolph County, Alabama by 1850. He later moved to Perry County. His son, Frank, carried on the trade. They were known for thin walled alkaline glazed wares.
The potter impressed shapes like the heart or the curving band into the unfired clay. Makers marks, like that of James Williams, were also sometimes stamped into the body of the object.
Stop by MESDA this week to learn more! Exhibit on view through September.
Shop of James Williams
Perry County, Alabama
Stoneware with lime-based alkaline glaze
Collection of Ron Countryman and Joe Forbes
We're proud to have had the chance to honor the recipients of our Frank L. Horton Society Distinguished Award and Frederic William Marshall Society Distinguished Service Award during our Gratitude Gathering weekend.
Mr. William Mariner and Mrs. Susan Mariner were recognized for their incredible contributions to MESDA and early Southern and decorative arts with our Frank L. Horton Society Distinguished Award!
Dr. Eugene W. Adcock and Mrs. Carolann Adcock received the Frederic William Marshall Society Distinguished Service Award for their dedication to the preservation of Old Salem and authentic living history.
It is not an exaggeration to say that without these wonderful friends of Old Salem and MESDA, we would be incapable of doing all that we do.
Thank you, from all of us.
Everyone loves above-ground Salem… but ground penetrating radar (GPR) helps us see the cool stuff below ground! We’re excited to be working with New South Associates today to survey Lot 48, the site of Gottfried Aust’s pottery! Lot 48 is now the site of the Shaffner house built in 1873.
Aust, Salem’s first master potter, established Salem as the most important pottery production center in North Carolina at the time. Potters Rudolph Christ and John Holland continued to make pottery at Lot 48 after Aust’s death in 1788. Peter Oliver, an enslaved and later free potter, was one of the many men and women who worked at the site.
Old Salem is a national historic landmark for history, architecture, and archaeology, and Old Salem is lucky to work with so many wonderful partners—including the owner of Lot 48—to explore and preserve this special place above and below ground!
It's hard not to love our gardens.
This was just one of so many tours our team gave over the course of our Gratitude Gathering here at Old Salem! We're thrilled to have had such a fantastic turnout of some of Old Salem's strongest supporters. Thank you to all that helped to make this a reality!
Join us for a special moment at the Old Salem Tavern Museum! On Friday, September 15th, at 10 a.m., we'll be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony. Witness a new chapter in our history and be part of this unforgettable day. Your presence will make it even more memorable. See you there!
Join Lea Lane, Curator of the MESDA Collection, for a virtual lecture today at noon as she speaks for the DAR Museum! She'll be sharing the work of women's hands in MESDA's collection!
Join us at the link below: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/1516657615333/WN_fm87jdtJTMmPgYyQD8PBgw #/registration
Step into history at Old Salem's Single Sisters' House Museum! 🕰️ Discover the captivating story of Moravian single sisters and their lasting impact on our community. This is a FREE self-guided collection of exhibits! 📜🏠
Autumn is looming.
Additional textiles and wordplay available at the Single Brothers House at historic Old Salem Museums and Gardens. Plan your visit today!
Photo credit: Dan Routh Photography
Discover the charm of the South's artistic heritage at the Museum of Early Southern and Decorative Arts! Explore history through exquisite craftsmanship Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Have you seen these pipe bowls at MESDA in "Thrown Together: The Pots and People of Early Alabama"?
Pipe bowls were among the basic wares produced by Alabama potters. Fragments are found in abundance at kiln sites, like these recovered from the Ussery shop site in Randolph County, Alabama. The pottery likely had several different lead molds on hand, as each of these fragments has a distinct pattern.
Stop by MESDA this week to learn more! Exhibit on view through September.
Ussery pottery shop site
Bacon Level, Randolph County, Alabama
Collection of Rick Messer and James “Beefy” Cormany
Bobby Davis, our own birdhouse man, donates half of the proceeds he receives to help those with food insecurity throughout the community. Take a look at his handiwork next time you visit the second floor of the Winkler Bakery!
Learn how ‘the Birdhouse Man” is making Winston-Salem a better, prettier place. (And how you can, too!) By Tina Firesheets | Photos by Scott Muthersbaugh Bobby Davis has built hundreds, if not thousands, of homes [...]
Have you noticed all the work being done to the Old Salem Tavern Museum?
Thank you to everyone who's been a part of this restoration!
We're excited to have taken not one, but TWO spots in the 25 Best Places to Visit in North Carolina! Thank you, Travel + Leisure!
Here are the top places to visit on your next trip to the Tar Heel State.
❗Tickets out now for Filson + MESDA: New Voices in Kentucky Material Culture ❗
Join us in Louisville, KY or online on October 13-14 as we work with The Filson Historical Society to open new conversations about material culture in the colonial and early-national Ohio Valley. Whose perspectives on the past have been ignored? Which stories have gone untold? Whose work has been un-examined and underappreciated? Who can tell us a new, relevant story now?
Our very own Curator of the MESDA Collection, Lea Lane, will close out the conference with a lecture on the visual mythology of Daniel Boone examined through the lens of the iconic painting, The Emigration of Daniel Boone and his Family by William T. Ranney (pictured here).
Learn more about the conference and register at https://filsonhistorical.org/events/filson-biennial-conference/filsonmesda-conference-2023/
Image courtesy of Duncan Tavern Historic Site, Paris, KY
Tickets out now! Virtual and in-person options available 🎟️
Join us on October 13-14 in Louisville, KY as the Filson and the Museum of Southern Decorative Arts partner to open new conversations about material culture in the colonial and early-national Ohio Valley. Whose perspectives on the past have been ignored? Which stories have gone untold? Whose work has been un-examined and underappreciated? Who can tell us a new, relevant story now?
The conference will feature panels exploring Black, Indigenous, female, and q***r perspectives on the confluence of rivers and cultures in the 18th and 19th century. Speakers will include Keynote Speaker Kariann Akemi Yokoda (University of Colorado-Denver), Neal Gene Hurst (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation), Phillipe Halbert (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art), and Mairin Odle (University of Alabama).
To end the conference, MESDA's Curator, Lea Lane, will share her lecture, After You: A Copy of The Emigration of Daniel Boone and the Development of Kentucky's Visual Mythology.
To purchase tickets and learn more, head to https://filsonhistorical.org/events/filson-biennial-conference/filsonmesda-conference-2023/
Country Living Magazine, we couldn't agree more. Thank you for the shout-out!
Picturesque ice cream shops, antique stores, and bed and breakfasts galore.
Thank you all for voting Old Salem Museums and Gardens YES! Weekly's Best Museum in Forsyth County! We're always heartened to see the love and support you all in the community share with us.
Take a full look at all of YES! Weekly's winners here: https://ow.ly/fr3l50PzoVK
When did John Smith’s map of Virginia become an icon of American memory? More recently than you might think.
John Smith’s maps of Virginia and New England are both widely recognized as important pieces of colonial American history. Virginia, with its representations of Powhatan’s village and the Indigenous tribes living in the Tidewater region, has become synonymous with the founding of Virginia itself.
But when did this map become so ingrained in public memory? And why didn’t Smith’s New England ever achieve this same iconic status? Cassandra Farrell, Senior Map Archivist at the Library of Virginia, explores the fascinating historiography of these maps through their use in celebrations, festivals, expositions, and illustrations in literature.
Head to the MESDA Journal to read her newly published article, “Icons of American Memory? John Smith’s Maps of Virginia and New England.”
Sixth state by Captain John Smith (cartographer), William Hole (engraver)
Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. G3880 1624 .S541.
The hiring fair continues! Pop by the Visitor Center today until 5:00 p.m., bring a resume, and learn more about a career at Old Salem Museums and Gardens!
Tickets coming soon 👀
The Filson Historical Society(Louisville, Kentucky) and the Museum of Southern Decorative Arts are partnering to open new conversations about material culture in the colonial and early-national Ohio Valley. Whose perspectives on the past have been ignored? Which stories have gone untold? Whose work has been un-examined and underappreciated? Who can tell us a new, relevant story now?
This two-day conference will feature panels exploring Black, Indigenous, female, and q***r perspectives on the confluence of rivers and cultures in the 18th and 19th century. It is intended to spark new ideas by bringing together academics, curators, collectors, and practicing artists.
Tickets available on Tuesday 8/15, with reduced rates available for MESDA members.
Learn more about the speakers and schedule at https://filsonhistorical.org/events/filson-biennial-conference/filsonmesda-conference-2023/
Don't forget! Old Salem is Hiring!
We are looking for potters, metalworkers, public history professionals, and people with a passion for interpreting African American history!
Check out https://www.oldsalem.org/employment-opportunities/ for more, or come see us at the Old Salem Visitor Center this Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for our hiring fair!
History professionals, artisans, and educators unite! Old Salem is !
If you're passionate about hands-on history, research, and engaging with people, then consider joining Old Salem in a museum interpreter position.
Visit https://www.oldsalem.org/employment-opportunities/ to apply, or bring your resume to our hiring fair on Friday, August 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Old Salem Visitor Center. Join us in living history!
Do you know what these unique pieces of pottery were created for?
Don't forget to take a tour through Thrown Together: Pots and People of Early Alabama during your next visit to MESDA!
We're SO excited to have the pottery re-launched in the Single Brothers' House! Come on down and see the new space Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.!
First Waughtown Baptist Church (FWBC) will celebrate its 157th anniversary this upcoming weekend!
With historic ties to Salem and St. Philips Moravian Church, FWBC members recently visited Old Salem for a special Hidden Town tour.
The start was made in the Old Salem Visitor Center at the Happy Hill exhibit “Selections from Across the Creek.”
Learn more about this wonderful exhibit here: https://www.oldsalem.org/selections-from-across-the-creek/
Included in the exhibit is a portrait of Washington Fries with a grandchild, from the collection of descendant Clara Caldwell, a resident of historic Waughtown-Belview. Mrs. Caldwell attended the Hidden Town tour and shared about the portrait of her ancestor.
Learn more about the Hidden Town Project here: https://www.oldsalem.org/hidden-town-project/
According to historian Mel White, “Wash” was born in Virginia in 1836 and had early ties to the Fries Woolen Mill in Salem, first as an enslaved man and after Emancipation, as a mill worker. He was also a barber and a gardener. He married Harriet in 1859 in the Waughtown community, and they had eleven children.
For more information about First Waughtown Baptist Church, visit https://www.firstwaughtown.org.
Experience the remarkable intersection of cultures in 'Thrown Together: The Pots and People of Early Alabama' at MESDA. Trace the influence of Indigenous, colonial, and enslaved potters in shaping Alabama's rich pottery tradition. A story told in clay.
This week Old Salem’s Hidden Town Project hosted Happy Hill Arts campers for a session about research in the Wachovia Room!
The children enjoyed “Ask an Elder” featuring St. Philips Moravian Church member Barbara Chisholm Morris.
They also toured the Visitor Center exhibit “Selections from Across the Creek: Happy Hill.”
You can learn more about this impactful exhibit here: https://www.oldsalem.org/selections-from-across-the-creek/
You can learn more about the Happy Hill Summer Arts program here: https://www.facebook.com/happyhillsummerarts/
Our interpreters get this same question ALL the time. You'd be surprised how well 19th-century clothing stands up to North Carolina's trademark summer weather!
Old Sturbridge Village
One of the most common questions our Costumed Historians answer in the summer is, “Aren’t you hot?!” While it’s hard for anyone to beat the heat in the sun on a 95-degree day, the reproduced 19th-century clothes you see worn are cooler than you may think for several reasons.
Last week, we shared reason #1: fabric choice! Today, we're highlighting reason #2: coverage. 19th-century daily wear leaves little skin exposed to the sun and doesn’t fit too tightly. As a result, the absorbent, breathable fabrics we’ve already mentioned not only wick moisture away from the body and allow for cooling airflow, they also protect skin from the direct warmth of the sun.
Thank you so much for the kind words! Don't forget to stop in for an enriching tour of during your visit - our summer Alabama pottery exhibit's not one you're going to want to miss!
Discover the past at the Old Salem Museums & Gardens, conveniently located near our hotel. 💐 This summer they're featuring 'Salem Saturdays', so grab your tickets at oldsalem.org/summer-2 today! 🌻
Who created this gorgeous piece of art, part of a larger collection of artwork that is kept in ? Bonus points for whoever can name this insect and plant!
St. Augustine has the honor of being the oldest American settlement, but Old Salem might be one of the coolest."
Thank you, Southern Living, for your kind words!
Simply called “Winston” by locals, Winston-Salem is a twin city town with deep roots. Whether you're looking to explore Old Salem or eager to soak in the arts and culture scene, here are the best things to do in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
924 S Main Street
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The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem Museums and Gardens is dedicated to the researching, collecting, exhibiting, and sharing the story of the early American South through the objects made and used by its diverse people. MESDA’s website is http://www.MESDA.org
Old Salem Inc.'s main page is facebook.com/OldSalemInc