Society of American Period Furniture Makers

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Snow in Williamsburg

Photo: Ken Johnson

SAPFM members attending the Members Meeting, Cartouche Banquet and Working Wood in the 18th Century conference were in for a surprise when a blizzard blanketed the East Coast with snow!

More photos from the Williamsburg events here.


2016 Cartouche Recipient Selected

The Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) is pleased to congratulate  Ronnie Young for being selected the 2016 SAPFM Cartouche award winner for lifetime achievement in period furniture. 

This is a unique and coveted prize that only a few have earned.  It is given to someone who has demonstrated over a lifetime his love for this form of furniture, shown a mastery of the skills and techniques, and demonstrated his devotion to advancing the craft and a willingness to help others learn.

Ronnie has built in excess of two hundred pieces of furniture in his distinguished career.  Using his engineering background,  he frequently draws the plans he builds, faithfully capturing each detail of the original piece. He constructs his own paterae, inlay, fretwork and moldings and often mills and dries the lumber for his projects. Ronnie has a particular interest in period Tennessee furniture, and a significant number of his pieces are faithful reproductions of historic antiques from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, utilizing the same wide boards as those the old masters used.

Upcoming Events


Creating an American Identity: A Revolution in Decorative Arts, 1776-1826February 19-23, 2016. Colonial Williamsburg, VA.

The 2016  Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum addresses American decorative arts from Maine to Georgia.  Scheduled presenters include Philip Zea, president of Historic Deerfield, Matthew Thurlow of the Decorative Arts Trust, and Louisiana scholar H. Parrott Bacot. 

Photo:  Jim Zietz

The National Arts & Crafts Conference. February 19 - 21, 2016.  Asheville, NC.

The Conference will be held at the Grove Park Inn, which contains one of the finest collections of Arts & Crafts furniture in existence.

Noted GPI expert Bruce Johnson will give a presentation entitled "The Role of the Roycrofters at the Grove Park Inn".

Representatives from the Dirk van Erp Foundation will give daily demonstrations of coppersmithing methods.

There will also be walking tours of the Grove Park Inn, and Biltmore Industries.


ORV Spring Meeting. March 19-20, 2016.  Rio Grande, OH.


  • Dick Reese-- Inlays: Making stringing, gluing, and miter joints 
  • Robert Millard-- Rebuilding new hinges, and patina 
  • Rio Grande-- Jigs and demonstration

Lone Star Chapter Meeting. February 20, 2016. Houston, TX.

The meeting will be held in conjunction with Brock Jobe's visit to Bayou Bend, where he will talk about several of Bayou Bend's card tables.  

A special tour of Miss Ima's house will also be provided to see many of the special pieces "inside out and upside down".  

Tours of the MFAH museum library and its historic books will also be available.


Company's Coming!: Artifacts and Rituals of Early New England Parlors. April 2, 2016.  Historic Deerfield, MA.

Dr. Kevin M. Sweeney, Dr. Ann Smart Martin, and Dr. Gerald W. R. Ward focus on the material culture and functions of the New England parlor, including issues of refinement, wealth, consumerism, power, and gender.

Amanda Lange, Curatorial Department Director and Curator of Historic Interiors, will lead an an informal workshop on the topic of refined ceramics for the parlor-- tea, coffee and chocolate wares as well as punch drinking.


Great Lakes Chapter @ the DIA.  April 2 - 3, 2016.  Detroit, MI.

Members of the Great Lakes Chapter will demonstrate the techniques of 18th-Century period furniture construction at the Detroit Institute of Art.

Period furniture produced by Chapter members will be on display in the DIA's Great Hall.

In addition, there will also be guided tours of the DIA’s 18th century furniture collection located in the American Wing.


Winterthur Furniture Forum.  April 7 - 9, 2016.  Winterthur, DE.

The 2016 Forum consists of a series of talks, tours, and workshops focusing tropical hardwoods used in the luxury furniture trade between 1600 and 1850:

  • Mahogany and the coinciding revolution in 18th-century furniture design
  • Mahogany furniture made in the major cabinetmaking centers of the Americas, from Boston, Newport, and Philadelphia to Nassau, Bahama, and Havana, Cuba
  • Historic trade in mahogany and other tropical furniture hardwoods such as ebony, cedrela, sabicu, satinwood, and rosewood
  • Historic practices used to harvest, grade, market, and machine mahogany lumber and veneers
  • The current status of mahogany and related commercial tropical hardwoods around the world.

On the 9th there will be an optional field trip to Hearne Hardwoods, where participants will learn the process by which logs are turned first into lumber and then into products.



    Midyear 2016.  June 24 - 26, 2016.  Thaddeus Stevens College, Lancaster, PA  


esherick to NAKASHIMA  February 2, 2016 - December 25, 2016.  Mount Dora, FL.

Furniture from some of the pioneering figures of the Studio Furniture Movement-- Warton Esherick, Wendell Castle and George Nakashima.


Sam Maloof Woodworker — Life/Art/Legacy.  February 14 - August 31, 2016. Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

Part of a year-long celebration of the Maloof Centennial, the exhibition will bring together more than 60 objects including examples of Maloof furniture, drawings, photographs, and works of art.



Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age.  December 15, 2015 - May 1, 2016 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.

This Met exhibition provides new insights into the luxurious interiors found in New York's wealthiest households in the late nineteenth century.  The work of George Schastey and Herter Brothers is featured.

Schastey operated a large and successful decorating firm in the late nineteenth century, catering to some of the nation's wealthiest individuals. 

Schastey's competitor, Herter Brothers, was best-known for firm's most important commission, the William H. Vanderbilt House. 


Furniture Study Guided Tours.  Through April 2016. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

Free guided tours of the Furniture Study are given on Fridays at 12:30 pm. 

The Furniture Study is also open by appointment to individuals and groups of fewer than 15 people from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


Southern Flair.  Ongoing. DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Williamsburg VA.

 This wide-ranging exhibition celebrates the objects that were created in or imported to the Chesapeake, the Carolina low country, and southern backcountry. The exhibition highlights the aesthetic diversity brought to the region by the varied cultures and ethnic groups that ultimately defined a unique, early southern style.


Furniture Masterworks: Tradition and Innovation in Western Massachusetts. April 16 -  December, 2016. Historic Deerfield, MA.

At the Wright House, 58 objects drawn from Historic Deerfield’s collections are used to explore Western Massachusetts’ first 150 years of furniture-making.


Made in the Americas:  The New World Discovers Asia.  August 18, 2015 – February 15, 2016.  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

Marking the 450th anniversary of the beginning of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade between the Philippines and Mexico, “Made in the Americas” is the first large-scale, Pan-American exhibition to examine the influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas.

Photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Wendell Castle Remastered. Through February 28, 2016. Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY.

This will be the first museum exhibition to examine the digitally crafted works of Wendell Castle, acclaimed figure of the American art furniture movement.

Photo:  Adam Reich  

Greek Gods, Roman Ideals: Neoclassicism and Style in Early America. Through February 2016.  Historic Deerfield, MA.

The exhibition will highlight the new design style that developed in mid-18th century France and England, referred to today as Neoclassicism, which harkened back to the shapes and ornaments of classical Greece and Rome. It took hold in the United States as the Federal style, and can be seen in everything from architecture to furniture, emphasizing clean, geometric lines and more delicate Neoclassical detailing. 

Photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Made in the Americas:  The New World Discovers Asia.  March 26, 2016 – January 8, 2017.  Winterthur, DE.

Marking the 450th anniversary of the beginning of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade between the Philippines and Mexico, “Made in the Americas” is the first large-scale, Pan-American exhibition to examine the influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas.

The Shakers, America's Quiet Revolutionaries.  Through March 6, 2016.  New York State Museum, Albany, NY. 

The material culture of the Shakers continues to resonate in present day. This lasting influence is a testament to the Shaker aesthetic, in which beauty is the result of unadorned design and functionality guides form. 


Making Connecticut. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT.  

An ongoing exhibit four hundred-plus years in the making: The story of the people of Connecticut, from the 1500s through today.










In the Gallery

Doug Moulder's 'Pinwheel Cabinet.'


In the Members Area



SAPFM eZine- Pins & Tales

Fall 2015 Newsletter-- Subscribe

We are pleased to present the Winter issue of Pins & Tales, the SAPFM e-Magazine.  Read more about the current issue here.

The eMagazine is entirely reader written. Send your article and ideas to Bob Van Dyke at

As a current SAPFM member you will automatically receive an email containing a link to the current eMagazine each quarter. Click on that link to download your copy. Past copies are available in the Member Login section.

Not a SAPFM member? You can receive a one-time eMagazine by signing our email list. Sign up here.


SAPFM Videos

2016 Cartouche Award Presentation
Footage:  Ken Johnson
The award was presented by President Dale Ausherman to Ronnie Young at the 2016 Cartouche Banquet in Williamsburg.
Ronnie Young Talks Period Furniture, Part 1
Footage:  Ken Johnson
Ronnie Young Talks Furniture, Part 2
Footage:  Ken Johnson
A Method for Producing Seymour Line-and Dart Banding
Read the hardcopy companion article to this video in 2105's American Period Furniture, or online in the SAPFM members area.


SAPFM Photos

Williamsburg 2016

Photo:  Ken Johnson

Hammond-Harwood House Tour

Photo:  Mark Maleski

Great Lakes Chapter

Photo:  Bill Vetter

Delaware Valley Chapter


In the News

Photo: Zach Dillinger
Wooden ladder making  
Recognizing Great Leaders:  
Kaare Loftheim named Master of the Shop.  
Drayton Hall’s Portico Rehabilitation  
MFA Acquires Rare 18th Century Desk And Bookcase
Photo: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Historic Deerfield Awarded Carpenter Foundation Grant for Conservation of Chinese Export Sewing Table