Society of American Period Furniture Makers

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DKAckerman
Daniel Kurt Ackerman is a Curator at MESDA.  He has curated a wide range of exhibits at MESDA including “Black and White all Mix’d Together: The Hidden Legacy of Enslaved Craftsmen and Our Spirited Ancestors: The Decorative Art of Drink. Prior to joining the staff at MESDA he was the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Curatorial Intern in American Decorative Arts in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Daniel is the American secretary for the Regional Furniture Society of Great Britain.  He has written often for The Magazine ANTIQUES and Antiques and Fine Arts. Daniel holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and its National Institute of American History and Democracy (NIAHD), the University of Virginia, and is a PhD Candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 
 
Johanna Metzgar Brown is the director of collections and curator of Moravian Decorative Arts at Old Salem Museums and Gardens in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has a BA in American Studies and Anthropology from Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and an MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Cooperstown, New York.  
 
In 1991, after completing her MA, Johanna began working at Old Salem where she has served in various curatorial positions. Although her primary research focus is the Moravian Decorative Arts collection at Historic Old Salem, Johanna also works with the collections the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA).  
 
She has written for a variety of publications including Ceramics in AmericaThe Journal of Early Southern Decorative ArtsThe Magazine Antiques, and Antiques and Fine Art. She lectures regularly on Moravian and southern material culture.
 

Brian Coe is a Master Joiner at Old Salem, and a charter member of SAPFM.  A native of Davidson County, NC, Brian graduated from High Point University with a degree in History and English, followed by further graduate studies in Historic Preservation at Wake Forest University.  Concurrently, he worked as an historic tradesman at Old Salem in three different trades: blacksmithing, silversmithing, and cabinetmaking.  

 
After focusing primarily on period woodworking technology, Brian spent 10 years as the master of the historic woodworking shop at Old Salem.  For the past 16 years, he has worked on the administrative side of the museum field, serving as an Interim Vice President of Education and currently as Director of Interpretation at Old Salem.
 
Brian lives with his wife Lori and 14-year-old son David in Wallburg, NC. 
 

Steve Latta makes both contemporary and traditional furniture while teaching woodworking at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and Millersville University in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

For the past several years, Steve has been a contributing editor to Fine Woodworking magazine and has released several videos on inlay and furniture construction. He has lectured at Colonial Williamsburg, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and Winterthur Museum, as well as numerous other schools and guilds. Working in conjunction with Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, he helped develop and market a set of contemporary inlay tools.

When not in the shop, Steve can be found hiking in the woods with his lab, Neesa, or curled up with a good book. He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, and their daughter, Grace, in rural southeastern Pennsylvania. 

 

Robert A. Leath is Chief Curator and Vice President of Collections and Research at MESDA.   He oversees the collections and research initiatives of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), the Old Salem Toy Museum, and the Historic Town of Salem. He also serves as an adviser on historic furnishings for James Madison’s Montpelier and Stratford Hall Plantations.

Previously, Leath was curator of historic interiors at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, where he created furnishings plans for 14 historic sites; curator of collections and restoration for George Washington’s Fredericksburg Foundation, where he planned the restoration of Kenmore, the home of Washington’s sister; and assistant curator for the Historic Charleston Foundation, where he coordinated the restoration of the Nathaniel Russell House.
 
A native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Leath studied at Guilford College and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 1991 he attended the MESDA Summer Institute on Early Southern Decorative Arts, and later the Attingham Summer School on the British Country House.

Leath is the author of several articles on Charleston furniture, published in the journal American Furniture. His work has also appeared in American Ceramics Circle Journal and The Magazine Antiques, and he gives lectures on decorative-arts topics throughout the country. 

 
 
June D. Lucas is MESDA's Director of Research, where she oversees the Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Library and Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) Research Center. 
 
A native of Lenoir, North Carolina, June received her B.A. in English from Meredith College and M.A. in English from Appalachian State University. Her affiliation with OSMG began in 1996 when she joined the Old Salem interpretive staff, and she subsequently became Coordinator of Special Programs for MESDA. In 2007 she was appointed MESDA’s Director of Research. 
 
In 1997 June completed MESDA’s Backcountry Summer Institute, and shortly thereafter began researching Piedmont North Carolina furniture. Over the past twenty years she has lectured and written widely on the subject. Her most recent articles include “The Swisegood School of Cabinetmaking: Expanding the Narrative, 1770-1858” in the 2015 MESDA Journal and “The Early Furniture of North Carolina’s Cane Creek Settlement” in the 2016 edition of American Furniture.
 
Martin O'Brien is a master craftsman, traditional cabinetmaker, custom furniture maker, and fine letter cutter. He enjoys keeping these endangered arts alive while providing his customers with the highest possible quality and service. Clients are primarily people who are consciously looking for the details of quality workmanship and design that make custom woodwork an investment or something classic and timeless.
 
Martin is a respected conservator, working closely with MESDA, as well as other prestigious museums and institutions. In addition, he is a fine letter carver in both wood and slate, able to bring words and remembrance to important occasions requiring inscription.
 
He is renowned for his knowledge, high standards, and the care with which he brings to each of his creations. 
 

Ronnie Young has been building American period furniture for the past 40 years starting just after graduating from college. A retired nuclear power engineer, he has concentrated on furniture forms found in his native Tennessee. Using traditional construction techniques and local hardwoods, he has produced a couple hundred pieces of furniture including desks, chests of drawers, beds, clocks, tables, and a few chairs.

An active member of SAPFM, Ronnie has taught a number of woodworking classes for local SAPFM chapters, Woodcraft stores, and local furniture guilds in the southeast. His work was recognized in 2016 when he was awarded the Cartouche Award for lifetime achievement by SAPFM.

His recent interests have been in the furniture of Charleston, South Carolina, and American Federal period furniture. Ronnie has a home shop in Chattanooga, Tennessee.