Board of Directors
Darlene Bialowski, Contract Museum Registrar and Appraiser & Immediate Past CPWP President
Darlene, a museum professional for over 25 years, has worked at prestigious museums including
several at the Smithsonian. She went into private practice as a contract registrar forming Darlene
Bialowski Art Services, LLC in 2007. Her clients include museums, historical societies, cultural organizations, corporations, artists and private collectors. She is a generalist appraiser having achieved a certificate from the former NYU appraisal studies program and is accredited with the Appraisers Association of America. In 2014 she completed an intense 2-week course of study in material culture at the renown Winterthur Institute and added appraisals to her list of services. With paralegal training in her early museum days, Darlene has a valuable tool kit of legal understanding to use in her museum, appraisal and cultural heritage preservation work.
Darlene has published in trade and professional journals including the Journal of Advanced
Appraisal Studies, she ghost-edited Managing Previously Unmanaged Collections, and is a contributing author to Is It Okay to Sell the Monet? She has presented on panels for international, national, state and regional museum associations.
Darlene holds membership in a number of museum associations, decorative arts and historic preservation trusts. She is President and a founding Board member of Red Arch Cultural Heritage Law and Policy Research, a co-founder and President of the Collections Care & Conservation Alliance, and a co-founder of the Appraisers Alliance of New England.
Tim Cook, Architectural Historian
Tim is an Architectural Historian and served as Foreman for Recreate Inc., a construction company primarily doing historic restoration for several years. He worked on several new construction homes using historic houses that had been dismantled and then were reconstructed. Tim and his wife Lynn are owners of the Moses Kent House in Lyme, NH. The property had been abandoned from 1976-1980 but fortunately no major vandalism had occurred.
The Moses Kent House is early Federal, built in 1811-1814 and is noteworthy for two reasons: There are original Porter/Poor style murals in excellent original condition, having never been wallpapered over or really touched in any way. Secondly, because of a series of fortuitous events, the house has been changed very little inside or out, since it was built. [There are 8 fireplaces in totally original condition and almost no woodwork has been changed.] Because of this we felt it was important to put a preservation easement on the house and barn with the NH Preservation Alliance. The easement is written so that nothing can be changed on either the inside or outside of the original part of the house.
Dr. Brian Ehrlich, Collector and Independent Researcher of Early American Decorative Arts
Brian earned his BA Degree in Literature and Art at Northwestern University and an MD at the University of Illinois. He was thoroughly immersed in the “Prairie School” ethos in Chicago, until he moved to Boston and then Connecticut, and discovered new aspects of American art and history.
In coastal Connecticut, Brian developed the region’s premier cardiology group, as President and CEO of the organization. Meanwhile, his new “old” home, the 1777 Nathan Stanton House, prompted his research into late 18th and early 19th-century American history and material culture. In 1994, the opportunity arose to acquire a salvaged painted wall section from the Joshua Gilmore House from Norridgework, ME, and in 2007 he added an overmantel and wall sections from the Captain William Sheffield house from Stonington, CT, to his collection. This sparked an ongoing passion for the study and preservation of paint-decorated walls.
Brian has presented at the Dublin Seminar at Historic Deerfield and has had articles published in The Magazine ANTIQUES, Antiques and Fine Art, Americana Insights, and the CPWP newsletter, Plaster Bits. He has recently served as Senior Advisor and contributor to the catalog for the exhibition “The Way Sisters, Miniaturists of the Early Republic” which was on view from October 2021 through January 2022.
Margaret Gaertner, Preservation & Historic Building Consultant
Since earning her degrees from Parsons School of Design and the University of Pennsylvania, Margaret has spent more than twenty years working on a wide range of historic preservation projects. She works with building owners on all phases of preservation projects from research, to project planning and specification writing, and working in the field with contractors for successful implementation.
Ron Kley, Partner, Museum Research Associates & CPWP Secretary & Treasurer
Ron studied science and engineering (specifically, mining geology) at Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, and Boston University, between 1956 and 1966. Uncle Sam turned Ron into a nuclear explosives engineer as "Research and Technical Operations Officer" for the Army Corps of Engineers' Nuclear Cratering Group, based at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore, CA (1966-68).
Ron has primarily worked in the museum field first dealing with geological collections at the Boston Children's Museum, then as a full-time staff member at the Maine State Museum from 1968-88, at which time he started a Museum Consulting/Contractor partnership with Jane Radcliffe. It was through Jane, starting back in 1971, that he became aware of and interested in paint-decorated plaster walls, although he had previously studied and practiced furniture stenciling, starting about 1958 while he was a Dartmouth undergraduate, and he has also stenciled walls in his own 200+ year old home.
Ron’s pastimes include historical research/writing, wood and metal working, and (of necessity) old house maintenance and repair. He claims no artistic skills whatsoever.
Linda Carter Lefko, Independent Wall Researcher, Historic Decorative Artist & CPWP Founder, First President
Linda is a professional historic decorative artist recognized industrywide for her historic
reproduction and restoration work. Linda continues to do private commission work and wall
research along with lecturing and writing articles for various publications. She is currently compiling the
Digital Archives for CPWP of over 400 original walls. She serves on the Old Stone House Museum
Board of Advisors. She has co-authored two books, The Art of Theorem Painting, Viking 2007
and Folk Art Murals of the Rufus Porter School, Schiffer, 2011.
Julie Lindberg, Antique dealer and collector & CPWP Founder
Julie is a CPWP Founder, Rufus Porter Museum Founder, Curator, owner of Porter murals and retired antiques dealer. For 20 years she has researched the life of Rufus Porter and Jonathan Poor, and the conservation and preservation of murals.
David Ottinger, Architectural Salvage Contractor & Dealer Conservation of Historic Buildings & CPWP Vice President
David helps individuals and organizations with:
Approaching salvage and demolition as the last resort
Sympathetic Design based on Vernacular Architecture
Antique Buildings disassembled and reassembled throughout New England
Antique Materials and Buildings Salvaged, Bought and Sold. Emphasis on original surface, paint and decoration.
Antique Barn to House Conversions
Post and Beam Frame Repair
Stabilization, Moving, and Re-installation of Architectural and Decorative Materials
Jane E. Radcliffe, Museum Collections & Independent Maine Wall Researcher & CPWP President, Co-Founder, Immediate Past Secretary
Jane first became interested in New England paint-decorated walls when she arrived as a staff member at the new Maine State Museum in Augusta in January of 1971, and discovered that the Museum owned a complete room — 4 muraled walls and accompanying architectural elements — from a recently demolished building in nearby Winthrop, Maine. Over the next 17 years, while at the Museum, she learned of and documented many other Maine muraled and stenciled houses throughout the State. Even after leaving the Museum in 1988 to pursue other collections management activities, Jane’s interest and work in documenting such walls has continued to the present day. In the late 2000s, she and Linda Lefko began to collaborate, producing the book Folk Art Murals of the Rufus Porter School: New England Landscapes, 1825-1845 in 2011.
Jennifer Mass, Ph.D, President, Scientific Analysis of Fine Art, LLC
Jennifer is a cultural heritage science professional who specializes in studying questions of authenticity, state of preservation, attribution, and using innovative methods of analysis to address these questions. She has over 20 years of research, teaching, and museum experience, having held positions working with both major encyclopedic museum collections and in the decorative arts world, as well as teaching conservation science in both the Buffalo and Delaware Master's Degree Programs in Art Conservation.
Tony Castro Conservator and Decorator
Tony Castro has been restoring and creating decorative painting for over 30 years. He has done work in many of Maine's premier buildings including Cumston Hall, Bowdoin Chapel, Joshua Chamberlain's House, The Readfield Union Meeting House, The Norlands, First Parish Church in Yarmouth, Biddiford City Theater, The Middleton Town Hall in New Hampshire, and countless other private homes and village churches.
Amy Cole-Ives, Architectural Historian and Conservator
Amy is an architectural historian and conservator with Sutherland Conservation, a consulting firm she established 10 years ago in Augusta, Maine. She completed her undergraduate studies at Smith College in American Studies and Art History, and her graduate work in Historic Preservation and Architectural Conservation at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013 Amy re-established her architectural paint research practice, setting up a state of the art microscopy lab at SCC’s Augusta, ME location.
Katey Corda, Conservator of Murals and Decorated Architectural Surfaces
Katey has worked on walls around the world, including on renowned art spanning centuries, from King Tut’s Tomb to segments of the Berlin Wall. She led the conservation of two unique, 19th-century stenciled mural fragments from a farmhouse in Charlestown, RI, depicting historic political figures. She regularly acts as a consultant for large institutions such as the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles and the Houses of Parliament in London. Katey is skilled in both preventive and remedial conservation techniques, diagnostic investigations, and state-of-the-art methods of documentation. She holds an M.A. Degree in the Conservation of Wall Painting from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, UK.
Mary Lou Davis, Conservator of Decorative Paint and Gilded surfaces.
Mary Lou also designs and replicates historic decorative surfaces including wallpapers for museums, pipe organ builders and churches. Mary Lou apprenticed under European cabinetmakers, finishers and gilders in the 1970’s and holds a BA in Art History from Smith College.
Nancy Druckman, Art Advisor
After 43 years at Sotheby’s, most recently acting as a senior vice-president, Nancy Druckman is hanging out her shingle as an art advisor. Nancy directed the American folk art department at Sotheby’s since 1974, building it into the market leader while establishing herself as a pivotal figure in the field. In her new role as an independent consultant, she will offer strategies for collections management, advising clients on buying, selling, donating and documenting works and providing guidance on strategic collections management. An advisor to museums and institutions, Druckman has been especially active in the American Folk Art Museum and has appeared frequently on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Nancy’s consulting business website is www.nancydruckmanart.com.
Burton Fendelman, Esq., Lawyer
Burt has been a great addition to CPWP keeping us on the straight and narrow. His resume is varied and wide ranging especially in the American folk art field and his wit and understanding of our needs is a wonderful addition to our Board of Advisors.
Helaine Fendelman, Appraiser, Antiques Consultant & Immediate Past CPWP Vice President
Helaine is a generalist fine and decorative arts appraiser specializing in estate, divorce and donation evaluations and a certified member and past President of the Appraisers Association of America, Inc. She is a longtime contributor to Hearst's Country Living Magazine, she co-authors a weekly syndicated column "Treasures in Your Attic" for Tronc (Tribune Information Services) and co-hosted "Treasures in Your Attic," a television show seen on PBS stations. She has extensive non-profit board experience and has worked as a consultant for numerous museums and historical societies throughout the US. Helaine is a member of Art Table, a former director of the National Arts Club, is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Salvador Dali Research Center.
Polly Forcier, Wall Stencil Historian
After studying Early American Decoration for many years after the tradition of her mother, the 1980's found Polly with a developing interest in wall stenciling. Under the guidance of mentor, Jessica Bond, many walls of original stenciling in VT and NH were recorded. In 1994, Polly started MB Historic Decor offering more than 700 original stencils for walls & floors.
Emelie Gevalt, Curator of Folk Art, American Folk Art Museum & Former CPWP Board of Directors
Emelie received her BA in art history and theater studies from Yale University and herMA from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. Her Winterthur thesis, on the topic of early eighteenth-century painted chests from Taunton, Massachusetts, was recently published in the Chipstone Foundation’s American Furniture. Her research has been supported in part by grants from the Craft Research Fund and the Decorative ArtsTrust. She has previously held positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston – where she was part of the curatorial team for the exhibitions Women Take the Floor and Collecting Stories: The Invention of Folk Art – and at Christie’s, New York, where she was a Vice President in the department of Estates, Appraisals and Valuations.
Emelie recently curated Signature Styles: Friendship, Album, and Fundraising Quilts, as part of a series of quilts exhibitions at the museum’s location in Long Island City. In addition to her curatorial work, Emelie is pursuing her doctorate in American art history at the University of Delaware, where her scholarship has been supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Track PhD Fellowship. 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 portraiture, decorative painting, the Colonial Revival movement, and African American
material culture and representation.
Brock Jobe, Professor of American Decorative Arts Emeritus, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
In 2000 Brock Jobe was appointed professor of American decorative arts in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture after a 28-year career as a museum curator and administrator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Colonial Williamsburg, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England) and Winterthur. He has authored and edited seven books, written dozens of articles, and given hundreds of lectures. Between 2010 and 2014, he served as co-director of “Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture,” an initiative uniting eleven institutions in the celebration of Bay State furniture-making. Brock retired from his professorship in June 2015, but retains an office at Winterthur and continues to study, write, and lecture about American furniture.
Suzanne Korn, Historian/ Researcher/Artist
Suzanne has written several articles on historic wall stenciling and served on the CPWP Board of Directors for a year, helping to develop a Business Plan for the non-profit. She continues her support of CPWP as an Advisor.
Johanna McBrien, Executive Director, Dedham Historical Society & Museum
Johanna is a graduate of the Winterthur Program, was formerly a furniture specialist at Christie's New York, Northeast Auctions, and Wayne Pratt Antiques. She is also a founding editor and current editor-at-large of Antiques & Fine Art magazine based in Massachusetts.
Miranda Peters, VP of Collections & Digital Production, Fort Ticonderoga
Miranda fell in love with folk art in college—much to the dismay of her landlord who made her paint over attempts at recreating the Moses Kent House murals on the kitchen cabinets of her apartment. She continued to fuel this interest through her work with the Rufus Porter Museum and American Folk Art Museum. She spearheaded new collections management programs at the Preservation Society of Newport County in RI and at Fort Ticonderoga in NY. Alongside “TEAMconderoga”, she transformed three collections storage facilities, cataloged and inventoried tens of thousands of objects (and counting), launched the Center for Digital History, and constantly strives to find new ways to document, preserve, and make accessible museum collections. She was awarded the 2019 Museum Association of New York Rising Star Award for Collections/Exhibitions. She holds a Master of Arts in Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center.
Laura A. W. Phillips, Architectural Historian
Laura received a B.A. degree in history and art history from the University of South Alabama and an M.A. degree in art history specializing in American architecture from Tulane University. She held a one-year museum internship in 1974-1975 at Old Sturbridge Village, where she developed architectural interpretation for the museum. After working in the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office, she moved to North Carolina, where she has been a consulting architectural historian since 1978. Her work has centered on architectural surveys, National Register nominations, and writing for publication with six books on North Carolina’s architectural history to her credit. Her seventh book, scheduled for release in Fall 2017, is Grand Illusions: Historic Decorative Interior Painting in North Carolina, the result of a long-term study of decorative painting in her state. Laura’s study explored not only wood-grained, marbled, stone-blocked, smoked, stenciled, trompe l’oeil, and scenic painting from the 19th century, but also the painters – both local and itinerant – who executed the work.
Sumpter Priddy, Antiques Dealer
Sumpter Priddy had an early interest in antiques and history instilled in him from childhood with family that took him to country sales and antique shops in the Virginia countryside. At sixteen he toured Winterthur—Henry Francis du Pont’s grand house museum in Delaware and he knew he wanted to be a curator. He began to educate himself in earnest about American furniture. Priddy graduated from the University of Virginia and was a fellow in the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture in the mid-1970s. He worked at Colonial Williamsburg and then opened his first antiques shop in Richmond. In 1993 he moved to a shop in Alexandria, where he continues his extensive study in southern decorative arts. In 2004 he published American Fancy: Exuberance in the Arts, 1790-1840, a landmark book and exhibition that reintroduced the cohesive aesthetic philosophy that had colored the entire range of middle-class American sensibilities in the period, but had all but disappeared into a jumble of misconceptions and misunderstandings. He came to realize “that we knew comparatively little about the world that shaped our evolution as southerners.” And that realization sparked what became a consuming quest to illuminate the southern past, not only by reclaiming far-flung objects but by understanding the context in which they were created.
Nina Roth-Wells, Conservator
Nina is a graduate of Bowdoin College where she majored in Art History and French. She continued her studies at Queens University in Kingston Ontario where she specialized in the conservation of paintings and painted surfaces. Since 2000, Nina has run her own private conservation firm out of her studio in Georgetown, Maine. Her clients include both institutional and private clients in the state of Maine.
Christine Thomsom, Conservator
Christine is an independent Conservator who has worked in many different venues. She is currently working with CPWP on a wall conservation project.
Matthew A. Thurlow, Executive Director, Decorative Arts Trust.
The Decorative Arts Trust is a non-profit national membership organization that promotes and fosters the appreciation and study of the decorative arts through domestic and international programming, collaborations and partnerships with museums and preservation organizations, and underwriting internships, research grants, and scholarships for graduate students and young professionals. Prior to heading the Trust, Matt served as Assistant Director of Development for Major Gifts and Planned Giving at Winterthur; and Research Associate and Installations Coordinator in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Matt holds graduate degrees from the University of Delaware's Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and the College of William & Mary in archaeology. He lectures widely on topics relating to late-18th and early-19th-century furniture, has published articles in American Furniture, The Magazine Antiques, and Antiques & Fine Arts, and was a co-author of the Metropolitan's exhibition catalogue Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York. Matt has served on a number of boards and advisory committees in the field.
Elizabeth Warren, Museum Consultant
Liz has devoted the past 35 years to the study and writing about American Folk Art. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she was a journalist at House Beautiful covering hone furnishings market as well as art and antiques. While working at House Breautiful she received an MA from NYU in Folk Art Studies. Since 1991 she has been consulting curator at the American Folk Art Museum. In 2007 she was elected to the Museum's Board of Trustees and also serves on the Board of Trustees at Bryn Mawr College.