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 Board of Directors

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.

Vice President

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 five 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

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).

Jane E. Radcliffe, Museum Collections & Independent Maine Wall Researcher, CPWP Co-Founder & Immediate Past President
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. 
David Ottinger, Architectural Salvage Contractor & Dealer Conservation of Historic Buildings, CPWP Co-Founder
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

Pamela Ehrlich, Independent Researcher, Writer, and Artist

Pam’s interest in painted walls began while earning her master’s degree in Near Eastern Archaeology at the Oriental Institute (now renamed the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, West Asia & North Africa—ISAC) at the University of Chicago, and during further study at the Harvard Divinity School, and doctoral studies in Egyptology at Brandeis University. The walls she was interested in at the time were ancient Egyptian, but after moving to the historic town of Mystic, Connecticut, and living in an 18th-century house, her focus became Early American art and history. 

To complement her studies in archaeology she has continuously sought to develop other skills such as non-fiction writing and editing, and genealogical research. She is also a practicing artist, often using ancient art methods and techniques such as egg tempera painting, icon painting, and gilding, and has exhibited her work. Her interests are wide-ranging but all ultimately serve one purpose––to preserve and tell stories that would otherwise be lost. She tells stories through her own art as well as researching and publishing articles in such publications as The Magazine ANTIQUES, Antiques & Fine Art, and online at Americana Insights. 

Linda Carter Lefko, Independent Wall Researcher, Historic Decorative Artist & CPWP Co- 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, Antiques dealer and collector & CPWP Co-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.

 Senior Advisor

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. 


Virginia H. Adams, Architectural Historian, Painted Walls Steward

Ginny has worked in the field of historic preservation for over 40 years. She is a Senior Architectural Historian at The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. in Rhode Island and teaches in the Master of Design Studies, Historic Preservation program at the Boston Architectural College in Massachusetts. She researches and helps preserve historic resources including buildings, bridges, and landscapes ranging in scale from single resources to large historic districts and ranging in time from the 17th to the mid-20th centuries. Since 2016, she and her husband have been the owners and curators of the Elwin Chase House in Topsham, Vermont, which contains painted wall murals in the front hall.

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 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. 
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 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.

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. 

Tim Cook, Architectural Historian

Tim has served for several years as Foreman for Recreate Inc., a construction company primarily doing historic restoration. 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, in which they have restored the original Porter/Poor style murals. Additionally, they have protected the future of the murals by imposing on the house a preservation easement with the NH Preservation Alliance.

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.

Catherine Cyr, Exhibition Coordinator, Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, Maine

Growing up in Western Maine, Catherine's early introduction to painted walls helped spark her interest in the decorative arts. She received her A.B. from Bowdoin College where she investigated the intersection of material culture and society through a self-designed American Studies major. She completed internships at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as an undergrad, and later participated in the Chipstone Foundation’s Object Lab and the Historic Deerfield Summer Fellowship Program. Prior to graduating with an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture in 2022, where her research focused on Maine-made objects and architecture, she worked at the Pejepscot History Center in Brunswick, Maine.

Marylou 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


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.

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.

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. 

Christine Thomson, Conservator

Christine is an independent Conservator who has worked in many different venues.  She is currently working with CPWP on a wall conservation project.

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. 

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