The Decorative Arts: A Window Into History with Matthew Thurlow, Executive Director of The Decorative Arts Trust

Episode 30

Matthew Thurlow is the Executive Director of The Decorative Arts Trust, 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, Matthew served as Assistant Director of Development for Major Gifts and Planned Giving at Winterthur Museum; and was the Research Associate and Installations Coordinator in the American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and the College of William and Mary in Archaeology.

Matthew lectures on topics relating to late 18th and early 19th century furniture, and has published articles in American Furniture, The Magazine Antiques and Antiques & Fine Arts. He was a co-author of the The Met’s exhibition catalog Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York.

He serves on a number of advisory committees in the field, including the Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums Board, the Charleston Heritage Symposium, the New Orleans Antiques Forum and is chairman of the Classical Institute of the South, a New Orleans-based foundation conducting Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts-inspired fieldwork in the Gulf South.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How Matthew defines the decorative arts and how it is regarded in the community.
  • Why we should celebrate the decorative arts and what these pieces tell us today.
  • Why pieces of decorative art are a valuable tool in the study of history.
  • Why The Decorative Arts Trust was established and what programs it offers to educate members throughout the U.S.
  • Trends in the field of decorative arts.

Additional resources:

Episode Transcript

Sharon Berman