Decorative Arts Trust
The mission of the Decorative Arts Trust, a non-profit organization, is to promote and foster the appreciation and study of the decorative arts. They achieve their mission by exchanging information through domestic and international programming; collaborating and partnering with museums and preservation organizations; and underwriting internships, research grants, and scholarships for graduate students and young professionals.
The Trust was the brainchild of Dewey Lee Curtis (1924-1986), an important fixture in the early Americana field. During the bicentennial era of the 1970s, Dewey noted an opportunity to connect like-minded collectors, curators, and history enthusiasts from across the country through a national organization aimed at supporting museums and preservation groups in the broadest possible sense. At the core of the Decorative Arts Trust, Dewey saw an opportunity to champion the sea change of scholarship and collecting that defined the 1960s and ‘70s. By drawing attention to talented and up-and-coming scholars and important historic sites around the country and abroad, he provided access to the well-spring of new information generated by his peers. Perhaps most importantly, Dewey established an egalitarian organization accessible to all comers interested in learning about the past.