Decorative arts society inviting proposals to earn $1,000 research stipend

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The Piscataqua Decorative Arts Society is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 with a two-fold mission: To promote original historical research into the arts of the region and to ensure access to the results of that research through publication. The Society’s primary focus is the greater Piscataqua River area of PDA logo copyNew Hampshire, southern Maine and northern Essex County, Massachusetts.

In 2007, the Society established a $1,000 Research Stipend to be awarded periodically to a proposal for in-depth historical study into an aspect of the region’s fine and decorative arts, including the disciplines of music, architecture and archaeology. The recipient chosen for the stipend will conduct the research as outlined in his/her written proposal, deliver its results in a presentation before the Society and submit a written copy of the presentation, which will be published in a compilation of the Society’s sponsored lectures. The stipend will be presented at the time of the lecture.

The first research stipend was awarded to Abby Burch in 2008 for an analysis of South Berwick, Maine, cabinetmaker Joseph Murphey’s account books. The second was awarded to Josh Probert in 2012 for research into Tiffany Studios stained glass windows in local Coastal Churches. Ideas for future research topics include (but are not limited to): Pepperrell family furniture and associated decorative arts, especially objects owned by the family now residing in local collections; textiles from the mills at Cocheco, Exeter, Salmon Falls and others; early local glassware and ceramics; 18th and 19th century farms in the Piscataqua area; regional tradesmen such as clockmakers, housewrights and bookbinders; the area’s music or dance traditions; further study of Robert Harrold and other local furniture makers; and early commercial and cultural connections to colonial cities such as New York or Philadelphia.

This article originally appeared in Antique Trader magazine
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Students, professionals and interested amateurs are encouraged to apply. Proposals should include a description of the topic and nature of the research, an outline of the paper and lecture to be presented, a statement of how the research will advance scholarship on the regional level, the researcher’s current C.V. or resume and the names of two references. Applications are due by October 1, 2013, and should be mailed to: The Piscataqua Decorative Arts Society, P.O. Box 82, Portsmouth, NH 03802-0082.

The selected proposal will be announced in November of this year, with presentation of the research scheduled for the Fall of 2014.

For additional information on the Society and its activities, visit or contact