Published: September 30, 2015
MEDIA, PENN. — The board of governors of the Decorative Arts Trust has created the Dean F. Failey Fund to support continuing education scholarships and research grants in the field of decorative arts. Two members of the board have also stepped forward with challenge gifts totaling $50,000 with the goal of matching that sum with contributions from those wishing to honor the late Failey’s life and career.
In 2015, the trust expanded its Emerging Scholars Program to underwrite more than 25 scholarships, grants and internships for the benefit of graduate students and young professionals seeking museum careers. The Dean F. Failey Memorial Fund will allow the trust to expand this program.
While Dean Failey is best known for his successful tenure at Christie’s, he never abandoned the passion for research, exhibitions and publications that defined his earlier work in the museum field. A fixture at the trust’s biannual symposia for the past 20 years, the organization’s members remember Failey as a man “gracious with his time and intellect,” who was “as passionate about people as he was about the stuff they collected and studied.”
As vice president of the Decorative Arts Trust’s board of governors, he championed the work of the Emerging Scholars Program, and eagerly encouraged and mentored young participants in the field.
The trust recently expanded its curatorial internship grant program to help underwrite a second two-year internship and now works with two museums per year that are keen to hire young professionals just beginning their careers. In addition, the trust provides continuing education scholarships to several professional training programs, including those sponsored by Attingham, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Historic Deerfield, Historic New England and Winterthur, as well as summer research grants and a series of lectures by young scholars at the Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum.
“The Trust’s investment in a vibrant Emerging Scholars Program represents a laudable commitment to the study of the decorative arts,” stated Matthew A. Thurlow, the trust’s executive director, and “sets our organization apart as a community foundation for the museum field.” Furthermore, Thurlow reported that “the opportunities presented to our scholarship and grant recipients are meaningful stepping stones toward a successful career” and gifts to the Failey Fund will provide the necessary resources to “reinforce an initiative that is central to our mission.”
Those wishing to contribute to the Dean F. Failey Fund may send a donation to the Decorative Arts Trust, 20 South Olive Street, Suite 304, Media, PA 19063, or by contributing to the Trust Education Fund through their website at http://decorativeartstrust.org/donate.shtml.
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