The Trust expanded in all sorts of ways last year, from membership numbers and participation to scholarships and grants awarded through the Emerging Scholars Program. To help keep up with the growth, the staff has increased as well. Matt and Christian are thrilled to report that Cynthia Heider and Grace Fitts joined the office staff in January and have already made the work load exponentially easier.
Cynthia will be taking over many of Christian’s duties as the new Membership Coordinator as he transitions to Programming & Communications Coordinator. A longtime resident of Baltimore, Cynthia is currently pursuing an M.A. in history with a concentration in public history at Temple University in Philadelphia. She received her B.A. in history from Goucher College in Baltimore, where she spent a semester studying abroad in Berlin and Tübingen, Germany. At Temple, she focuses on urban life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and thus is naturally partial to the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts Movements within the decorative arts. A committed bibliophile, she worked at the Maryland State Archives and the Towson University Special Collections and Archives before coming to the Trust. As a new resident of Philadelphia, she enjoys exploring the city’s culinary and cultural offerings with her husband, Peter, and discovering the city’s 19th-century landscape and architectural remnants.
Grace is interning in Philadelphia through May, splitting her time between the Trust and the American decorative arts department at Freeman’s Auction. She is a senior at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, where she majors in Art History. Most of her studies have focused on fine art, but a project for her class “Art of the American South” piqued her interest in the decorative arts. Grace chose to research a cellaret found in Demopolis, Alabama, made by the enslaved craftsman Peter Lee, and loved every minute of the challenging project. Trust member and appraiser Molly Snow, a fellow resident of Tuscaloosa, introduced her to the field of object and estate appraisals, an intriguing career option for Grace. Molly brought her along to an Foundation for Appraisal Education symposium at Freeman’s last fall, introduced her to Matt, and an internship opportunity was created! After graduation in May, Grace plans to pursue a career in private property appraisal thanks to Molly’s encouragement, Matt’s support, and the combined experiences of her internships. Outside of her busy work schedule, Grace maintains a fondness for reading, macaroons, and cheering for the Crimson Tide. Philadelphia is her first taste of life in a big city, and she looks forward to exploring the historic sites, great museums, and all the restaurants it has to offer.
We’re truly excited to welcome Cynthia and Grace to the Trust. They enjoyed the opportunity to meet those attending the New York Antiques Weekend and Emerging Scholars Colloquium last month and look forward to meeting additional members of the Trust! Matt and Christian are deeply appreciative of the extra assistance–and the new-found ability to focus on new programs that their presence permits!