UNC-TV Taps Mesda Expertise For Series

Old Salem Museums & Gardens Press Release

UNC-TV Taps MESDA Expertise for “Collecting Carolina” Series

News media contact:

Scott Carpenter

August 8, 2013 – UNC-TV’s North Carolina Weekend producer Julia Carpenter, with curatorial assistance from The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) at Old Salem Museums & Gardens, will visit the twelve river basins that comprise the state and highlight the decorative arts from those regions in a special series airing from August 2013 until September 2014.

Each month North Carolina Weekend will televise a report on the hidden gems that have been unearthed by following collectors and treasure hunters around the state in search of distinctive artifacts fashioned by the people who settled in North Carolina in the 18th and 19th centuries.  The series will reveal much about the history, culture and aesthetic sensibilities of those first North Carolinians.

Early settlers established communities along rivers, which were the transportation highways of the day.  Local soils and natural conditions combined with cultural backgrounds of these immigrant groups to produce individual styles in furniture, pottery, textiles and metal goods for their daily needs.

“When we heard North Carolina Weekend’s producers were looking for experts to help guide their year-long series ‘Collecting Carolina,’ we knew the curatorial staff at Old Salem’s Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) could be the perfect resource for the UNC-TV team,” said Ragan Folan, president and CEO of Old Salem Museums & Gardens. “The MESDA staff is so excited to highlight North Carolina works from our collections and travel the state with UNC-TV to tell these treasured stories.”

North Carolina Weekend, which is made possible by the generous support of the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development can be seen on UNC-TV Thursdays at 9 p.m., repeating Fridays at 8:30 p.m., and is also available on sister channels UNC-EX and UNC-MX.

Here is a summary of the projected broadcast dates and subjects of each of the “Collecting Carolina” reports:

  • August 15, 2013:  An overview of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, and the Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Library and MESDA Research Center.
  • August 29, 2013:  Julia Carpenter, historian and collector Michael Briggs, and MESDA Chief Curator Robert Leath visit the Metrolina Expo Marketplace and explain how to recognize a true artifact from North Carolina. The report focuses on guns and Mecklenburg County’s storied history.
  • October 5, 2013:  Julia Carpenter is joined by writer and historian Ray Owen and MESDA curator June Lucas at the Cameron Antiques Fair in the Sandhills, where they expected to find some exciting surprises.
  • November 14, 2013:  Andrew Brunk of Asheville, a frequent appraiser on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow, and MESDA curators June Lucas and Daniel Ackerman join Julia at the Brunk Antiques Auction.

The tentative schedule for future “Collecting Carolina” segments includes:

  • December 2013:  Identifying and collecting Thomas Day Furniture
  • January 2014:  The Eastern North Carolina Antiques Auction
  • February 2014:  Cellerettes and other collectibles in the Albemarle and Roanoke basin
  • March 2014:  Pottery and iron works at the Catawba Pottery Festival
  • April 2014:  Identifying and collecting paintings, maps and documents
  • May 2014:  Moravian pottery along the Pee-Dee and Yadkin Rivers
  • June 2014:  Antique duck decoy carvings in the Wilmington area
  • July 2014:  Textiles from the Watauga and New River valleys
  • August 2014:  Cherokee handmade baskets
  • September 2014:  Treasures from the Sandhills at the Liberty Antiques Fair


The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) is the preeminent center for researching, collecting, and exhibiting decorative arts made and used by those living and working in the early South. MESDA is one of three museums at Old Salem Museums & Gardens.  The Web site address isMESDA.org.

About Old Salem

Old Salem Museums & Gardens is one of America’s most comprehensive history attractions. Its museums—the Historic Town of Salem and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), along with award-winning heirloom gardens—engage visitors in an educational and memorable historical experience about those who lived and worked in the early South. Old Salem Museums & Gardens is located at 600 South Main Street in Winston-Salem. For more information call 336-721-7300 or visit oldsalem.org.