Jennifer Van Horn, PhD
Dr. Jennifer Van Horn holds a joint appointment as a Professor in the Departments of History and Art History at the University of Delaware. She specializes in the fields of early American art and material culture. She is the author of the recently published book: The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America. Her book ranges from engraved city views to portraits to dressing furniture to explore how elite American consumers assembled objects to form a new civil society on the margins of the British Empire. She has also written about early American wooden legs, George Washington’s dentures, and women’s embroidery in the new American republic. A graduate of the Winterthur M.A. Program in American Material Culture, Jennifer received her PhD from the University of Virginia. Before joining the University of Delaware, she worked as an assistant curator at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and taught at George Mason University. In 2015-2016 she held a Postdoctoral fellowship at the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum to work on her second book project: Painting Slaves: Intersections of Slavery and American Art, 1720-1880. She teaches courses in American art, material culture, and museum studies, and has published articles in American Art, Early American Studies, and Winterthur Portfolio.
L. Craig Roberts, AIA
L. Craig Roberts graduated from Auburn University with a Degree in Architecture, earned the designation of Registered Architect, and has been in the private practice of architecture since 1979. Mr. Roberts’ residential designs have been featured on HGTV, published in Southern Living, Southern Homes, and Victoria magazines. His designs have also been in the recently published books: Contemporary Southern Homes and 21st Century Homes. In 2010, Mr. Roberts was honored as “Citizen Architect” by the American Institute of Architects. He serves on the Architectural Review Board for the City of Mobile reviewing work on the six thousand buildings and homes in Mobile’s six hundred square blocks of seven historical districts which are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For over fifteen years, Mr. Roberts has presented illustrated talks on Mardi Gras in the City of Mobile to university and civic organizations throughout the area. For the past six years, he has served as a docent at the Mobile Carnival Museum. The Museum highlights the history and traditions of Carnival, displays the intricate designs and artistry of crowns, scepters, and robes, and describes the art of costume design and float construction. Based on his extensive knowledge and experience, in 2014 he authored the book, Mardi Gras in Mobile.
Emily A. Murphy, PhD
Dr. Emily A. Murphy is the Curator for Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites, and is a specialist in Early American decorative arts and maritime history. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis; an MA in American Studies from the Pennsylvania State University, and a PhD. in American Studies from Boston University. Her dissertation, “To Keep Our Trading for Our Livelihood:” The Derby Family and Their Rise to Power, examined how mercantile families used material culture, social connections, and political participation to exert control in 18th-century Salem, Massachusetts. Before returning to graduate school, Dr. Murphy was the Curator of Photographs and Assistant Registrar of Special Collections at the Maryland State Archives, and a part time staff member at the Hammond-Harwood House, where she curated the exhibit Annapolis Masterpiece: 150 Years of Photography at the Hammond-Harwood House. She is the author of A Complete and Generous Education, a book on the history of St. John’s College, and her major publications for the National Park Service include the walking tour guide Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Salem, and Merchants, Clerks, Citizens, and Soldiers: A History of the Second Corps of Cadets.
David A. Smith, PhD
By popular request, Dr. David A. Smith will return to Brazos Forum to offer closing remarks at the conclusion of Wednesday’s programs. Dr. Smith is a senior lecturer in American history at Baylor University where he has won several teaching awards. He received his undergraduate degree from Texas State University, and his PhD in modern American history from the University of Missouri. Dr. Smith is also a book author and writes columns on art, culture, and politics for the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News, and many others. He has been featured on numerous regional and national radio shows, and is a much-in-demand public speaker.
For more information, contact Nancy Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org