Museum Of Early Southern Decorative Arts – MESDA
A wonderful journey awaits you in Old Salem historic district of Winston-Salem at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA). This is the only museum dedicated to exhibiting and researching original decorative arts of the early South. Take a guided tour that spans from 1680 to 1820. Wind through period rooms and galleries showcasing furniture, paintings, textiles, ceramics and more.
This is not your average guided tour. Questions are encouraged, and taking a closer look is mandatory.
Scenarios unfold as you travel through each representative region. Imagine sashaying across the floor of a 17th century Virginia great hall at a debutant ball. Catch a glimpse of plantation life from the window of a one-room Maryland plantation dwelling.
Some of the unique highlights you’ll see here include the work of America’s first professional female artist and one of the earliest court cupboards made in America.
Book lovers and collectors should take some time to peruse the MESDA Bookstore, stocked with current and hard-to-find books on Southern decorative arts, culture and history. Lifelong learners will also enjoy the variety of study opportunities available at any of the museums.
Of course, a visit to MESDA isn’t complete without sampling some of Old Salem’s other treasures. Housed under the same roof, in the Frank L. Horton Museum Center, are the Toy Museum and The Children’s Museum. The offerings of this outdoor living history town also include restored buildings and costumed interpreters portraying life in Salem from 1766 through 1820.
The treats here – edible and not – are as delectable as they are varied. Choose from Moravian cookies, cheese petites and straws, Moravian stars, Winkler Bakery mixes, candles, books and more to satisfy your cravings for authenticity.
So come stroll into history at MESDA and discover a unique living history experience. Find hours, tour information, directions and more at www.mesda.org or call 1-888-653-7253.
added: December 30, 2008
updated: December 31, 2008