Who We Are

 Roderic H. Blackburn, PhD. Project Writer

Ph.D. Anthropology, 1971. Department of Anthropology, Michigan State University
M.A. Anthropology, 1966. Northwestern University
B.A. Anthropology, 1964. Cornell University

Professional Memberships:
American Association of Museums
Northeast Museums Conference
New York State Association of Museums

Director of Research, Historic Cherry Hill Inc., Albany, N.Y.,
1971-1974. Research, document, and publish historical collections of this Van Rensselaer house museum on grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.
Program Associate, The Institute on Man and Science, Rensselaerville, N.Y. 1972. Planning for a comprehensive restoration program to revitalize an Appalachian town (subsequent grants funded the revitalization of Stump Creek, Pa.)
Assistant Director, The Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany N.Y., 1974-1986. Responsibility for departments involved with financial and business administration, education , publications and public relations. Research and production of selected exhibitions. Research and publications on early New York decorative arts.
President, R. H. Blackburn Fine Arts Inc. Kinderhook, NY 12106
1986 - 1995: American fine arts research, consulting and brokerage firm. Since 1996 as R. H. Blackburn and Associates, Inc., American art and antiques with galleries in Hudson and Kinderhook, NY.
Senior Research Fellow, The New York State Museum, 1987 - 94. Research and publications on the history and arts of early New York.
1995 - current. American fine arts, period furnishings, and restorations: research, sales, and consulting with two galleries, in Hudson and in Kinderhook, N. Y.

Board of Directors, The Columbia County Historical Society,1971-1996, President 1972-1974.
Board of Trustees, the Shaker Museum Foundation, Old Chatham, N.Y., 1975-1986. VP 1981-1985.
Board of Directors, Historic Cherry Hill,Inc., Albany, N.Y.,1976- 1986, Treasurer 1981-1985, Vice President 1985-1986. Board of Advisors 1988- current.
Board of Trustees, Friends of Schuyler Mansion, Albany, N.Y.,1978-1981.
Board of Trustees, Federation for Historical Services, Troy, N.Y., 1978-1983. Vice President 1978-1981. Honorary Trustee 1983-1992.
Board of Directors, The Albany Center Gallery, Albany N.Y. 1989- 1991
Board of Directors, Hand Hollow Foundation Inc. East Chatham, NY 1989- 1999
Principal consultant, The Fred J. Johnston Museum, Kingston, NY 1994-1998.

Lecturer, Pennsbury Manor Antiques Forum, 1974
Lecturer, The Alexandria(Va.) Antiques Forum, 1976, 1978
Lecturer, The N.Y.S.Historical Assoc., Summer Seminar 1977.
Lecturer, Symposium: New Netherlands Studies: an Inventory of current research and approaches, Historical Museum of Amsterdam,1983 Paper:"Dutch Domestic Architecture in the Hudson Valley".
Lecturer: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. February 1985, on New York high style furniture of the 18th century.
Lecturer: Sleepy Hollow Restorations, N.Y. on Dutch art and culture of New York, October 1985
Lecturer: The Detroit Art Institute on New York 18th century furniture, February 1986
Paper delivered at the International Symposium "Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776","Transforming Old World Dutch Culture in a New World Environment: Processes of Material Adaptation". Albany Institute, August 1986
Lecturer: Hudson Valley Forum, Storm King Art Center, on Hudson Valley Decorative Arts. November 1987.
Lecturer: The Decorative Arts Trust Symposium on The Arts of the Hudson River Valley. "The Persistence of Dutch Culture in the Hudson Valley". October 1988.
Lecturer at the Milwaukee Museum of Art symposium on colonial art. "Limners and Patrons: Functions of early New York paintings", November 1993.
Lecturer at the conference: "Handsome, Elegant, and Opulent: 300 Years of New York Furniture." New York University, June 13-15, 1996: "Anglo-Dutch Furniture in Early new York: The Processes of Adaptation and Change in English and Dutch Furniture Traditions."
Lecturer, Williamsburg Forum, February 1999: "The Art, Furnishings, and Architecture of Early New York."
Lecturer: New-York Historical Society, January 2000, "What is Dutch About New York City?"

Cherry Hill, the History and Collections of a Van Rensselaer Family.
Historic Cherry Hill Inc. Albany N.Y. 1976.
A compendium (fully illustrated) of the furnishings of an important eighteenth-century New York family.

A Visible Heritage, A History of Columbia County (N.Y.) in its Art and Architecture., with Ruth Piwonka. The Columbia County Historical Society and the Publishing Center for Cultural Resources. 1977. 2nd edition 1996.
A delightful guide to the highlights of history as told through the county's art and architecture.

Memoirs of an Emigrant, the Journal of Alexander Coventry, M.D..
Roderic H. Blackburn, editor; the Albany Institute of History and Art The largest early diary from early New York, wonderful details about everyday life.

New World Dutch Studies, Dutch Arts and Cultural in Colonial America, Proceedings of the Symposium (August 1986) of the same title, Roderic H. Blackburn and Nancy Kelley, editors. The Albany Institute of History and Art. 1987
In depth exploration of the arts, furnishings, and architecture of early New York.

Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776, with Ruth Piwonka. The Albany Institute of History and Art. 1988
Based on the major exhibition on this subject, this is the definitive work on the art, furnishings, architecture, and associated life of early New York.

"Foreword" to Ghosts in Residence by Hans von Behr. North Country Press. 1986.
Introduction to Louis Ritman, From Chicago to Giverny by Richard H.Love. Haase-Mumm Publishing Co.,Inc. Chicago. 1989.
"Architecture", "Painting and Sculpture", "Crafts", and "Home and Hearth", essays on the Dutch Colony, in Encyclopedia of the North American Colonies, Charles Scribners Sons

James E. Johnson: Rural Artist, with Ruth Piwonka. The Columbia County Historical Society. 1975.
A Visible Heritage, catalog and teacher's manual for the exhibition on Columbia County art and architecture, with Ruth Piwonka. The Columbia County Historical Society. 1975.
Ammi Phillips in Columbia County, with Ruth Piwonka. The Columbia County Historical Society. 1977.
A Remnant in the Wilderness, New York Dutch Scripture History Painting of the Early Eighteenth Century. with Ruth Piwonka.
The Bard College Center and the Albany Institute of History and Art. 1980.
Foreword to German Folk Art in New York State by Maria A. de Julio. Catalogue for the exhibition at the Albany Institute of History and Art. 1985.
"Images of Rural Life, Paintings of American Life and Landscape,1815-1900", essay in Rural Images in 19th Century American Painting, Exhibition catalogue. R.H. Love Galleries, Inc. Chicago. June 20- August 4, 1986. Haase-Mumm Publishing Co., Inc.

"History in a Town, The Dutch Settlement of Kinderhook", The Magazine Antiques, December,1972.
"The Solomon Van Rensselaer Miniature, a Reappraisal". The Magazine Antiques, June, 1973.
"New Discoveries about Emma J. Cady", with Ruth Piwonka, The Magazine Antiques, February, 1978.
"Flashes of the Soul,Photography vs Painting", The Clarion, Winter, 1978.
"Dutch Material Culture:Furniture", de Halve Maen, Journal of the Holland Society of New York, Spring 1979.
"Dutch Material Culture:Paintings", de Halve Maen, Fall- Winter, 1979.
"Dutch Material Culture:Silver", de Halve Maen, Fall, 1980.
"New York Stamped and Branded Furniture", The Magazine Antiques, May, 1981.
"Dutch Material Culture:Architecture", de Halve Maen, Vol.LVII, No.l, 1982.
"Dutch Decorative Painted Furniture since the 17th Century", in The Decorator, Journal of the Historical Society for Early American Decoration, 1985,"Early Dutch Colonial Architecture in the Hudson Valley" in Proceedings of the Symposium : New Netherland Studies: an Inventory of Current Research and Approaches, Bulletin KNOB, Amsterdam, June, 1985
"Dutch Art and Culture in Colonial America", The Magazine Antiques, July,1986.
"The Construction of Late Dutch Farm Buildings in the Hudson Valley: a first person account from two centuries ago". In A Beautiful and Fruitful Place, Selected Rensselaerswyck
Seminar Papers (10th Anniversary Volume), New Netherland Publishing, 1991.
"The Dutch Hay Barrack in America" The Dutch Barn Preservation Society Newsletter, Fall 1989, "New World Dutch Farms, and Inventory of Distinctive Objects", in The Dutch Barn Preservation Society Newsletter, Spring 1992 and Fall 1992.
"Historic Cherry Hill, Albany's house museum interprets the past."Hudson Valley Magazine, Oct. 1989
"A Quest to Kaaterskill Falls, Uncovering the mysteries of one of nature's gems in Greene County. "Hudson Valley Magazine, July 1990, Vol. XIX No.3.
"Volcan's Fore, the inner workings of Richard Polich and Dutchess County's Tallix Morris Singer Foundry."Hudson Valley Magazine, August 1991, Vol. XX No.4.
"Antiques of the Hudson, Mohawk & Schoharie Valleys," Northeast - Art & Antiques, December 1995,
"An Artist from the Past - David Smith Peirce (1825-1905) [Newly discovered genre painter of the Albany region].Northeast - Art & Antiques, November 1996,
"Steamboats on the Hudson - an Inspiration for Art,"Northeast - Art & Antiques,
(Plus several in the last two years, haven't kept this up to date)
Manuscripts unpublished or in preparation
"Indian Kings at Queen Anne's Court"
"Life on a New World Dutch Farm, Evidence from America's earliest known genre painting"

 Susan Piatt
Interior Designer,  Editor,  Historian

 Susan Piatt has been a field editor, and designer for the past fifteen years. Her work has appeared in home design magazines such as Old House Interiors, Country Home, Country Accents,Victorian Home, and Better Homes & Gardens. She was a Decorating Editor for Creative Ideas For Living Magazine, as well as Modern Bride Magazine. (these were full time staff positions). Susan has also worked for numerous advertising clients such as Target Stores.

Susan's book projects for Readers Digest stand out as among the best from that publisher.

Ms Piatt has researched and found historic home locations from New Orleans to Portland, Maine.

Currently Susan Piatt is the Design Director for a major consumer directed home decorating manufacturer.

Interest in the Dutch Colonial Style stems from a lifelong interest in The Decorative Arts as well as membership in the Bergen County Historical Society.  Susan is a native of Bergen County, New Jersey, a region rich in fine examples of Dutch Colonial homes, farms, and steeped in the culture of New Netherland.

 Geoffrey Gross, Photographer

 Professional Resume
Current Situation
Freelance photographer-working almost entirely in the field of Decorative Arts, Architectural, and "shelter" related photography. Mostly working with magazines and publications: Better Homes&Gardens, Traditional Home, Art & Antiques, Antiques Magazine, Old House Interiors, Architectural Digest,Victoria, Parents, American Baby,Colonial Homes and so forth. From 1978- mid 1990's I operated my own commercial photo studio in NYC- Along with location photography of Architecture, I worked in advertising. Clients included JC Penney, Clairol, L'Oreal, Ethan Allen Furniture, ABC Home, Schumacher, Waverly, Wall-Tex, Conran's, Sony, Ban d'Soleil, Maurice Villency,Bloomingdales,Shulton, and a host of others.
1972- School of Visual Arts, New York, NY Numerous courses in photography. Left because SVA did not offer any courses in the Humanities.

1976-B.A. Franconia College, Franconia, N.H. "Photography/History". Degree granted for two year independent study thesis using photography as a means for interpreting and studying history. In this instance a small New England mill town. Exhibition very well received by both college faculty and local townspeople. unpublished. Other various documentary photographic works were produced and published locally and state wide in New Hampshire.

New School for Social Research, New York, NY evening division:
History of Decorative Arts
History of Modern Architecture
Color Theory I, II
Numerous courses on Art

Professional Distinctions
1984- Adjunct faculty, County College of Morris, Morristown, NJ

1986- One of 36 photographers selected to be featured on "World of Photography" television series, originally on ABC, then A&E.

1999-Awarded "mini-grant" from New York Council for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities. to cover cost of exhibiting photographs of Colonial Architecture. Exhibition favorably received and expected to travel to many appropriate venues

New York Foundation for the Arts agrees to act as sponsor .
Exhibits preliminary photographs taken for Dutch project and lectures to The Holland Society, New York City.

Asked to repeat program for other groups.

Additional funds received for project on the material culture of New Netherland.

Autumn, 1999
Early American Dutch Architecture exhibited at Bergen County Historical Society.
Extremely well received. Exhibition held over.

 Harrison Meeske   Contributing  Author

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