Valerie Oliver

Early American Decoration

Valerie B. Oliver – Ashford author’s recently published book, The Historical Society of Early American Decoration, its historical record describes the efforts since 1946 to preserve and continue the decorative techniques popular in the late 18 th – mid-19 th century: country painting, stenciling, gold leaf and free hand bronze work. Pontypool, pen and ink, theorem and reverse glass painting well as Victorian flower painting, clockdial painting and the schoolgirl art of watercolor painting on boxes and furniture popular during 1790-1830.
This is a fascinating history of an organization of members, mostly women, from the northeastern U.S. especially New York, Pennsylvania and New England.

See more – By the author of Fashion and Costume in American Popular Culture, a reference guide, Greenwood Press, 1996, this publication shows the same attention to detail, 236 pages plus index complemented by over 120 colored photographs. The author a former trustee and president of the Society continues to carry out decorative painting projects.

Valerie’s book is $35 local pickup or $45 with shipping; contact Valerie to order.

Valerie B. Oliver was born in Nashua, NH; she graduated from Classical H.S., Springfield, MA, received her BS in Mathematics from St. Lawrence Univ. in 1960 and MLS from McGill Univ. in 1961. Her professional career as a librarian began at the Research Labs Library at United Aircraft. Her many  years as a Reference Ln. at UCONN’s Homer Babbidge Library, culminated with the publication of her book,Fashion and Costume in American Popular Culture, a reference guideby Greenwood Press in 1996.  

  Her interests in early American decoration began in the early 1970s with teacher Florence Rainville of Uncasville, CT. She became an Historical Society of Early American Decoration (HSEAD) member in 1997, eventually serving as Connecticut Charter Oak Chapter Chairman, then as an HSEAD Trustee and finally as HSEAD President 2011-2012.  She currently serves as their Historian and as assistant editor of their journal The Decorator.  Her decorative painting work consists of country painting on metal and wood, stenciling, freehand bronze work, gold leaf work and reverse glass painting (all using historically documented patterns).  Reproducing old designs such as those seen on the 18th-19th c. Pennsylvania German decorated documents called frakturs  involves  work with a pen and with watercolor paints, a process  both easily and enjoyably performed.  The designs have many uses  i.e. cards, bookplates, letter heads or simply framed for display.