Educational Seminar

Check Back Soon for More Information on our 2022 Education

Seminars and Programs.

2022 will be an exciting year for the FAE/ISA Education Foundation


Current Speaker List - 2019

2020 Speaker list coming soon!

Marney Robinson, Director of Fine Art at Neal Auction Co., New Orleans, LA

The Art of George Rodrigue – Cajuns, Blue Dogs and Beyond


The presentation will focus on the life and multi-faceted legacy of George Rodrigue. A quintessentially Louisiana artist, Rodrigue broke through the boundaries of regionalism with his iconic Blue Dog to become a wholly American artist with international appeal.  The artist’s success in the market, both during his lifetime and posthumously, will be analyzed.


Marney Robinson, Director of Fine Art, has over a decade of experience handling and studying fine art of the American South. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a triple major in art history, studio art and history from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and completed master’s degree coursework in art history at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA before joining the art history Ph.D. program at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She has served as an art history instructor and guest lecturer at Tulane and Temple Universities. Robinson previously held the position of Curator of Education at the New Orleans Museum of Art, where she took a leading role in the rebuilding and revitalization of the museum’s educational programming and community outreach following Hurricane Katrina. Subsequently, she served as Director of Education for the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) and Curator of Exhibitions for Rodrigue Studios. She was instrumental in the formation of GRFA, an institution which advocates the importance of arts education programs in schools. Working in collaboration with the artist, Robinson also curated numerous Rodrigue exhibitions for museums nationwide and was the official appraiser for Rodrigue Studios.

Cybele Gontar, Owner & Director of the Degas Gallery, Guest Curator at Louisiana State Museum 

Chasing the “Butterfly Man”: Understanding Historic New Orleans Furniture from Armoires to Campeche Chairs


Cybèle Gontar’s forthcoming exhibition and catalogue, The Butterfly Man of New Orleans: The Search for a Lost Louisiana Cabinetmaker, 1810-1825, inspired by the tenth anniversary of the landmark publication Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835 (Holden, Bacot & Gontar, THNOC 2010), will open at the Louisiana State Museum’s Cabildo on November 22, 2019. This lecture will consider the history of armoires in Louisiana, with a focus on the work of the so-called “Butterfly Man,” an anonymous craftsman whose inlaid cabinets are considered the zenith of early 19th century New Orleans cabinetmaking. Other furniture forms that have a strong presence in our notions of Southern style including Campeche chairs, punkah fans, and tester beds will be introduced and their international history considered.


A New Orleans native, Ms. Gontar has lectured extensively and her publications appear in many journals including Common-Place: The Interactive Journal of American Life, Cultural Vistas (Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities) the Metropolitan Museum’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History and Metropolitan Museum Journal.  Her exhibition and catalogue Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785-1802 appeared at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art from March-September 2018. She regularly teaches a course on New Orleans art history at Tulane University: Global New Orleans: Art and Material Culture in the Gulf South, 1718-present. After completing a Predoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, she returned to New Orleans to found Degas Gallery in the downtown Arts District of New Orleans.

Pamela Arceneaux, Senior Librarian/Rare Books Curator of The Historic New Orleans Collection, New Orleans, LA 

Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans

Mrs. Arceneaux has served as librarian with The Historic New Orleans Collection for over 38 years. 
She has a B.A. in history from West Georgia College (now, the University of West Georgia), and an MLS from Louisiana State University.  She is a past recipient of the Lucy B. Foote Award presented by the Subject Specialists Section of the Louisiana Library Association in recognition of her service as an outstanding librarian.  She appears in the 23d edition of Who's Who of American Women (2002-2003).    


Along with other published articles about various aspects of Louisiana and New Orleans history, she also presents lectures on the

  • The ethnic character of New Orleans,

  • Local Christmas customs,

  • The history of voodoo in New Orleans, the 1900 Galveston hurricane, and

  • "A Red-Light Look at New Orleans History" -- The history of prostitution in New Orleans. 


She authored the entry, "New Orleans Blue Books," for the Online Louisiana Encyclopedia, KnowLA, and is the author of "Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans" released by THNOC in 2017.  


Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans  ties in with Arceneaux’s award-winning* book of the same title released by The Historic New Orleans Collection in February 2017.  It illuminates the use of these little prostitution directories as marketing tools, not only for the city’s vice district but to the depiction of New Orleans itself as a popular and exotic winter convention and tourist destination at the turn of the 20th century.  (*2018 Louisiana Literary Honor Book; 2018 American Alliance of Museums’ Museum Publications Design Competition-2nd prize; 2017-18 Art Libraries Society of North America, Southeast Chapter - Mary Ellen LoPresti Art Publication Award Scholarly Publication.)  See the LoPresti Award description here  :


Winner – Scholarly Publication

Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans by Pamela D. Arceneaux, with a foreword by Emily Epstein Landau. The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2017

This book provides a deep visual dive into the blue books of the notorious red light district of New Orleans.  Serving as tourist guides to the houses, prostitutes, and services available to potential customers (including advertisements for liquor and venereal disease treatments), blue books provided a window into the cross-cultural, ethnic, and commercial issues of this period in the city’s history.  The facsimile reproductions are excellent as is the scholarship that went into creating this first truly visual exploration into the books themselves.  The content is well organized and thoroughly researched.  Overall, this is a must-have publication for collections with a Southern history emphasis, as well as a fine addition to any arts collection in general.

Claire Thriffiley, Owner of Claire Elizabeth Gallery, New Orleans, LA

Claire Thriffiley is the Director of Claire Elizabeth Gallery, which features emerging and mid-career Southern artists. Prior to establishing the Claire Elizabeth Gallery, she worked in the Consignments Department of Neal Auction Company. Previously, Thriffiley had worked as an insurance broker specializing in fine art insurance for private collections, galleries and museums at DeWitt Stern Group and Marsh & McLennan Companies in New York. Thriffiley attended The American Business School in Paris and the College of Charleston, where she graduated with a degree in International Business and double minors in Art History and French. In 2010, Thriffiley graduated with academic distinction from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York receiving a M.A. in Arts Business. Her master’s thesis, which was titled “The Value of Arts in Local Communities: A Case Study of New Orleans, LA,” focused on the emerging art scene and influence of the creative sector on the social and economic development of the city post-Hurricane Katrina.

Locally, Thriffiley spends her free time volunteering with the art program at Children’s Hospital. She is the founder of “Amy’s Art Cart”, a mobile art & activity program for patients and their families to enjoy while undergoing treatments at Children's Hospital. In 2018, Thriffiley was awarded a "Health Care Hero" award from New Orleans City Business for her volunteer work. She has also been featured in The Times Picayune/, WWL-TV & WDSU for her role in integrating the arts into health.

Tommy Whitehead, Author of the book: Clementine Hunter: Her Life and Art

Clementine Hunter Paintings, Real & Unreal


M.S. Communications, Boston University, 1969

B.A. Political Science, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, 1967



2000 – Special Projects, Northwestern State University

Present Office of the President

1988 Production Location Consultant, Steel Magnolias, a Rastar film Production

July 1969- Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Dec. 1999 Director of International Programs and

Associate Professor of Journalism

June 1968- Silliman Institute, Clinton, Louisiana

May 1969 High School Social Science Teacher



Friend for 20 years

Expert witness for prosecution, FBI Clementine Hunter forgery case, 2008-2012

Consultant on documentaries produced in New Orleans at WDSU-TV in 1974 and in Dallas by Maya Productions in 1993

Lecture Presentations on the Artist:

Lauren Rogers Museum, Hattiesburg, MS. 1977

Louisiana Arts and Science Center, Baton Rouge, 1984

St. Olaf’s College, Minnesota, 1985

Bossier Bank and Trust, Bossier, LA. 1981

DuSable Museum, Chicago, IL, 1993

East Baton Rouge Parish Library, 1994

Dallas African-American Museum, 1994

New Iberia Parish Library, 1999

Calcasieu Parish School Board, 1999

Opelousas Museum of Art, 2001

The Old Courthouse Museum, Natchitoches, 2002

Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, 2004

Louisiana Preservation Alliance Statewide Meeting 2005

Cane River Creole National Historical Park 2006

Shreveport Regional Arts Council 2006

Randy Deaton, FBI Art Forgery Team

Art Crimes: Thefts & Forgeries & What the FBI Art Crime Team Does about Them

Special Agent (“SA”) Randy Deaton has been employed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since November of 1998. His field assignments have included the FBI’s New York Office and New Orleans Division.  SA Deaton is currently assigned to the FBI New Orleans Division’s Alexandria Resident Agency in Alexandria, Louisiana.   Over his career, SA Deaton has conducted numerous investigations involving white collar crime, violent crime, and national security matters.  In addition to his investigative duties, SA Deaton is also a FBI Relief Supervisor, Airport Liaison Agent,  Adjunct Faculty member, certified police instructor, and certified interview and interrogation instructor for local law enforcement.  In 2016,  SA Deaton received the honor of being selected as one of the newest members of the FBI’s Rapid Deployment Art Crime Team.  As an Art Crime Team member, SA Deaton conducts investigations related to art, antiques, and cultural property.  SA Deaton is a 1993 graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


I am also the FBI Agent on the Art Crime Team who covers the FBI offices in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  What that means is that if our Dallas Division initiates an art forgery case, I’m the Agent they turn to for  guidance and resources, such as what we talked about, locating appraisers and authenticator

Lydia Blackmore, The Historic New Orleans Collection, New Orleans, LA

Goods of Every Description: The Nineteenth-Century New Orleans Retail Trade

In the 19th century, New Orleans was at the center of a crisscrossing network of global trade routes and the shopping destination of the South. The presentation will illustrate the fashionable decorative arts from around the world available in the furniture stores, china emporiums, and fancy goods warehouses in the heart of old New Orleans. Special emphasis will be given to silver manufactured and imported to be sold to southern clientele. Whether they were made locally or imported from other centers of manufacturing, the objects purchased in New Orleans shops illustrated the cosmopolitan tastes of the creole city.

Lydia Blackmore has been the decorative arts curator at The Historic New Orleans Collection since 2014. She earned an MA and a certificate in museum studies from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware; she also holds a degree in history from the College of William and Mary. Blackmore has worked as a curator, researcher, and cataloger for private collectors and at institutions such as Colonial Williamsburg, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the US Supreme Court.

As the first decorative arts curator at The Collection, Blackmore is working to expand, conserve, and research the three-dimensional holdings. She is also responsible for the Williams Residence, the home of founders L. Kemper and Leila Williams. She has curated or co-curated several exhibitions, including: It’s Only Natural: Flora and Fauna in Louisiana Decorative Arts; Goods of Every Description: Shopping in New Orleans, 1825–1925; and the French Quarter History Galleries in the recently-opened Seignouret-Brulatour campus of The Historic New Orleans Collection.

Carey Mackie, author of Crescent City of Silver, New Orleans, LA

Southern Silver

Wayne Phillips, Louisiana State Museum Curator of Costume & Textiles

All Things Mardi Gras: Gowns, Invitations & More

Christine Speare, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, NY

French Wallpaper Decors' Papiers Peints in Homes of the American South

French wood-block printed wallpaper is a unique mural art form, yet often neglected. With this historical lack of attention, few academics have devoted themselves to the study of the topic, especially in the United States; and yet, wallpaper can reveal so much about past styles, settings, and collectors. With a strong affinity for everything French, some of the finest examples of French wallpaper in America have been discovered in the Southern region. Focusing specifically on wallpaper collections of this region, this presentation aims to identify and analyze several notable examples of French eighteenth and nineteenth century wood-block printed décors. 

Christine Speare is a Design Consultant with a specialization in antique wallpaper. She graduated from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2018 with a Master of Arts degree in Fine & Decorative Art & Design. Prior to Sotheby’s, Christine came from a career in corporate fashion, working as a designer at Ralph Lauren first before starting her own label, Sammy Speare. 

Kent Woynowski, Digital Assets Manager

Decorative and Fine Arts Research Resources at The Historic New Orleans Collection



The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Researchers can access THNOC’s materials through the Williams Research Center, or through a variety of online resources on the THNOC website.  THNOC maintains several collections and databases that can be invaluable research resources to appraisers of fine and decorative art. We will discuss the work of the Classical Institute of the South to document the history of the Gulf South’s rich material culture, as well as other research databases, including the Artist Database, the Louisiana Digital Library, and the upcoming companion database to the book Furnishing Louisiana.



Kent Woynowski has been Digital Assets Manager at The Historic New Orleans Collection for 10 years, working to digitally preserve, manage, and make accessible THNOC's varied born-digital and digitized collections. He has served as technical advisor to the Classical Institute of the South since its inception in 2010, and is responsible for the maintenance of its online Gulf South Decorative and Fine Arts Database.  He serves on the Advisory Board of the newly-formed Consortium of Online Decorative Arts (CODA), a multi-institutional consortium dedicated to sharing their decorative arts and material culture collections online. He has worked in the field of digital archives and online repositories in since 2001.  

Kathy Kelly, Licensed Attorney with the State Bar of TX, Attorney Consultant of Marketing Professional Services, Fort Worth, TX

Engagement Letters: An Essential Component of a Successful Marketing Strategy

Marketing one’s appraisal practice is essential to long-term success, and usually involves an array of tactics. This presentation examines how the client engagement agreement can be useful for two key tactics in a successful strategy: differentiation from alternatives, and establishment of the engagement value proposition.  The speaker will discuss how development and presentation of client engagement agreements can aid clients’ understanding of value, trust in application of professional standards, and willingness to refer the professional for additional work.

Kathy Kelly is a Texas attorney with a long career in marketing professional services, focusing on accounting and law. A graduate of The Colorado College, Colorado Springs (cum laude, B.A.) and Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University, Dallas (J.D.), she began her career in law practice in Fort Worth. She joined Weaver, the largest independent public accounting firm in the Southwest, as the firm’s first director of marketing; in that role, she was awarded the President’s Award by the Association for Accounting Marketing. After several years leading business development for the Dallas-based law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist, she was named executive director of the Fort Worth Chapter, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, a position from which she recently retired.

As a volunteer, she led the State Bar of Texas Advertising Review Committee as chair for three years, receiving a presidential citation for her work. She is a current member of the State Bar of Texas, the Tarrant County Bar Association, and an honorary (life) member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.


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